Today, B2B buyers expect a B2C-like shopping experience. The bar is set high for manufacturers and distributors who want to provide an efficient and easy-to-use website for their customers. Unattractive and clunky B2B eCommerce sites can hinder sales and deter shoppers from coming back. But building out a good experience takes work and forethought. In this article, we’ll share with you things to consider before getting started with an eCommerce website build.

Begin the project with eyes wide open

Companies just getting started with eCommerce often expect an impressive website out of the box without realizing what it takes to achieve it. With the complexities around B2B commerce, customizations to the core platform are often necessary to integrate systems and deliver the experience users expect. All of this requires an investment of money, resources, and time. Before even getting started with technology, though, there are many business considerations that should be identified and/or solidified.

Project Considerations

Systems to consider for an eCommerce website buildHere’s just a short list of things you’ll need to consider before starting on your new B2B eCommerce website build:


  • How many product types and SKUs do you have?
  • What is the complexity of their attributes?
  • Do individual customers have multiple users?
  • Do individual customers have custom catalogs and price lists?

Systems Integrations


  • What is your sales volume and average order value?
  • Will a salesperson be placing orders on behalf of their clients?
  • Do you accept POs and are there specific credit limits for customers that vary?


  • Are your products taxed and how will you calculate and collect it?


  • Which carriers will you use and how will you handle fulfillment?
  • Do you have multiple warehouses, fulfillment centers, or stores that allow pick up?


  • Will there be a dedicated team to run the day-to-day site operations?
  • Will your existing customer services team be sufficient?

The right mix of technology and strategy

Once you can answer the questions above, you can confidently move forward. In order to choose the right direction to head in, look for examples to help you decide what types of site functionality your business requires. Identify what you like most about B2B eCommerce sites in your industry and other industries. Understand what your customers want and need and plan to deliver that experience.

Next, do your research and find a technology partner who can work with you and ask the right questions. Come to the table with a wish list and let your partner prioritize what’s important. Don’t try to tackle too many initiatives at once.

Choose the technology that’s right for your business

Next up, you’ll need to choose the right eCommerce platform. Different platforms offer different levels of functionality and features depending on the business type and sales volume. You should find a balance between the services and features you’re going to use — the more you add, the more you’ll spend on maintenance. A good technology partner will have a handle on what’s going on in the industry and be able to recommend a platform that’s a good fit and has staying power.

What defines success?

One of the most important things to do to make sure your eCommerce website build is a success is to ensure you have a team in place to support it after it launches. You’ll need expertise — whether its an internal team or an outsourced one — to monitor customer and order data, platform upgrades, SEO, and security on an ongoing basis. With the complexity of websites and the dynamic nature of software, there’s no option to “set it and forget it.” The importance of continuous support cannot be understated.

In conclusion, get educated before embarking on a new eCommerce site build. To keep your project manageable, stick to your core business and iterate on the technologies over time. Take small steps to realize your big goals.


Want to learn more? Schedule a no-obligation, complimentary consultation with one of our eCommerce experts. We’ll talk to you about where you are in your eCommerce journey and you’ll come away with recommendations for the next steps.

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