A summary of BigCommerce’s standard B2B features, plus an introduction to BigCommerce B2B Edition for high-volume B2B companies.
B2B: Big in 2022, Big at BigCommerce
B2B eCommerce has been on an upward trend since even before the COVID pandemic and it’s only going to get bigger. As such, BigCommerce has been on a major B2B kick ever since they announced their B2B initiative in 2019. Last year, BigCommerce launched a B2B-centric version of their powerful SaaS platform called BigCommerce B2B Edition and in 2022, they acquired two of the industry’s most renowned B2B services in B2B Ninja and BundleB2B.
BigCommerce is as serious about B2B as they are with B2C eCommerce, which is why even the base BigCommerce platform is chock-full of useful B2B features. So whether you opt for BigCommerce Standard, BigCommerce Pro or BigCommerce Enterprise, you’ll have access to B2B functions and features that make BigCommerce stand head and shoulders above other competing platforms.
Let’s take a look at the B2B features of all 3 BigCommerce variants, plus a quick introduction to BigCommerce B2B Edition for B2B power users.
But First… What is B2B and Why is it So Important?
B2B is business-to-business commerce, direct sales between one company to another such as the business relationship between a wholesaler and a reseller or a parts manufacturer to a parts assembler. B2B differs from B2C (business-to-consumer) as B2B tends to work on a much larger scale than the smaller purchases by individual consumers. The business models are similar, but B2B demands more attention and more effort due to the often-complex process of expensive mass-quantity/high-volume orders.
Once upon a time, businesses interacted with each other through cold-calls, print catalogs, and even traveling salespeople. The arrival of the Internet–and especially, Internet retail–made such analog methods a thing of the past. B2B over the Internet actually helped shape the way modern B2B is conducted online and when the COVID pandemic put the world on pause in 2020, B2B became an absolute necessity in order for global commerce to continue in a socially-distanced world.
B2B growth outperformed B2C even prior to COVID and has been steadily growing over 18% year-over-year. On a recent conference call, BigCommerce CEO Brent Bellm shared that B2B growth rates are twice as high as typical B2C. The global B2B market is slated to reach over $25 trillion in the next 6 years (a 2019 report by Forrester predicts that US eCommerce will hit $1.8 trillion by 2023) and account for 17% of all sales in the US by as soon as next year. Bellm also predicted that it won’t be long until B2B accounts for nearly half of BigCommerce’s total platform spend.
B2B is the lifeblood of all sales. With the exception of D2C (direct-to-consumer) where a manufacturer or supplier sells their own product directly to customers, most retailers need to go through a purchase process of goods which are then resold to the buying public. This includes other businesses or individual customers. The COVID pandemic showed the entire retail industry just how crucial it is to be on the Internet and with B2B’s popularity and expansion even eclipsing that of B2C, there’s no time like the present for your company to overhaul or fortify its existing B2B structure. If your company doesn’t even have one in place and could really use one, now’s the time to get it done.
BigCommerce B2B Features
BigCommerce is a powerful and versatile SaaS eCommerce platform that’s designed for business use of all sizes. From the independent or startup to the well-established, even to the elite enterprise level, BigCommerce offers 4 individual tiers that coincide with your business’ annual revenue and potential for expansion. Another benefit to the BigCommerce platform versus other competing systems is that BigCommerce does not charge transaction fees.
B2B Features of BigCommerce Standard & BigCommerce Plus
In addition to powering B2C web stores, both BigCommerce’s Standard and Plus variants come prepackaged with useful and intuitive features that can be used to open a basic B2B storefront. The baked-in standard features of BigCommerce Standard and Plus can satisfy the smaller wholesaler without much modification. However, because BigCommerce also touts improved marketing tools and SEO visibility that can positively impact conversion rates and scalability, the possibility of your B2B business demands outgrowing your current website’s capabilities is very real. BigCommerce’s list of basic B2B features includes:
- Multiple Storefronts
- Multi-channel Sales
- Tiered Pricing
- Multiple Currencies
- Customer Groups
- 1-Page Checkout
- Related Products and Product Recommendations
- Custom Product Attributes
- Minimum/Maximum Amount Per Order
- App Integration(s)
BigCommerce Standard and Plus support multiple storefronts which, for retailers who sell internationally, can be configured to match the appropriate region, language, and currency. The setup process is uncomplicated and fairly straightforward. Multi-channel sales are also possible with BigCommerce; selling on third-party websites such as eBay, Amazon, Instagram, Facebook, etc. can greatly expand your customer reach and brand recognition. Product listings are also unlimited with BigCommerce.
Product pricing can be modified into multiple tiers and the platform also supports display and transactional currencies. Currencies can also be converted with the built-in automatic currency conversion tool.
Customers can be separated into specialized groups with the Customer Group function, which is helpful for isolating repeat buyers or establishing a loyalty program from random shoppers and one-time-only shoppers. Customer grouping can be used to set up tax-exempt statuses, cart-level discounts, as well as allowing select customers the ability to navigate towards exclusive areas and merchandise selections on your website. If your business deals with both B2C and B2B-type customers, this is an important feature to have.
Call-for-Price purposely hides the price of selected merchandise with the intent of masking a discounted rate for specific buyers or to promote direct interaction between seller and buyer. This is also useful for stores that sell items that are not available in-house, such as dropship items, low-availability items, or made-to-order.
1-Page Checkout is exactly as the name implies. Older, less-advanced eCommerce platforms often utilize the multi-step checkout which, at one time, used to be the norm but recent trends in online shopping behavior show that customers desire brevity. Just as shoppers may leave a website that takes longer than 2 seconds to fully load, shoppers are easily turned-off from completing a purchase if the purchase process gives them time to mull over their decision. Or, if the purchase process itself is needlessly complicated and a test of patience, a shopper may abort and complete the purchase elsewhere. 1-Page Checkout helps significantly reduce your website’s bounce rate while boosting conversions and, therefore, sales earnings. Plus, coupled with BigCommerce’s new customizable order confirmation page features, you now have the ability to custom-tailor the checkout process and better promote the personalized shopping experience that B2C and B2B buyers appreciate and have come to expect.
Speaking of the personalized shopping experience, customer wishlists and product recommendations are available with BigCommerce. Wishlist support is unlimited with BigCommerce and you can encourage higher order values and upsells with Related Product Recommendations based off of previous orders, trends in consumer behavior, and/or accessory items. It’s also a good defense to have in case a piece of merchandise goes out-of-stock or there is a problem with maintaining available saleable inventory. Up to 5 related products can be automatically selected based on similar product titles or product descriptions, or you can manually choose up to 50 items to promote as product recommendations.
For merchandise that involves multiple variants such as size or color, setting up custom product attributes in BigCommerce helps to better organize your inventory in both the backend admin area and on public display on the live website. Use the custom product attributes to streamline your SKU library, as well as make it easier for merchandise to be featured and sold.
Perhaps, the most useful B2B feature next to Customer Groups is Minimum/Maximum Amount Per Order. This is exceptionally handy for bulk buyers. Combine with Customer Groups to set discounts per amount, as well as to distance merchandise which is intended for bulk pricing/bulk ordering away from regular customers.
BigCommerce’s standard B2B features are bolstered with their recent acquisition of B2B Ninja, which adds B2B integration into the BigCommerce platform natively. This gives stores advanced B2B functions and features that eclipse even older versions of the BigCommerce platform itself. B2B Ninja is designed for B2B businesses of all sizes, especially those who require greater quoting capabilities but without all of the additional features of BigCommerce B2B Edition. Additionally, third-party apps can be added to the already feature-rich BigCommerce system such as Smile.io for customer rewards, ShipStation for shipping and fulfillment, and Ads and Listings on Google to connect your BigCommerce store to Google Merchant Center.
B2B Features of BigCommerce Pro and BigCommerce Enterprise
Building on the already-comprehensive list of standard features available on the base BigCommerce and BigCommerce Plus, moving to the two higher-level tiers of BigCommerce grants even greater expanded B2B functionality:
- Abandoned Cart Saver
- Multiple Payment Gateways
- Shipping Quotes in Real-Time
- API Integration Calls
- Product Filters/Faceted Search
- Price Lists
- Pre-Negotiated Rates
- Improved Tiered Pricing
The Abandoned Cart Saver can rescue a potentially-lost sale and convert it into a completed transaction. Bounce rates on websites have their reasons such as slow loading speeds, unintuitive navigation, or complicated checkouts but sometimes, people leave websites for no apparent reason. For retailers, the two worst times for this to happen is during initial website loading and during the checkout process. Having an Abandoned Cart Saver function can prevent a bounce during checkout, urging the customer to return and complete their purchase. There are also the customers who windowshop online, adding items to a cart to help themselves better prepare themselves on what and how to spend. Windowshoppers often build up an online cart and then leave the website at the checkout stage. By making use of the Abandoned Cart Saver, you have a chance of turning that imaginary sale into a real one. The Abandoned Cart Saver sends 3 reminder EMails to customers who left in the middle of the purchase process. It works automatically and, when combined with a special coupon, can entice the shopper into completing the purchase. EMails can also be delayed so as to not appear intrusive to the potential customer or, at the very worst, mask the obvious automation. This also helps build upon the personalized shopping experience and makes the necessary automation appear not so blatant.
BigCommerce Pro and BigCommerce Enterprise also support over 40 payment gateways with the world’s leading payment providers including Amazon Pay, Bolt, Klarna Payments, Chase, Stripe, Square, Visa, 2Checkout, Authorize.net, and PayPal among others.
BigCommerce Enterprise users can obtain shipping quotes in real-time through the standard ShipperHQ integration. ShipperHQ allows custom shipping options per product and per zone and supports the major domestic and international carriers including USPS, UPS, Fed-Ex, Canada Post, Royal Mail, etc. The shipping fee can also be adjusted in accordance to customer groups, LTL, and freight quotes.
API calls are unlimited with a call response time of 400 requests per second, speeds that are among the industry’s fastest. This is extremely beneficial for high-volume, high-traffic retailers with heavy duty data processing requirements.
Product Filters/Faceted Search is essential for B2B customers to narrow down their desired products through filtering. This feature is standard with BigCommerce Plus and BigCommerce Pro, but BigCommerce Enterprise includes the additional capability for custom fields.
Also exclusive to BigCommerce Enterprise are Price Lists, Pre-negotiated rates, Customer Group Pricing, Bulk and B2B Tier Pricing. Together, these pricing features provide benefits and incentives for B2B bulk and wholesale purchasing. Instead of a standardized price list, pricing can be segmented according to customer groups, order frequency and order amounts, bulk/wholesale orders, and available discounting. Rates are pre-negotiated for payment providers and there’s even a PayPal transaction fee reduction rate available from Braintree.
Feature Availability Between All 4 BigCommerce Flavors
(Legend: ST=Standard, PL=Plus, PR=Pro, EN=Enterprise)
- Multiple Storefronts (ST, PL, PR, EN)
- Multi-channel Sales (ST, PL, PR, EN)
- Tiered Pricing (ST, PL, PR, EN)
- Multiple Currencies (ST, PL, PR, EN)
- Customer Groups (PL, PR, EN)
- Call-For-Price (ST, PL, PR, EN)
- 1-Page Checkout (ST, PL, PR, EN)
- Wishlist (ST, PL, PR, EN)
- Related Products and Product Recommendations (ST, PL, PR, EN)
- Custom Product Attributes (ST, PL, PR, EN)
- Minimum/Maximum Amount Per Order (ST, PL, PR, EN)
- App Integration(s) (ST, PL, PR, EN)
- Abandoned Cart Saver (PL, PR, EN)
- Multiple Payment Gateways (PL, PR, EN)
- Shipping Quotes in Real-Time (PR, EN)
- API Integration Calls (EN)
- Product Filters/Faceted Search (PR, EN)
- Price Lists (EN)
- Pre-Negotiated Rates (EN)
- Improved Tiered Pricing (EN)
With the most standard features already built into the platform itself, BigCommerce is designed for businesses of all sizes and functionality can be further expanded upon through the use of add-ons, apps, and integrations. Whether your company is a small or medium-sized business or a major enterprise, BigCommerce can be customized to suit your exact business needs.
A Quick Introduction to BigCommerce B2B
On June 2nd, 2021, BigCommerce launched a specialized B2B-centric version of the BigCommerce platform called BigCommerce B2B Edition. Created for primary wholesalers and B2B eCommerce, BigCommerce B2B Edition combines onboarding, support, and contract services into one simple, all-in-one package. BigCommerce B2B Edition is an excellent platform for companies with intricate multi-stage operations, which allow them to introduce new channels, create B2C experiences and manage functions to serve both B2C and B2B customers at the same time.
As a B2B-focused alternative to BigCommerce’s B2C offerings, BigCommerce B2B Edition adds and improves upon the following features:
- ERP, PIM, and CRM System Integration
- Fast, Zero-Throttling API Calls
- Price Lists
- Customer Groups
- Corporate Account Management
- Restricted Logins for Dealer Pricing
- Invoice Portals for ACH and PO Terms
- Sales Rep Quoting and Discount Pricing Terms
- Shared Shopping Lists
- Previous Order Histories
BigCommerce B2B Edition Highlights
- API Customization is made simple thanks to 1-click integrations with whatever technologies or tools that are used on your website, regardless of whether it’s a CRM, OMS, or ERP platform.
- BigCommerce B2B Edition allows for third-party data sync by way of 400+ API calls per second and 90% of BigCommerce data.
- Custom shipping rates for B2B customers and reduced costs with the world’s top shipping companies. Term sheets allow B2B customers to choose their preferred shipping method and shipping service.
- Essential tasks such as reordering, user permissions, and instant quote generation are executed through convenient, 1-click tools.
- A streamlined and personalized B2C-like shopping experience for B2B customers.
- In addition to the native features of BigCommerce B2B Edition, easy integrations are possible with the popular industry-leading services including Elasticsearch, Nextopia, PunchOut2Go, and NetSuite.
- CSR-generated quote management for easy customer quotes. Bulk pricing down to the SKU level is available for both customer groups and individual customers.
- Multiple payment options are available for use with BigCommerce B2B Edition.
- Secure, steady, and reliable performance. Protection against hackers, DoS and DDoS, and cybercrime through BigCommerce’s standard PCI compliance, advanced SSLs, and famed security features. BigCommerce uptime is among the industry’s leading with a rate of over 99.9%, which can be bolstered with an optional Service Level Agreement (SLA) if so desired.
Diztinct is an official design partner with BigCommerce. If you’d like to learn more about our custom BigCommerce design services and additional web development solutions, get in touch with us today and get ready to make your website work for you.