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What is B2B Ecommerce? Platforms, Companies, Trends

9 min read

B2B ecommerce, or business-to-business ecommerce, is the sale of physical goods or services online through a website or other platform from one business to another.

As the landscape of buying and selling evolves online, businesses of all types must adapt and follow suit to stay relevant.

As customers, businesses expect a similar experience to what consumers do: simple and foolproof. Fortunately, finding products and solutions via ecommerce can offer a great user experience and be cost-effective for both parties.

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Types of B2B Ecommerce

Each type of B2B ecommerce is unique and has its drawbacks and benefits. It’s common for some B2B companies to fall into multiple ecommerce types, depending on their business model and goals. Here are the common types of B2B ecommerce business models.


A bit of a tongue twister, B2B2C means business to business to consumer. In this scenario, manufacturers sell a product to other retailers, who sell the product directly to consumers.

This partnership typically happens because one company can’t reach the same audience alone. By teaming up with another company, both parties save money, and the end consumer can access more products or services. It’s a win-win!

Many businesses opt for this ecommerce model because of the benefits it provides to their bottom line. Perks include:

  • A reduction in operation costs
  • Restocking faster
  • Resolving issues related to budget
  • Access to critical customer data and insights

A great example of a B2B2C business model is grocery delivery apps partnering with supermarkets.

In this scenario, consumers want the convenience of their groceries delivered to their doorstep without having to shop in person. Grocery stores don’t have the staff to support this venture, but a separate entity can offer it.


Wholesalers buy goods from manufacturers and re-sell them to retailers and other businesses to sell to end-consumers.

Most wholesalers offer discounted pricing for their buyers based on the amount they’re buying and how often. Running a successful wholesale B2B ecommerce model requires a functional system for managing products, shipping, and payments.

The best wholesale companies also offer stellar customer service, so buyers can rely on these teams to get their products purchased, shipped, and delivered promptly.


Distributors are wholesalers that stock a large number and variety of products to be purchased by retailers. Many retailers prefer doing business with distributors because it’s easier to get all their products from one place rather than shopping around to various wholesalers for what they need.

Distributors also offer storage and shipping to retailers, a convenient bonus that makes those logistics more straightforward to manage. Distributors utilize systems that update orders, track shipments, and manage inventory to keep everything on track.


Lastly, manufacturers produce the goods sold to wholesalers or distributors directly. This spans t-shirts, sports equipment, furniture, car parts, beauty products, and more.

Manufacturers likely face more challenges than other entities to evolve with the times. Many suppliers expect digital access to their product updates, including pricing options, checking order statuses, and more.

B2B Ecommerce Trends

As technology evolves, consumer behavior follows suit. In the same way that B2C has drastically changed thanks to online shopping in recent years, B2B ecommerce is also shifting.

Invest in new technology

2023 is undoubtedly the year to invest in functional, sustainable B2B ecommerce solutions for your business. B2B ecommerce platforms like Ecwid offer robust features, including:

  • Inventory and delivery management
  • Inventory and catalog expansion
  • Payment processing
  • Advanced data and security protection
  • Advanced checkout options

Let go of outdated systems

It’s time to kiss your old systems and processes goodbye and join the 21st century.

Many B2B companies on the distributor level are all facing this same challenge. As customers demand more user-friendly and advanced systems for ordering inventory and tracking shipments, many need to catch up.

Utilize social media

Believe it or not, B2B buyers use social media to find the services and solutions they need to improve their bottom line. From comparing solutions and pricing to reading reviews, social media can be a powerful and effective tool for buyers and sellers.

Meet buyers’ demands

Demand for products immediately is higher than ever (thanks, Amazon!), and B2Bs must follow suit. Investing in software and more staff for fulfillment can help to satisfy customers’ expectations.

How B2B Ecommerce Companies Can Find Success

Finding success as a B2B ecommerce company takes work, but utilizing effective digital strategies can make all the difference.

Create a strong online presence

From creating a compelling website to a functional ecommerce store, a digital presence is essential to find success as a B2B ecommerce company.

What’s essential with an ecommerce website? Ease of use and straightforward navigation are at the top of the list. Your website should be simple to use, with clear language and branding that fits your product offering.

Implement SEO best practices

Utilize SEO tools and best practices to ensure your website ranks well in the search engines so the right companies can find you online. Improving online visibility will ensure the right buyers can find your business when they’re ready to buy.

Be transparent about policies

Make your policies clear so businesses know exactly what they’ll get when working with you. Include information about your payment options and gateways, shipping policies, and other processes that may be important.

Creating a B2B Ecommerce Strategy For Your Business

Like any other business model, having an ecommerce strategy in place is critical for the success of your business. Here are a few considerations as you build your B2B ecommerce strategy.

Optimize the user experience

When customers make it to the end of the shopping experience, make sure the purchase is smooth and seamless. Your platform can make product recommendations, flexible shipping options, and more to satisfy your customers throughout the sales funnel.

Prioritize content marketing

Content marketing is an effective tool to use on many fronts. It’s great for SEO and brand visibility, educates customers, and provides value to your business. You can provide the content to educate leads and customers on your products.

Offer a unique value proposition

Above all else, an ecommerce site should be functional and easy to use. Provide value through product descriptions, site search capabilities, an efficient customer service team, and active social media platforms.

These will add value to every step of the customer journey. From their first interaction with your business, researching your competitors, and making a purchase, every effort should be tailored to their unique needs.

Leveraging a B2B Ecommerce Platform

Many B2B companies enlist the help of B2B ecommerce platforms to support their sales goals, streamline tasks, and drive brand awareness through a compelling website and ecommerce store.

Here are some of the best B2B ecommerce platforms on the market today.

B2B ecommerce platform examples

  • Adobe Commerce
  • SalesForce
  • Ecwid
  • OpenCart
  • Shopify

Create Your Own Success With B2B Ecommerce

Launching a B2B ecommerce store is not a daunting task. Creating a B2B ecommerce website is an effective way to increase sales and profits for your business.

Looking for some guidance when building a B2B ecommerce website for your business? Ecwid is here to help! Explore our blog and learn all about best practices in ecommerce marketing. If you’re ready, you can start building your online store with Ecwid today.


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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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So simple to use – even my most technophobic clients can manage. Easy to install, quick to set up. Light years ahead of other shop plugins.
I’m so impressed I’ve recommended it to my website clients and am now using it for my own store along with four others for which I webmaster. Beautiful coding, excellent top-notch support, great documentation, fantastic how-to videos. Thank you so much Ecwid, you rock!
I’ve used Ecwid and I love the platform itself. Everything is so simplified it’s insane. I love how you have different options to choose shipping carriers, to be able to put in so many different variants. It’s a pretty open e-commerce gateway.
Easy to use, affordable (and a free option if starting off). Looks professional, many templates to select from. The App is my favorite feature as I can manage my store right from my phone. Highly recommended 👌👍
I like that Ecwid was easy to start and to use. Even for a person like me, without any technical background. Very well written help articles. And the support team is the best for my opinion.
For everything it has to offer, ECWID is incredibly easy to set up. Highly recommend! I did a lot of research and tried about 3 other competitors. Just try ECWID and you'll be online in no time.

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