Exploring Shopify B2B eCommerce Fundamentals

1. Introduction

In the fast paced world of ecommerce businesses need to search for the platforms that provide the flexibility, scalability and strong features so shopify is a very popular ecommerce platform that has successfully grown many B2C businesses. Other than this thousands of B2B businesses are also running on shopify. As more and more businesses running on shopify and use B2B model, it is must to understand B2B business model, in this blog we will understand what is  B2B business model and how to apply in shopify.

2. What is a Shopify B2B ecommerce Store?

An ecommerce store that is built on the Shopify platform for B2B business is called Shopify B2B store and also known as electronic commerce. For running a successful business  it is important to understand the difference between B2B and B2C ecommerce. In the B2B ecommerce business exchange the products and services between two businesses are designed for offering customized pricing and discounts to wholesalers and retailers that purchase bulk of products, and in B2C ecommerce businesses the company directly sells products and services to customers. B2B ecommerce purchase, makes long term relationships for selling products and services.

3. Types of B2B eCommerce Businesses

If you start your new B2B ecommerce business then you fall in one category from these , every category fulfills the different types of business needs and each has its advantages and disadvantages.

There are 4 types of B2B ecommerce businesses :

B2B2C 

Business-to-Business-to-Consumer business takes out the middle man from B2B ecommerce companies and their consumers. In short, without using a middleman the company directly sells their products to consumers. Using this type of business the B2B company also experiences the B2C model also and increases the customer base. Like amazon displays the product catalog on their own digital storefront.

Wholesale 

Another type of B2B ecommerce business is wholesale. This type of business focuses on selling products and services in bulk quantities, using this type of business you can offer special discounts and customized prices to customers that purchase in large quantities. In this business model buyers have their own shop or online marketplaces and they invite different sellers to show their products and accept deals.

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Manufacturer

Manufacturers are create the products and sold to wholesalers, manufacturers and suppliers, for example the manufacturer can make specific part of product like shoelaces and then sold to shoe manufacturer and then they assemble the complete product and add their branding and sell in market. The manufacturers expertise to make products at low cost per unit in bulk quantity and then sell to another business.

Distributor

In the shopify B2B ecommerce business, the distributors are the companies that act like mediators between manufacturers and consumers or retailers, they purchase products in bulk from manufacturers and sold to retailers or consumers to earn profit. The partnership between manufacturer and distributor can be created online. Some examples of B2B are Alibaba, amazon and Grainger etc.

4. Way of create Shopify B2B Store and Cost

You can create B2B store by choosing one option from following :

Using Shopify Plus

Using shopify plus plan you can use B2B features from June 2022. For this you need to purchase shopify plus plan and the cost of this plan is Rs.1,75,000/month.

By using thor party shopify B2B apps

If the cost of shopify plus plan is too high for your business then the another option is you can use third party B2B shopify app. In shopify app store many apps present for B2B, according to your need you can choose. The approx price of these types of apps is around $30/month.

price-types

Customize your B2B store from scratch by hiring shopify expert developers

If you need more advanced features and want to make them according to your requirement then the another option is hiring a shopify expert developer or agency, they can create a B2B store for you according to your requirement. The cost of development depends on the project complexity.

Shopify’s new theme “Trade” 

From May 2024, shopify launches new theme “Trade” for wholesale business, so if you want limited pre default functionality for your business then you can use “Trade” theme from shopify theme store it is totally free.

5. Stages of shopify B2B ecommerce business

Not Every B2B business journey is same, there are some phases in every B2B business from startup to a mature profitable business we discuss here :

StartUp

This is a first phase of every B2B business where the focus is on making the customer base, in this stage business is small and run by few persons. The startup is called the feedback stage also because in this stage when you sell a product or service you take feedback and fulfill the market demand.

You need to make some goals when startup stage

  • Build an easy and user friendly shopify store for B2B transactions.
  • Connect with Mass of manufacturers, suppliers and buyers for your business.
  • Create a strong reputation for your brand in B2B ecommerce platforms.
  • Provide proper customer support to maintain customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Growth

When your business is in a growth stage then few things come with you. Here you can start some experiments with offers for growth of your business. The key objectives of this stage are to build the team to  increase revenue, expand business and make a good customer base.

There are some goals when your B2B business in growth stage

  • Hire experts to make a perfect team.
  • Maintain good relationships with suppliers and manufacturers.
  • If you seek additional fundings then it is part of the growth stage.
  • You can experiment with B2B marketing tactics.

Expansion 

Once your business has achieved growth, then the next stage is expansion of your business. In the expansion phase include launching a new product or service, entering a new market etc.

There are some goals when your B2B business in expansion stage

  • To create new revenue streams , develop new partnerships.
  • To increase the customer base, we need to enter a new market.
  • To impress your customers, offer new products or services.
  • Develop a strategy for consumer support.

Maturity 

Once a business has established properly in the market, then focus goes on managing the existing business and profitability. The main target of this stage is to satisfy your customers, generate consistent revenue and optimize the process. In this stage you know about your sales and profitability.

There are some goals when your B2B business in maturity stage

  • Make strategy for IPO and acquisition by large companies.
  • Merging with other profitable companies.
  • Maintain profitability and consistency of sales.

Conclusion 

On the shopify platform to build a successful B2B ecommerce business you need to execute a proper plan. This article provides you with the tips for creating a professional B2B store. With the focus on your customer’s needs, proper plan, design, pricing strategy and apps you can grow your shopify’s B2B business.

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