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Create your own ecommerce website and start selling successfully with ShopWired today

Create your ecommerce website on ShopWired today.
Start today with 14 days free

The Best B2B Ecommerce Platforms for Business-to-Business Merchants (2024)

12th January 2024

Person holding checklist for B2B Business to Business

In the digital era, the rise of ecommerce has reshaped the way businesses trade and engage with one another.

In years gone by, business-to-business (B2B) transactions were conducted through telephone, email or fax . However, the modern business landscape has witnessed a paradigm shift. The proliferation of ecommerce platforms has empowered businesses to manage and streamline their B2B operations through centralised, unified platforms.

But with so many ecommerce platforms on the market, how do you know which one is best for B2B businesses? 

Don’t worry, we’ll explore which is the best B2B ecommerce platform in this comprehensive guide. 

Ready? Keep reading. 

What is B2B ecommerce?

Business-to-business ecommerce (B2B ecommerce) refers to the online buying and selling of goods and services between businesses. It encompasses digital transactions and interactions that occur exclusively within the B2B realm, catering to the specific needs of businesses rather than individual consumers.

Unlike B2C ecommerce, B2B ecommerce focuses on selling bulk quantities at wholesale prices. B2B Platforms offer specialised functions to streamline transactions for both parties.

Why is B2B so important? 

Business-to-business (B2B) commerce has witnessed remarkable growth in recent years. Statista (2023) estimated approximately 17% of B2B sales would occur digitally in 2023. This was a significant increase from the 13% recorded in 2019. This trend emphasises the increasing prevalence of B2B transactions conducted online.

Every enterprise relies on acquiring goods and services from other businesses to establish, maintain, and expand their operations.

For instance, a company might engage in B2B relationships to:

  • Source specialized raw materials for production.
  • Utilize advanced technology and software solutions.
  • Access legal and financial advisory services.
  • Collaborate on marketing and advertising strategies.
  • Employ logistic services for efficient product distribution.
  • Secure cleaning and maintenance services for facilities.

These behind-the-scenes B2B interactions are vital for a business's day-to-day functionality and strategic planning. 

Different types of B2B businesses

There are several types of B2B businesses, these include: 

Producers design and manufacture their own products. Producers may sell their products directly to other businesses or indirectly via retailers or resellers.

Retailers and resellers sell products and services made by other companies directly to businesses. 

Agencies and consultancy services provide advice, strategies and subcontracted work to businesses. For instance, a marketing agency manages a multimillion dollar advertising budget for a brand. 

Choosing the best B2B ecommerce platform 

Many ecommerce platforms have evolved to provide specialised B2B features for businesses to trade with each other.

But how do you know which one is the best for your needs? 

Choosing the right B2B ecommerce platform depends on a variety of factors. Here are some key features you should look for when deciding which is the best platform for your needs. 

1. Platform features and functionality

When selecting an ecommerce platform, it is essential to consider its B2B-specific features. Not all platforms offer dedicated functionality for B2B transactions.

You'll want a platform that provides essential B2B features, including bulk orders, custom pricing and categories for trade buyers. These features enable B2B buyers to efficiently browse your store and make purchases with the correct trade prices in place. Remember that making it easy for customers to buy in bulk on your website is important. Using a platform with B2B features is essential for merchants who want to offer a smooth experience.

Choosing a B2B ecommerce platform that provides scalability and adaptability is essential to accommodate your business's changing requirements and expansion. Anticipate future growth and select a platform without revenue constraints. Typically, revenue caps vary based on the pricing tier, often necessitating an upgrade to a costlier plan. It's important to review your provider's pricing options to ensure seamless scaling as your business grows.

Choose a platform that easily scales to accommodate business growth and adapts to changing market demands without obstacles.

2. User experience and interface

In B2B ecommerce, understanding the distinct needs of sellers and buyers is key for a successful platform.

For Sellers:

Sellers require a platform with robust B2B features like bulk order options, custom pricing, and trade-specific categories. These functionalities enable efficient product showcasing, segmented pricing management, and a smooth purchasing process for B2B clients.

For Buyers:

Buyers seek an easily navigable, user-friendly website. A responsive design, crucial for the growing mobile user base, ensures seamless access across devices. Furthermore, features like advanced search and filtering save time and improve the browsing experience. This caters to buyers' needs for efficiency.

A well-designed B2B ecommerce platform that addresses these specific seller and buyer requirements can facilitate effective transactions and nurture lasting business relationships.

3. Integrations and customisation capabilities

Integration and customization are vital for the efficacy of a B2B ecommerce platform. Key factors to consider include:

Integration with Business Systems

A good B2B ecommerce platform should effortlessly integrate with existing systems like inventory management, ERP, CRM, and order fulfillment. Modern platforms often bundle these functionalities, reducing the need for separate system integrations.

API and App Marketplace

Opt for a platform with a strong API and a comprehensive app marketplace. This enables sellers to enhance the platform's capabilities through third-party apps or bespoke solutions, catering to unique business needs and offering a customized experience to B2B clients.

Multichannel Selling

The platform should facilitate multichannel selling, connecting with various marketplaces, social media and online sales channels. This approach broadens customer reach, boosts sales, and increases brand visibility.

Local and International Commerce

For businesses operating or aspiring to operate globally, select a platform adept in both local and international commerce. Essential features include multilingual support, multi-currency transactions, and adherence to regional regulations, aiding in scaling your brand globally.

4. Streamlined payments and B2B financing options

Streamlining payments and offering B2B financing options are key for a successful B2B ecommerce platform. Consider these essential factors:

Secure and Reliable Payment Gateways

Choose a platform integrated with reliable payment gateways that support diverse payment methods. This should include credit cards, bank transfers and other alternatives. This variety meets different buyer preferences, improving their purchasing experience and your chance of gaining sales. 

Buy Now, Pay Later Options

Implementing B2B financing solutions, such as Buy Now, Pay Later options, can significantly benefit both sellers and buyers. This approach adds flexibility for wholesale buyers while ensuring prompt payments and minimizing late invoice risks.

5. Robust analytics and reporting capabilities

Selecting a B2B ecommerce platform with powerful analytics and reporting features is crucial for data-driven decision-making and optimizing operations.

Comprehensive Data Insights

Opt for a platform offering detailed insights into sales trends, customer behavior, and order patterns. This data is essential for understanding customer preferences, identifying upselling and cross-selling opportunities, refining product strategies and more.

Customizable Reports

Ensure the platform allows for customizable reporting, enabling you to create tailored reports like sales, inventory, or customer segmentation. This customization is key for tracking performance indicators, assessing marketing campaign effectiveness, and evaluating overall ecommerce success.

Real-time Analytics

A platform that offers real-time analytics is crucial for immediate market responsiveness. This feature helps you monitor site performance, track conversions and address issues quickly to maintain a smooth customer experience.

Integration with External Analytics Tools

Choose a platform that integrates well with external tools like Google Analytics for expanded insights and reporting capabilities. This integration provides a comprehensive view of your ecommerce performance, leveraging advanced analytics for ongoing improvement.

By prioritising analytics and reporting capabilities, you can gain deeper insights into your business, refine strategies and drive B2B ecommerce operations towards success.

The best B2B ecommerce platforms 

Here are some of the most popular ecommerce platforms for B2B businesses. 

1. ShopWired

ShopWired Logo

ShopWired is one of the top-rated ecommerce platforms on the market. At the time of writing this post, ShopWired has an impressive 4.8/ 5 stars on Trustpilot from 516 reviews. 

ShopWired caters to both B2C and B2B businesses, with a strong focus on B2B merchants. It offers dedicated B2B features and functionalities, making it a popular choice among B2B businesses. The platform supports bulk ordering processes, tailored pricing structures, customer account management and trade-only areas. All B2B features are available on every pricing plan, setting ShopWired apart from other platforms.

ShopWired's exceptional support helps merchants grow quickly, making it a reliable choice with competitive pricing.

Advantages of ShopWired for B2B:

  • Custom pricing for B2B trade customers
  • Tiered/volume pricing for trade and/or retail customers
  • Automate and review wholesale customer signups
  • Create a separate category/product environment
  • Set minimum and/or maximum order quantities by product or variant
  • Allow customers to submit orders without making immediate payment
  • Grant customers credit account status
  • B2B features are available on all pricing plans, as well as during ShopWired's 14-day free trial

ShopWired offers a complete solution for businesses aiming to optimise their B2B ecommerce operations with an emphasis on user-friendly features that cater to wholesale and trade industries. 

For more information about ShopWired's B2B capabilities, click here

2. Salesforce

SalesForce Commerce Cloud

Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a cloud-based enterprise ecommerce solution. The platform offers solutions for both B2C and B2B merchants.

However, unlike platforms like ShopWired that provides B2C and B2B features together on all plans, SalesForce does not. If you want both, you must subscribe to the more expensive Connected Commerce plan. Actual pricing is unavailable on the SalesForce website as merchants must enquire for a custom quote 

Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s B2B functionality is built on the Salesforce Lightning Platform. This combines data from Salesforce CRM and commerce applications, giving a comprehensive view of customers, distributors and buyers. This helps B2B buyers manage their operations within the SalesForce dashboard. 

Advantages of Salesforce for B2B

  • Simplifies B2B account handling with efficient order tracking and management for streamlined client experiences.
  • Delivers personalized product recommendations to B2B buyers based on their business needs and historical purchase data.
  • Facilitates complex B2B pricing structures and allows for the quick generation of accurate quotes for bulk orders.
  • Supports a variety of payment methods suitable for large-scale B2B transactions, providing flexibility for business clients.

Disadvantages of Salesforce for B2B

  • Can be costly and complex compared to other platforms. 
  • Pricing is unclear, merchants must get in touch for a custom quote. 
  • Third-party integration is not always straightforward. 
  • Some reviews online mention platform slow-downs during busy periods. 
  • SalesForce might be considered somewhat outdated compared to more modern ecommerce platforms. 

3. BigCommerce

BigCommerce Logo

BigCommerce is another popular ecommerce platform for small-medium sized businesses . 

BigCommerce prides itself on providing a solid feature set for both B2C and B2B merchants. Among its dedicated B2B features, the platform enables businesses to efficiently launch and manage multiple storefronts. This makes it good for a diverse range of brands with a range of customer segments.

BigCommerce also boasts a modernized buyer portal that automates administrative tasks, enhancing the buying experience for B2B customers. Additionally, BigCommerce supports customized purchasing experiences, allowing businesses to tailor the shopping journey to specific buyer needs

It's important to note that BigCommerce's B2B features are only available on the Plus, Pro and Enterprise plans. The cheapest of these options, the Plus plan, costs a considerable $105 per month. This is considerably more than BigCommerce's Standard plan which only costs $39 per month but doesn't have B2B features. Small-to-medium-sized businesses may prefer ShopWired, which includes B2B functions on all packages.

Advantages of BigCommerce:

  • Extensive product and inventory management.
  • SEO tools to improve organic search performance.
  • Customizable templates and mobile optimization.
  • Robust multi-channel selling.
  • Comprehensive analytics and reporting.
  • Payment gateway integration and API access.
  • B2B features such as wholesale pricing and bulk order processing are included.

Disadvantages of BigCommerce:

  • The platform's depth of features can be overwhelming for new users, especially those with limited technical skills.
  • While offering a balance of cost and features, the pricing might be a concern for small startups or businesses with tight budgets.
  • The themes on BigCommerce lack diversity, and purchasing a decent theme can be an additional cost.
  • App integrations cost- while the platform has a large app marketplace, many essential integrations require paid subscriptions, potentially increasing the overall cost.

Overall, BigCommerce is a robust choice for businesses that require a mix of ease of use and advanced features. However, its complexity and cost might pose challenges for smaller or less technically inclined businesses.

4. Shopify

Shopify, a prominent player in the ecommerce platform market, extends its capabilities to accommodate B2B ecommerce needs. While widely celebrated for its B2C features, its B2B functionalities also offer significant benefits.

However, Shopify’s B2B features are exclusively available to merchants subscribed to Shopify’s Plus plan (£2000 per month). Standard subscribers require a third-party app, such as Wholesale Pricing Discount, to implement B2B functionality.

Advantages of Shopify:

  • Efficient in processing bulk orders and providing automated fulfillment solutions.
  • Solid inventory management tools support real-time tracking and management across multiple locations.
  • B2B-focused features include wholesale pricing and customizable catalogs.
  • Known for its user-friendly interface, making it accessible for various business sizes.

Disadvantages of Shopify:

  • The cost of advanced plans may be a factor for consideration, especially for smaller enterprises.
  • Some B2B-specific integrations require third-party applications, potentially increasing overall costs.
  • Customization options may have limitations, requiring additional resources for certain modifications.
  • Many features not unlocked unless you're on a higher-tier pricing plan. 

5. WooCommerce

WooCommerce, an open-source ecommerce platform, integrates seamlessly with WordPress. This makes it a favorable choice for many small to medium-sized online businesses. Its compatibility with WordPress is a significant advantage for those already familiar with the CMS.

Advantages of WooCommerce:

  • WooCommerce offers extensive customization through themes and plugins, allowing businesses to tailor their online stores to specific needs.
  • The platform has a wide range of plugins, enhancing functionality for various business requirements.
  • There is strong community support, providing resources and assistance for users.

Disadvantages of WooCommerce:

  • Setting up and customizing WooCommerce requires some technical know-how, which can be challenging for beginners.
  • Exclusive to WordPress websites only. 
  • The platform can slow down with extensive plugins and high traffic.


1. What are the key features to look for in a B2B ecommerce platform?

Look for platforms offering bulk order capabilities, custom pricing options, and dedicated trade categories. Essential features also include scalability, user-friendly interfaces, detailed analytics, and integration capabilities.

2. How important is scalability in a B2B ecommerce platform?

Scalability is crucial. As your business grows, you need a platform that adapts to increased demand without requiring costly upgrades or transitions. Platforms like ShopWired offer scalability across all pricing plans, ensuring smooth growth with a 99.9% uptime guarantee. 

3. Can I find a platform that combines both B2B and B2C functionalities?

Yes, platforms like ShopWired, BigCommerce, and Shopify offer functionalities catering to both B2B and B2C sectors. However, the availability of these features can vary based on the pricing plan. ShopWired offers B2B and B2C features on all price plans, including the cheapest option, whereas BigCommerce and Shopify require you to subscribe to a higher-tiered pricing plan. 

4. What should I consider regarding platform costs and pricing plans?

Consider both the initial cost and long-term value. Some platforms, like Salesforce and BigCommerce, may have higher costs or require upgrades for full B2B functionality. ShopWired stands out for offering comprehensive B2B features across all pricing plans.

5. How do integrations and customization capabilities impact my choice?

Effective integration with existing systems (like ERP and CRM) and customization options are vital for tailoring the platform to your specific business needs. A platform with a strong API and an extensive app marketplace is preferable. ShopWired reduces the reliance on inteagrations with native B2B functionalities built in to the platform. 

6. Is technical expertise a requirement for managing a B2B ecommerce platform?

It varies. Platforms like WooCommerce require some technical knowledge, especially for customization. In contrast, ShopWired and Shopify are known for their user-friendly interfaces, making them accessible even to those with limited technical expertise.