For companies that sell in the business-to-business (B2B) marketplace, the shift to digital-first customer transactions has been happening for some time now. But the disruptions caused by COVID-19 and the resulting economic slowdown have accelerated the adoption of B2B e-commerce technology. Delivering robust, secure and seamless digital customer experiences has become absolutely critical to B2B sellers’ success. As such, all business leaders must get familiar with the key software that makes up a strong B2B e-commerce technology stack.
The B2B landscape is diverse and complex. And there is no set-in-stone, one-size-fits-all blueprint to building a B2B e-commerce tech stack. However, certain aspects of selling products and services online, like content management and data security, are non-negotiable—and a B2B technology stack should include the applications and software platforms designed specifically for those processes.
What follows is our list of 13 B2B e-commerce apps that every seller should have in their tech stack.
A CMS platform like Optimizely is key to maintaining an up-to-date and engaging B2B e-commerce website and mobile app. Through their CMS, B2B sellers can create and manage all of the content across their digital presence: updating product listings, personalizing user experiences, and more.
CRM software like those provided by Salesforce or HubSpot helps B2B sellers manage all the data related to their current and potential customers. These tools are key for marketing and sales teams, allowing them to understand how B2B buyers are discovering, engaging with, and purchasing the company’s products or services.
PIM technology creates a system for storing and managing all product content and assets in one centralized repository. Vendors like InRiver make PIM tools that allow B2B companies to easily deliver great customer experiences by enabling messaging consistency across channels, speeding up new product launches, and more.
Similar to PIM, DAM allows B2B sellers to view and control all of their brand assets from a central content hub. By streamlining the management of photos, videos, and other assets, DAM platforms like Digizuite automate previously onerous tasks and make B2B companies far more efficient at planning, organizing, and distributing content.
The ability to see who is visiting a B2B e-commerce website, where they came from, and what actions they take after they arrive is indispensable to sellers who are looking to optimize their digital platforms to increase engagement and sales. Google Analytics is the most ubiquitous analytics solution and connects seamlessly with any paid-search campaigns that a B2B company is running.
In addition to website analytics tools, BI software like those provided by Domo or Tableau also captures and organize data that’s essential to B2B e-commerce success. By bringing together marketing analytics, customer data, and more, these tools help enable “business intelligence” that allows B2B sellers to measure and understand the impact of all the marketing and engagement tactics running across their online platforms.
As the name implies, marketing automation software allows B2B companies to automate their promotional outreach to customers and target audiences. Tools from Salesforce, HubSpot, and others handle the busywork of distributing and monitoring marketing messages through automatic “workflows,” freeing up time for employees to focus on higher-level tasks.
An ERP like Microsoft Dynamics helps B2B sellers manage a variety of business processes, from human resources to supply chain and beyond, in a system that increases efficiency by allowing information to flow between the departments. With a strong ERP in place, it’s much easier to make data-driven decisions about how to optimize a B2B e-commerce experience.
SEO is just as important to B2B e-commerce success as it is for B2C sellers. Software solutions like SEMRush provide key information and actionable recommendations for B2B sellers to ensure that all of their digital platforms are optimized for discovery via search. From competitor research to keyword search volume and more, the insights these tools provide are invaluable.
To effectively connect with potential buyers and close important deals, B2B companies can turn to sales engagement software like those from DiscoverOrg or Outreach. These tools support B2B e-commerce efforts by helping identify likely customers and providing buying signals that help salespeople act with increased efficiency and impact.
A successful B2B e-commerce platform is one that delivers an intuitive and enjoyable experience to every customer, and A/B testing is one of the key tactics for optimizing digital user experiences (UX). In addition to its CMS capabilities, Optimizely offers a suite of experimentation tools for B2B marketing and product teams to test ideas, learn what works best, and carry those insights into their e-commerce UX.
Qualitative research tools like those from Qualaroo empower B2B sellers to increase the conversion rate on their e-commerce platforms by investigating why some visitors leave before buying anything. User behaviors can change quickly in today’s fast-paced, digital-first world, and B2B companies must keep pace by leveraging tools that provide direct and actionable insights.
To supercharge the volume and accuracy of the information a B2B seller has about users who visit their e-commerce platforms, Heatjar software tools provide insights into user behavior in a number of innovative ways. From “heatmapping” that tracks user clicks to capturing recordings of real visitors’ engagement with the platform, Heatjar can help B2B companies increase conversions by identifying and fixing any issues in the e-commerce user flow.
As B2B transactions continue to move online, B2B e-commerce websites must keep up with ever-rising user expectations for seamless, enjoyable digital experiences. See how simple improvements to your online platform can lead to significant growth using our B2B E-commerce Growth Calculator.