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B2B ecommerce and 7 best strategies to implement in 2024

B2B (business-to-business) ecommerce is booming, with more businesses shifting sales into the online space. As the sector grows, how can newcomers maximise their profitability and ensure success? This guide covers B2B ecommerce and the seven best strategies to implement in 2024.

What is B2B ecommerce?

B2B ecommerce is the sale of goods and services from one business to another through an online sales platform. This type of ecommerce can include online sales for physical items or the sale of virtual services and software. 

B2B vs B2C ecommerce

B2B vs B2C (business-to-consumer) ecommerce – the two differ in significant ways. B2B ecommerce operators market and sell to other businesses, while B2C companies sell to individual consumers.

Because businesses have more complex needs, B2B sales cycles tend to be longer and more involved. For example, while an individual consumer might buy a single laptop, a business may need a full set of laptops, keyboards and other hardware to serve their entire team. 

However, in terms of ecommerce strategies, the B2B world is increasingly similar to the B2C sector, with simple, user-friendly sales platforms and a wider range of purchase and delivery options. 

What are the different types of B2B commerce? 

Types of B2B ecommerce include B2B2C, wholesale and distribution, manufacturing and SaaS. 


B2B2C is an acronym for business-to-business-to-consumer. Under this ecommerce model, two companies work together to serve the same group of consumers. Generally, one business manufactures or imports a product and the other sells it to consumers, managing the customer service, fulfilment and shipping parts of the equation. 

Many B2B2C sales go through a large online portal – for example, Amazon sells products from a vast number of small producers – and customers are often unaware that the online storefront doesn't actually make the products. 


Wholesale companies sell products in bulk and at a discount to retailers, who then resell them to consumers at a higher price. Increasingly, wholesalers are using ecommerce platforms to make selling their product easier and quicker for their customers. Some wholesale platforms are similar to online retail stores, while others let prospective buyers bid on products.   


A manufacturing business makes products and supplies them to other businesses for retail sale. To meet increasing demand, many manufacturers are moving into the ecommerce space, using online platforms to simplify the order process and cut admin costs. 


Distribution companies sell, package, and ship products, acting as a channel between manufacturers and retailers. Ecommerce distributors use online platforms to optimise the process, giving retailers access to product details, deals and discounts, personalised packaging and branding options. 


SaaS (software as a service) delivers cloud-based, online-only software on a subscription basis. Unlike traditional software sales which can involve complex implementation and in-person support, online SaaS is accessed through an app or web browser. 

Stages of a B2B ecommerce business

The stages of a B2B ecommerce business are much like the development process for any other business – from startup and growth to eventual maturity. 


The startup stage comes after you've developed and proven your product, service or business idea. During this crucial phase, which often lasts two to three years, you build up the basic elements of a business – choosing a sales platform, building a customer base, hiring staff, and putting processes in place for workflow management, inventory management and logistics. Depending on your business model, you may also need to seek funding at this stage. 


The growth phase comes next. At this point, your business should be reasonably stable and well-established, and ready to expand your customer base and sales numbers. Growth may be rapid at first, particularly if you have a brand new product or unique sales proposition, and then stagnate for a period.

Stagnation can be caused by your inventory, manufacturing or fulfilment processes failing to keep up with customer demand, your product or service reaching saturation levels in your chosen market, or a combination of factors. 


During expansion, growth gets back on track – although it may not be as rapid. This phase, sometimes called 'scale-up growth', is about identifying growth challenges, finding new markets and development opportunities, and managing growth in a sustainable way.

This could involve upgrading technology to reflect your new scale, finding new suppliers or manufacturing facilities, and expanding into new markets. 


Maturity happens when your B2B ecommerce business has a solid market share, consistent cash flow, and steady growth. Of course, that doesn't mean it's a time of complacency. Businesses, particularly in the fast-moving B2B ecommerce space, are always faced with new competitors, changing market conditions and evolving customer demand. This means it's critical to keep a close eye on your finances, competitors and other factors that could impact your performance. 

B2B ecommerce examples

Examples of successful B2B ecommerce are everywhere – here's a look at some of the biggest global names in the sector. 


Amazon is best known as one of the first and largest ecommerce retailers, but it also supplies cloud storage and hosting services to other businesses through its AWS (Amazon Web Services) platform. It's essentially a B2B2C business, helping its clients power their apps, websites, and SaaS offerings so they can serve their own customers. AWS serves 1.45 million businesses worldwide


Alibaba is one of the largest wholesale marketplaces in the world. The global platform connects manufacturers and suppliers with retailers and other business owners, giving them access to a staggering 200 million+ products, sold in bulk at competitive prices.

The Kogan group has a portfolio of online retailers across Australia and New Zealand, selling an extensive range of consumer goods. It also operates Kogan Marketplace, which vendors can sell through, and offers services - mobile, internet, energy and insurance.

7 B2B ecommerce strategies 

B2B ecommerce strategies include accelerated fulfilment, omnichannel experiences, content marketing, and personalisation. Many B2B ecommerce businesses use several strategies to drive success. 

1. Fast order fulfilment with distribution centres 

Fast order fulfilment with distribution centres can give you an edge over other wholesalers and distributors. With this approach, you build scattered distribution centres to help you get orders out to your customers quickly, rather than using a central warehouse and fulfilment centre with a longer order process. 

2. Omnichannel experiences

An omnichannel approach is about creating a cohesive customer experience across all your sales channels and points of contact. The goal is a seamless journey for every customer, whether they’re on your website, social media, app or in person. For example, a customer should be able to log in to your website or app and see past orders, their current cart, loyalty points and any stored personal details. 

3. Create and leverage partnerships 

Creating and leveraging B2B partnerships can help you find new customers and build your brand. This kind of collaboration usually happens between two companies with complementary products, for example, a software provider and a company that manages implementation. 

4. Enhanced customer service and retention

Enhanced customer service and retention can help you stand out from other B2B businesses. This can include omnichannel experiences, dedicated account managers, customer support services and a focus on positive in-person interactions. 

5. Authoritative, quality content marketing 

Authoritative, quality content marketing involves creating and sharing educational and industry-related content in the form of blog posts, guides, podcasts, videos and newsletters. By sharing high-quality content that's not necessarily focused on your product or service, you build awareness and trust in your brand that can translate into traffic, leads and eventual sales. 

6. Detailed product information with video content 

Detailed product information with video content on your website and other sales channels is almost a requirement for B2B ecommerce businesses. Video content can help customers see the benefits of your product in a more impactful way.

7. Personalised shopping experiences 

Personalised shopping experiences are the norm in B2C sales, and they’re being used more and more by B2B ecommerce sellers. Personalisation can be as simple as using the customer’s name on emails and messages, or it can involve personalised product recommendations, emails to prompt repeat purchases, personal calls or outreach from reps. The goal is to make customers feel that their business is seen and valued. 

B2B ecommerce FAQs

B2C is the most popular type of ecommerce, but B2B sales are catching up, with global B2B ecommerce sales projected to reach $20.9 trillion in 2024. 

What are the challenges of B2B ecommerce?

The challenges of B2B ecommerce include process management, creating positive customer experiences, and keeping up with a changing market.  

Process management 

Process management – streamlining order management, payment processing and shipping – can all be challenging for new B2B ecommerce business owners. A purpose-built sales platform, CRM system and accounting software can help you automate many parts of the process and avoid complicated manual work.  

Positive personalisation 

With positive personalisation, many B2B businesses used to rely on building personal relationships with clients. That's not quite so easy through an online platform. Creating personalised experiences and focusing on customer service are crucial elements of a successful shift to ecommerce. 

Technology and market evolution 

Technology and market demand are constantly evolving, which can make it difficult for B2B ecommerce businesses to keep up. Just as you get to grips with your current software, marketing plan and product offering, a change in the market or newly introduced technology can throw you off course. It's important to be proactive about this issue – keep a close eye on your competitors and the market, consider new technologies as they emerge, and don't be complacent about your sales. 

What are the risks with B2B ecommerce?

The risks of B2B ecommerce can include damaging customer relationships by moving from a face-to-face business model to an ecommerce environment, and the expense of changing business processes and implementing new technologies. 

Easier ecommerce with MYOB 

Technology is at the heart of effective ecommerce – and that's where MYOB comes in. Whether you need accounting software to track sales and manage financial records, or a more complex ERP solution with ecommerce, manufacturing or wholesale and distribution features, we can help. 

Talk to our ERP experts now.

Disclaimer: Information provided in this article is of a general nature and does not consider your personal situation. It does not constitute legal, financial, or other professional advice and should not be relied upon as a statement of law, policy or advice. You should consider whether this information is appropriate to your needs and, if necessary, seek independent advice. This information is only accurate at the time of publication. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information contained on this webpage, MYOB disclaims, to the extent permitted by law, all liability for the information contained on this webpage or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

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