The ecommerce sector continues to see considerable growth. Online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Shopify and WooCommerce are keeping pace. The sellers across these various platforms have continued to diversify between business to consumer (B2C) and business to business (B2B) trading. Handling a B2B business through a third-party marketplace is still a relatively new concept and can quickly fail if the correct measures aren’t taken. We will be looking into tips for successfully managing a B2B store on WooCommerce, and how you can prepare your business for growth in the future.
Why choose WooCommerce for B2B
To begin with, let’s highlight some of the benefits of using WooCommerce as a B2B platform for selling.
WooCommerce can naturally store and manage thousands of products (including variants) across a single ecommerce store. Tests have shown that the platform can handle upwards of 100,000 products providing everything has been correctly set up and configured. Like most online marketplaces, WooCommerce is intuitive and has many quality-of-life features that benefit small and large B2B sellers.
WooCommerce is not usually seen as a B2B marketplace. Most of its functionality and design base it around B2C sellers. However, due to developments with site creators such as WordPress and built-in WooCommerce plugins, the B2B capability of WooCommerce is present. It is providing a potentially new route to market for businesses of all sizes.
Plugins to help manage your B2B store
B2B for WooCommerce
- Account registration forms – more straightforward repeat purchases and improves the CRM process for sellers.
- Bespoke pricing dependant on the user’s login credentials
- Hide and show certain products and shipping options based on the user
- Ability to create quotes that can be turned into orders
B2B for WooCommerce gives any store the capability to handle and manage a diversified user base that may include businesses who look to purchase items in bulk.
- Pricing is based on the amount the product purchased
- User tier list
- Order and product minimums can be easily set in place.
- Simple and easy to use wholesale order forms that can manage large quantities
This plugin gives WooCommerce stores the capabilities to run at an enterprise level. Large volumes of products can be stored and easily handled with an SKU system, pricing can be changed and altered based on the type of customer, and stores can set a minimum number that must be ordered.
- User access levels
- Tax exemption in place for certain products/users
- Min/Max quantity order
- Import/export B2B data from prior systems
WooCommerce B2B is arguably the main plugin for businesses looking to operate as a B2B organisation. It has all the features necessary to perform at any business size and receives regular updates that fit in line with WooCommerce.
Combine your B2C store with your B2B store
This mainly applies to businesses that have scaled up to the point of transitioning from B2C to B2B. Rather than creating a new store and rebranding, WooCommerce can allow a company to use the same store for both B2C and B2B purposes. If the plugins mentioned earlier are used correctly, this can be a very efficient route for growing businesses.
Various aspects of your WooCommerce store can be altered based on the user who is visiting your site. This is managed by having new/existing users sign into an account. Not only does this help gain information from your customers, but it can also help target specific products and services towards them based on the industry they are in. For example, the previously mentioned WooCommerce B2B plugin has an account creation feature that makes users specify the type of business they work for, plus the industry. By gaining this information, customers can be targeted later by campaigns, emails, and posts (providing they have given their consent).
Benefits of B2B on WooCommerce
WooCommerce has its own ecosystem
WooCommerce has cemented itself as one of the largest online marketplaces available. This allows store owners to advertise and sell their products to a vast audience that may be unreachable without WooCommerce. Store owners can also focus on competing with fellow WooCommerce stores. This results in fewer competitors to manage simultaneously and only one platform for optimising in terms of selling.
Some may view this as a negative, but in general, the pricing structure of WooCommerce is a huge benefit to its users. WooCommerce, unlike many other online marketplaces, does not run offset price subscription packages. The price of your WooCommerce store can be as low or as high as you choose. It all depends on the store owner’s needs and how professional they want the store to look.
Even larger – more established businesses who want a slick, professional store can be frugal and savvy in terms of how much they spend.
High levels of support
There are a variety of resources that can be used by store owners whenever they have issues. Aside from the standard support through the WooCommerce website, help can be found through reliable forums and the WooCommerce support feature implemented by WordPress.
WooCommerce has dedicated support teams and engineers based for larger organisations on which plugins are being used. This means the level of expertise is precise and readily available. This is key for larger businesses as it can lead to less downtime.
Managing a B2B store on WooCommerce
Various methods can be used to help B2B companies manage their stores on WooCommerce, whether that may be through plugins, support avenues, or converting a store from B2C to B2B. The developments in plugins and capabilities of website creators such as WordPress have made it simple for businesses to transition across to B2B markets.
There are also a clear set of benefits as to why a company could opt to use WooCommerce for their B2B ventures. The levels of support are there if needed for enterprise-sized businesses, whereas plenty of resources are available to smaller B2B companies. The pricing structure of WooCommerce also makes it an ideal platform for companies of all sizes.
For more information surrounding WooCommerce, check-out our post on how to get started with WooCommerce.