B2B Ecommerce Platforms: Tailored Solutions for Business Transactions
B2B Ecommerce Platforms are specifically designed to meet the needs of business transactions between businesses. They provide a robust set of features tailored for complex business interactions and transactions. Though pricing varies and is often customized per business requirements, below are several leading platforms along with some of their notable features.
This platform includes unlimited product listings, inventory management, shipping, fulfillment, and return features. Moreover, it supports multi-channel sales on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
Shopify Pricing Plans
Shopify offers a variety of pricing plans to cater to a wide range of businesses, from aspiring entrepreneurs to established enterprises. Each pricing tier provides different features, resources, and support levels, allowing you to tailor your Shopify experience to fit your specific needs. Below is an overview of the main Shopify pricing plans as of September 2021:
1. Shopify Lite: $9/month
Shopify Lite is tailored for merchants who want to start selling online using an existing website or social media platform. This plan allows you to:
- Add products and a “Buy Button” to your blog, website, or social media pages, enabling customers to make purchases directly.
- Create and manage orders, track inventory, and generate invoices.
- Use Shopify’s point of sale (POS) app to accept payments in person.
- Access 24/7 support.
2. Basic Shopify: $29/month
Basic Shopify is suitable for small businesses that need to create an online store from scratch. Features include:
- Everything in Shopify Lite, plus:
- A fully-featured online store with unlimited products.
- Up to 2 staff accounts.
- 24/7 support.
- Sales channel integration for selling on web, social media, and online marketplaces.
- Discount codes and abandoned cart recovery.
- Manual order creation and free SSL certificate.
- Shipping label printing and shipping discount rates.
- Credit card processing rates of 2.9% + 30¢ (online) and 2.7% + 0¢ (in-person).
3. Shopify: $79/month
The Shopify plan is designed for growing businesses that need enhanced e-commerce features. Features include all those in Basic Shopify, plus:
- Up to 5 staff accounts.
- Professional reports to analyze your store’s performance.
- Lower credit card processing rates of 2.6% + 30¢ (online) and 2.5% + 0¢ (in-person).
- Additional shipping discounts.
- Support for gift cards.
4. Advanced Shopify: $299/month
Advanced Shopify is intended for larger businesses that require advanced reporting and shipping options. Features include all those in the Shopify plan, plus:
- Up to 15 staff accounts.
- An advanced report builder and custom report options.
- Third-party calculated shipping rates for advanced shipping options.
- Lowest credit card processing rates of 2.4% + 30¢ (online) and 2.4% + 0¢ (in-person).
- Highest shipping discount rates among the plans.
5. Shopify Plus: Custom Pricing
Shopify Plus is an enterprise-level solution designed for high-volume merchants and large businesses with specialized requirements. Pricing for Shopify Plus is customized based on individual business needs and typically starts at around $2,000/month. Highlights of this plan include:
- Unlimited staff accounts.
- Customized and scalable e-commerce solutions.
- Exclusive APIs and additional features for large-scale enterprises.
- Dedicated support, including a Merchant Success Manager and access to 24/7 priority support.
- Negotiated payment processing rates.
- Enhanced security and customization features.
Before choosing a pricing plan, carefully consider your business’s size, needs, and growth potential. Shopify also offers a 14-day free trial, allowing you to explore the platform and its features before committing to a subscription. Keep in mind that additional costs, such as custom themes, premium apps, or transaction fees, might apply based on your specific setup and needs.
Shopify SEO: Features and Benefits
Shopify Plus is an enterprise-level solution designed for larger businesses aiming to scale quickly and efficiently. The platform places great emphasis on SEO due to its importance in driving organic traffic, improving brand visibility, and increasing conversions. Below are some key SEO features and benefits of using Shopify Plus:
1. SEO-Friendly URLs
Shopify Plus allows you to create SEO-friendly URLs for your products, collections, blog posts, and other pages. By having clear and descriptive URLs, you can improve your site’s search engine rankings and make it easier for potential customers to discover your website.
2. Metadata Management
Shopify Plus provides intuitive tools for managing meta titles, descriptions, and keywords on a per-page basis. These metadata elements help search engines better understand your website’s content and aid in ranking your pages higher in search results.
3. Canonical URLs
Shopify Plus automatically adds canonical URLs to your site to address potential duplicate content issues. Canonical URLs inform search engines which version of a page is the original source, preventing duplicate content penalties and preserving your site’s SEO integrity.
4. XML Sitemaps
Shopify Plus generates XML sitemaps automatically for all your pages, products, collections, articles, and images. By providing search engines with a clear roadmap of your site’s structure and contents, your web pages can be crawled and indexed more efficiently, improving search engine visibility.
5. Mobile Responsiveness
Shopify Plus templates are designed to be mobile-responsive by default. Mobile responsiveness is crucial for SEO, as search engines like Google prioritize mobile-optimized websites in search results. With Shopify Plus, you can ensure an enhanced user experience across devices, resulting in better search rankings and user engagement.
6. Image Optimization and Alt Tags
Shopify Plus provides tools for easy image optimization and alt tag management, decreasing load times and improving search engine visibility. Alt tags help search engine crawlers interpret your images and contribute to improved image SEO.
7. Built-in Blog Platform
Shopify Plus includes a built-in blogging platform, enabling you to produce valuable content that can improve your site’s SEO, attract organic traffic, and engage your target audience. Blogging is an important strategy to establish credibility and authority while driving organic growth.
8. Analytics Integration
Shopify Plus integrates seamlessly with Google Analytics and offers a built-in analytics dashboard. These tools enable you to monitor and measure your site’s performance and SEO efforts, allowing you to refine your strategy for maximum organic growth.
Shopify Plus provides a powerful suite of features for optimizing your e-commerce store’s SEO, with a focus on increasing organic search traffic and improving overall site visibility. By leveraging these capabilities, you can maximize online exposure, drive targeted traffic, and enhance sales conversions.
Known for its affordability, Salesforce Commerce is well-suited for smaller B2B businesses. It doesn’t have a publicly available standard pricing, but it can be acquired upon request.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud Pricing and Limitations
Salesforce Commerce Cloud is an enterprise-level e-commerce solution that unifies the customer experience across all points of commerce, including web, social, mobile, and store. Unlike some platforms, Salesforce Commerce Cloud does not offer fixed pricing plans, instead opting for a custom pricing model that can be tailored to meet the needs of individual businesses.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud does not offer publicly available, set pricing plans. Pricing is typically based on a variety of factors, including:
- The size and complexity of the customer’s business: Larger businesses with more complex requirements will likely be quoted a higher price.
- The customer’s Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV): The GMV refers to the total value of merchandise sold over a given period. Salesforce’s pricing model often includes a revenue share arrangement where the Commerce Cloud’s fees are a percentage of the customer’s GMV.
- Additional products and services: Including marketing, service, sales, or other Salesforce Cloud services.
Because of the bespoke nature of Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s pricing structure, businesses interested in the platform will need to contact Salesforce directly for a personalized quote.
While Salesforce Commerce Cloud offers robust and comprehensive capabilities, there are some potential limitations to be aware of:
- Complexity: The platform’s capabilities can be overkill for small businesses. Those without access to dedicated IT or developer resources may find it difficult to navigate and manage the platform due to its complexity.
- Cost: Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s custom pricing model can lead to it being more expensive than alternatives, especially for small-to-medium businesses. Moreover, the GMV pricing model means that as your business grows, so too will your costs.
- Limited free trial: Unlike some competing platforms, Salesforce Commerce Cloud does not offer a free trial period. This could make it more difficult for potential customers to evaluate whether it is the right solution for their needs without making an initial investment.
- Customization limitations: While Salesforce provides a range of out-of-the-box features and functionality, businesses with unique requirements may find customizing and expanding the platform to be a complex process that may require bringing in a Salesforce developer.
- Integration costs: While Salesforce Commerce Cloud can integrate with other Salesforce products and third-party systems, these integrations can sometimes be complex to implement and may come with additional costs.
Although these limitations are valid considerations, for many businesses, the robust and far-reaching capabilities of Salesforce Commerce Cloud outweigh these potential drawbacks. As a result, the platform is a leading choice for enterprise-level e-commerce operations worldwide.
Salesforce Commerce SEO Features and Benefits
Salesforce Commerce, previously known as Demandware, is renowned for its customer-centric commerce strategies and seamless integrations for B2B and B2C businesses. Like other advanced e-commerce platforms, Salesforce Commerce includes robust SEO capabilities designed to improve the visibility of your storefront and drive more organic traffic. Below highlights some of its main SEO functionalities:
1. SEO-Friendly URLs and URL Redirections
Salesforce Commerce supports SEO-friendly URLs, which are vital for search engine crawlability and keyword optimization. The platform also provides for URL redirections, which helps you manage your URL changes without risking the loss of your SEO ranking.
2. Metadata Management
Salesforce Commerce provides the functionality to effectively manage meta titles, descriptions, and keywords for all product pages, category pages, and other pages on your site. This can improve page rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs) and attract targeted customers to your products.
3. Canonical Tags
Avoiding duplicate content is crucial for maintaining your site’s SEO health. Salesforce Commerce supports the implementation of canonical tags, which allow search engines to understand which page is the ‘master’ copy in case of duplicate or similar content.
4. Automatic XML Sitemap
Salesforce Commerce automatically generates and updates the XML sitemaps for your site, which helps search engines effectively crawl and index the webpages of your store, eventually improving your site’s search visibility.
5. Robots.txt Management
Valid robots.txt files guide search engine crawlers on which sections of your website to crawl and index. Salesforce Commerce provides an easily manageable Robots.txt file system.
6. Schema Markup
The platform allows for easy integration of schema markup. This structured data allows search engines to better understand the content of your site, which can enhance the display of your pages in SERPs and potentially increase your organic click-through rates.
7. Multi-language SEO
For international stores, Salesforce Commerce supports multilingual SEO, making it possible for businesses to optimize separate language versions of the site effortlessly.
8. Analytics Integration
Salesforce Commerce integrates seamlessly with various analytics tools, like Google Analytics, enabling you to continuously measure and improve upon your SEO efforts.
Salesforce Commerce’s robust SEO capabilities can significantly enhance your online store’s organic search performance, potentially leading to higher traffic, improved conversion rates, and more overall sales.
Magento 2 B2B Commerce
Magento supports various B2B functionalities like access restriction options, customer identity management, custom pricing, and a focus on user/customer experience. Pricing details are available upon request.
Magento Pricing Plans
Magento is a robust eCommerce platform that offers two primary versions: Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce. Each version caters to different business sizes and needs.
1. Magento Open Source
Magento Open Source is the free version of the platform. While there are no licensing costs with this version, certain operational costs will apply. These costs may include expenses related to:
- Domain registration
- SSL certificates
- Development for customization and setup
- Extensions or plugins for added functionalities
These costs can vary depending on the specific requirements of an individual business.
2. Magento Commerce
Magento Commerce is the premium, enterprise-grade version of Magento. It offers advanced features and premium support tailored for larger businesses. This version uses a tiered pricing structure, with costs influenced by the business’s gross sales revenue.
As a rough indication, the start price for businesses generating less than $1m in gross sales revenue is estimated at around $22,000 per year. As a business grows and its revenue increases, these costs will also rise, aligning with the tiered pricing structure.
Beyond these license costs, businesses should also factor in additional expenses related to:
- Hosting (for Magento Commerce On-Premise)
- Development (customization, setup, maintenance)
- Themes (design and user interface)
- Extensions or plugins
Given the wide range of factors influencing the total cost of running a Magento Commerce store, businesses should contact the Magento sales team directly for a tailored quote.
Kindly note that while Magento provides robust eCommerce capabilities, its cost and complexity might not suit small businesses or those with simpler operational needs.
Magento SEO: Features and Benefits
Magento, as one of the leading e-commerce platforms, offers a comprehensive set of built-in SEO features and tools to optimize your online store. By leveraging these features, you can improve your site’s organic search rankings and drive more traffic to your store. Some key Magento SEO features include:
1. SEO-Friendly URLs
Magento supports creating SEO-friendly URLs, making it easier for search engines to crawl and index your web pages. Customizable URLs also enhance the user experience by providing a clear, descriptive link structure.
2. Meta Tag Management
Magento allows you to manage custom meta titles, descriptions, and keywords for each product, category, and CMS page. These tags provide context to search engines, improve the ranking of your web pages, and help users find your products through targeted keyword searches.
3. Canonical URLs
Duplicate content can negatively impact your site’s SEO. Magento addresses this issue by allowing you to set up canonical URLs, directing search engines to the preferred URL version among multiple pages with similar content. This prevents duplicate content penalties and keeps your site’s structure intact.
4. XML Sitemaps
Magento enables you to automatically generate XML sitemaps for your store. Sitemaps help search engines efficiently crawl your website, index the pages, and better understand site hierarchy, improving your store’s visibility in search results.
5. Robots.txt Management
Magento allows you to manage your site’s robots.txt file, which is used to guide search engine crawlers on what parts of your website can or cannot be crawled and indexed. Properly configuring your robots.txt file ensures that search engines access relevant content while omitting unimportant pages.
6. Semantic Markup & Rich Snippets
Magento supports implementing semantic markup and rich snippets (structured data). These add more context and information to your site’s content, enabling search engines to display rich information like ratings, prices, and stock availability directly in search results. Rich snippets can significantly enhance click-through rates (CTR) and drive additional organic traffic to your store.
7. Google Analytics & Tag Manager Integration
Magento offers seamless integration with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, enabling you to access detailed e-commerce analytics, understand user behavior, and measure the performance of your SEO efforts. This data can be invaluable in optimizing your site for organic search.
Magento’s wide range of built-in SEO features, along with numerous SEO-focused extensions available in the Magento Marketplace, make it a robust e-commerce platform for optimizing your online store. By effectively utilizing these tools, you can enhance your site’s search engine rankings, increase organic traffic, and ultimately boost sales.
OpenCart’s B2B Multi Vendor Marketplace add-on, priced at $299, expands the platform’s B2B features including custom orders and price quote requests.
OpenCart Pricing Plans
OpenCart is an open-source eCommerce platform, ideal for small to medium-sized businesses looking for a versatile and cost-effective solution. In contrast to some other platforms, OpenCart pricing is much simpler due to its open-source nature. The core platform is free to download and use, but there are associated costs to consider when setting up and operating an OpenCart store.
1. OpenCart Core Platform
OpenCart is available as a free download from their official website. It offers a wide variety of features, including:
- Unlimited products and categories
- Multi-store and multi-currency support
- Sales reports and analytics
- Built-in affiliate system
- Integrated SEO tools
2. Associated Costs
While the core platform is free, there are still costs involved in setting up and running an OpenCart store:
- Hosting: OpenCart stores require web hosting. Prices can vary depending on the chosen hosting provider, with some offering optimized OpenCart hosting packages. Costs can range from $5 to $50+ per month.
- Domain Registration: You’ll need to register a domain for your store. Domain registration pricing may range from $10 to $20 per year on average.
- SSL Certificate: To ensure a secure connection between your website and users, an SSL certificate is necessary. SSL certificates can be obtained for free from providers like Let’s Encrypt, or paid ones may range from $50 to $200 per year.
- Design and Themes: While OpenCart offers a default theme, you may wish to purchase a custom theme for better user experience and online branding. Themes can be found on the OpenCart marketplace or other theme marketplaces, with prices typically ranging from $20 to $100+.
- Extensions and Plugins: OpenCart provides numerous free and paid extensions (modules) and plugins in the marketplace. These can extend the functionality of your store as needed. Prices for paid extensions can range from $10 to $100+ depending on the functionality.
- Development and Support: Setup, customization, and maintenance of your OpenCart store may involve developer costs if you lack the technical skills or bandwidth to handle these tasks in-house. Hiring developers or contracting support could cost anywhere from $30 to $90+ per hour, depending on your location and the developer’s experience.
OpenCart offers an affordable and flexible alternative to other eCommerce solutions. While there is no fixed price plan, the costs involved are primarily related to hosting, domain registration, SSL certificates, design, extensions, and professional development or support services.
Features and Benefits in OpenCart SEO
OpenCart is a popular open-source e-commerce platform that provides robust built-in SEO features to improve website visibility, increase organic traffic, and enhance sales conversions. Here are some of the SEO options in OpenCart and how they can benefit your e-commerce store:
1. SEO-Friendly URLs
OpenCart supports the creation of SEO-friendly URLs, also known as pretty URLs or clean URLs. This means that each product page or category page can have a URL that includes keywords relevant to the content, thus improving visibility in search engines and enhancing user experience.
2. Meta Tags
OpenCart SEO provides options to add custom meta titles, descriptions, and keywords for every product page, category page, and information page. These meta tags help search engines understand the content on your pages and can significantly improve the page ranking on relevant search queries.
3. Image Alt Tags
In OpenCart, you can add alt tags to your product images. Alt tags help search engines understand what an image is about and this can contribute to image SEO.
4. Google Analytics Integration
OpenCart allows easy integration with Google Analytics, a digital analytics software that helps measure the effectiveness of your SEO efforts by providing insights into your website traffic, audience behavior, and more.
5. Sitemap Generation
Sitemaps are XML files that list all the URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL. OpenCart has the functionality to generate these sitemaps automatically, which helps in faster and more efficient website crawling by search engines.
6. Custom Headers
OpenCart allows managing header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) on product and category pages. Such headers are beneficial for both page structuring and emphasizing keywords for search engines.
7. OpenCart SEO Extensions
Beyond the in-built SEO features, OpenCart has a wide range of SEO-related extensions in its marketplace. These extensions can add functionality for things like social media meta tags, structured data (schema), SEO audits, advanced sitemaps, rich snippets, and more.
Effective SEO is crucial to any e-commerce business, helping to increase online visibility, attract more traffic, and ultimately drive more sales. OpenCart provides a good foundation of SEO features, while the availability of extra extensions offers even more opportunity to optimize your online store.
SAP Commerce Cloud
Features customer-centric commerce strategies and is one of the easiest to use e-commerce platforms according to G2. Pricing is available upon request.
SAP Commerce Cloud Pricing Plans
SAP Commerce Cloud is a comprehensive, enterprise-level e-commerce solution aimed at providing businesses the tools they need to streamline their online commerce operations.
Unlike many other platforms, SAP Commerce Cloud does not have a regular fixed pricing structure publicly available. Pricing is often customized based on the specific needs and scale of the business, provided by the sales team upon request.
Several factors influence SAP Commerce Cloud’s pricing:
- Number of users: The total cost largely depends on the amount of traffic and the specific usage load that your site experiences.
- Complexity of the project: Depending on the degree of customization needed or the complexity of the integrations with other systems, the initial configuration can be more complex and involve higher costs.
- Additional features and modules: The platform offers a variety of add-on features and services that can modify the price.
- Hosting: Costs can also depend on whether the platform is hosted on-premise or in the cloud.
It’s advised for businesses interested in SAP Commerce Cloud to reach out to SAP directly to have a customized quote drawn up based on their specific requirements.
While SAP Commerce Cloud is a powerful solution, it can be overkill for smaller businesses. It’s designed for enterprise-level businesses, and the complexity and costs associated reflect this.
Furthermore, it’s worth noting that while SAP Commerce Cloud can significantly fuel e-commerce growth, successful implementation will require ongoing access to a group of cybersecurity experts, cloud architects, and developers. Plus, due to the high levels of complexity and the broad range of features available, the platform may require extensive learning and a significant investment in time to truly maximize its potential.
SAP Commerce Cloud SEO and its Capabilities
SAP Commerce Cloud, formerly known as Hybris, is a multi-channel e-commerce platform providing B2B and B2C store functionalities. The platform offers several features designed to enhance the optimization of e-commerce websites for search engines. Below are some key SEO features in SAP Commerce Cloud:
1. SEO-Friendly URLs
SAP Commerce Cloud supports the creation of SEO-friendly URLs, which helps enhance site visibility in search engine results. It can appropriately structure URLs to eliminate IDs and other parameters that might not be meaningful to the user or search engine.
2. Meta Tag Management
SAP Commerce Cloud offers the ability to manage meta tags efficiently. You can create custom meta titles, descriptions, and keywords for individual product pages, category pages, and content pages. This function enhances the understanding of search engine crawlers regarding your website content, thereby helping to improve page ranking in search results.
3. Canonical URLs
To deal with potential duplicate content issues, especially in e-commerce sites with thousands of products, SAP Commerce Cloud supports canonical URLs. By specifying a ‘canonical’ link element, you can tell search engines which version of a page is considered to be the ‘original’. This is especially useful in avoiding duplicate content penalties.
4. XML Sitemaps
SAP Commerce Cloud can generate XML sitemaps for your e-commerce site. Sitemaps make it easier for search engines to crawl your site, understand its structure, and index your webpages faster, thereby improving your site’s visibility in search results.
5. Robots.txt Management
The platform lets you manage your robots.txt file, which gives instructions to search engine crawlers about what sections of your website they’re allowed or not allowed to crawl and index.
6. Social Meta Tags
SAP Commerce Cloud supports the use of social meta tags i.e. Open Graph and Twitter Card tags. They allow better representation of your webpage when shared or promoted on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., thereby bringing indirect SEO benefits through social signals and engagement.
7. Integration with Analytics Platforms
SAP Commerce Cloud can be seamlessly integrated with analytics platforms like Google Analytics, meaning you can easily track and measure the results of your SEO efforts and optimize your strategy accordingly.
Optimizing your e-commerce site for SEO is vital to reaching more potential customers and driving organic traffic. With SAP Commerce Cloud, you can effectively fine-tune your site for search engines, enhance your online visibility, and ultimately increase conversions and sales.
Choosing the Right Platform for Your Business
It’s important to note that the actual cost of these platforms often depends on the individual business’s needs and can include variable elements, such as add-ons and customizations. Therefore, for accurate and updated pricing information, I recommend going directly to each platform’s website or contacting their sales teams.
There are many other B2B ecommerce platforms on the market. The choice of a platform should align with the specific needs, budget, and operation scale of the business.