Benefits of designing an eCommerce site for B2B & B2C.

With the growing trend of B2B commerce moving online, retailers can benefit from designing their eCommerce sites for both B2C and B2B customers. Read more about the benefits of doing this and client examples. Let’s get started!

B2C changing the B2B landscape.

B2B shifting online.

The landscape of B2B commerce is rapidly evolving, marked by a significant shift towards a more digital ordering process. In 2021 alone, online sales in the B2B sector surged by 17.8% to a staggering USD $1.63 trillion, according to Digital Commerce 360. This uplift has continued over the past few years, prompting companies to invest more in their B2B offerings to stay ahead of the game.

Offering B2B customers a B2C experience online.

One notable trend within B2B is the move towards creating experiences similar to those found on B2C sites. This involves a more elevated design and streamlined UX, prioritising not only the core functionality but also focusing more on pushing the brand story and boosting browsability for curious clientele.

More businesses are now combining both B2B and B2C features on a single website, which is made possible by improved technical capabilities on Shopify. Brands are opting for this, as containing everything in one place makes it easier for businesses to manage without the hassle of running separate websites. But doing this brings its own set of design challenges, as there’s a far wider range of user groups to consider. Ensuring the site caters for both B2B and B2C at all touchpoints and simplifies the user journey regardless of the user type is crucial.

Another emerging wholesale solution is Sparklayer, a versatile B2B app that can be used on Shopify. The app delivers all the essential wholesale functionality while also allowing for design customisation that helps brands ensure this touchpoint of their brand feels in line with the rest of the site.

Benefits of combining B2C and B2B design.

Designing an eCommerce site that caters to both B2B and B2C markets offers many benefits:

  • Expanded market reach. Combining B2B and B2C on one platform broadens the customer base, tapping into both individual consumers and businesses and maximising potential sales opportunities.

  • Cost efficiency. Managing a single eCommerce platform for both markets reduces the costs of maintaining separate systems, leading to savings in development, hosting, and maintenance expenses.

  • Streamlined operations. A unified platform simplifies inventory management, order processing, and customer service, creating operational efficiencies. It allows for centralised data analytics, providing comprehensive insights into customer behaviour and sales trends.

  • Brand consistency. Maintaining one website ensures a consistent brand experience across all customer segments, which helps build brand loyalty and recognition.

  • Personalised experiences. Advanced eCommerce platforms can segment users and tailor experiences accordingly. For B2B, this might mean bulk pricing, customised catalogues, and account management features. For B2C, it involves personalised recommendations and targeted marketing.

  • Scalability. A well-designed dual-purpose site can easily scale as the business grows, accommodating increasing traffic, expanding product lines, and entering new markets without needing significant overhauls.

By leveraging these benefits, brands can optimise their online presence, improve customer satisfaction, and drive growth across both B2B and B2C markets.

B2C influencing B2B design in action.

1. Never Fully Dressed in B2B.

Never Fully Dressed is a womenswear label known for its on-trend yet sophisticated designs. We originally designed their store for B2C customers only on Shopify Plus, but over time, the brand wanted to expand into the B2B market.

Using Shopify’s new B2B native approach, we implemented B2B onto the existing site, keeping the content in line with the existing flow and user experience. For example, in the B2B customer view, the quick order table was applied to the product page, where the product variants are broken out by size variants.

B2B users can see the stock levels, a running tally cost, and individual quantity selectors for each size so they can add individual quantities. They can then add the custom quantities to the cart and see the total products and costs they add to the order.

The B2B account area departs from the standard account Never Fully Dressed has in place, as it’s hosted in a separate area and takes styling from the cart customisations. However, this handles all B2B-specific functionality with ease.

2. Kenro picture-perfect B2B.

Kenro is a one-stop shop for photographic accessories, selling everything from tripods, flash guns, and lighting to film, slides, and photo scanners. In this example, we designed the Kenro Shopify Plus site for both B2B and B2C, using Sparklayer for the heavy B2B lifting. The main consideration for design was ensuring that the widgets and implementation felt in line with the rest of the brand and that the mini cart versus Sparklayer orders were in line with each other.

To ensure a high-quality and similar experience for both customer groups, we also included some content that would only display if a B2B-tagged account was logged in. This allowed users to view specific product content and access downloadable spec sheets and images for their wholesale content while keeping the layout and design the same.

Conclusion: blending B2B and B2C.

In conclusion, the blend of B2B and B2C into one store is becoming a much more popular approach by the day. The rise of the B2B market and the increasing ease of implementation on an existing B2C store makes it much more lucrative, adding additional revenue streams for clients without opening a whole new site. As more and more companies begin to recognise the potential of wholesale, this channel may begin to overtake B2C.

Need help with your B2B and/or B2B website?

Are you looking for an agency with excellent B2B and B2C credentials? Contact us for expert, objective advice on which option - whether a Shopify native B2B or third-party B2B solution - is best for your brand.

In the meantime, explore our expert B2B and B2C Shopify services and browse our work for Shopify B2B and B2C inspiration. Our clients include top brands like RIXO, Never Fully Dressed, Green People, WatchHouse Coffee, Abbott Lyon, Teapigs and Robert Welch.

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