As a result of the developments in the Corona era, the importance of online stores and the connection to online marketplaces has grown even faster and more strongly than previously suspected. This development will continue to increase in the years to come. Classic sales channels are becoming less and less important. At the same time, the relevance of analog ordering methods is declining. Digitization, automated sales increase and new customer acquisition are the buzzwords of the hour. Many companies already sell B2B on the Internet, with one in five generating more than 50 percent of sales there.
However, the assumption that you can implement the development of a B2B store or marketplace in the same way as a B2C platform is wrong. B2B buyers have different expectations of the purchasing process than B2C customers. Product-related information, such as availability, expected delivery time and individual price overviews, represent important information for them. A frequently neglected - but highly demanded - feature in the store is the search function.
Most store operators face a challenge, especially with regard to mapping the up-to-dateness of product data. The maintenance of this data is usually very time-consuming. However, the effort can be noticeably minimized by using a PIM system (product information system), since many processes are fully automated here.
Only a small percentage of companies that set up a B2B online store or marketplace do so without external service providers. The adaptation of standard software to the company's own processes and technical conditions, as well as the connection to other systems, for example to an ERP system such as SAP, are often left in the hands of experienced service providers. As a result, the store operator benefits from significant time and cost savings. The store is productive more quickly in order to offer customers an outstanding customer experience.
The selection of a suitable store system alone is a landmark decision. A large number of providers with the most diverse orientations offer their products, be it Shopware, OXID, Spryker, Shopify, Magento and others. In order to determine the appropriate need, it is helpful to make use of the insights of those who have already implemented a large number of projects with a wide variety of technology partners.