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Power Up Your Growth: The Importance of B2B Ecommerce for Manufacturers and Distributors in the US

clock-iconApril 14, 2024

The American manufacturing and distribution landscape is undergoing a digital revolution. Gone are the days when businesses relied solely on traditional sales methods and physical storefronts. Today, B2B (business-to-business) ecommerce is exploding fueled by the growing influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is transforming how businesses interact and how customers make purchasing decisions.

AI-powered tools are streamlining B2B interactions, enabling real-time communication, and personalizing the buying experience. Meanwhile, traditional methods like relying solely on sales reps to reach new customers and manage accounts are becoming outdated. Manufacturers and distributors face mounting pressure to adapt to these evolving trends.

The challenge? Keeping pace with a fiercely competitive market that demands constant innovation. Reaching new customers, managing costs effectively, and exceeding ever-growing customer expectations are just a few of the hurdles American manufacturers and distributors face. The good news? Investing in a B2B ecommerce platform offers a strategic solution to these challenges.

B2B ecommerce empowers manufacturers and distributors with a powerful online store, allowing them to showcase their products and establish a direct sales channel. This translates to a multitude of benefits, including increased sales, improved operational efficiency, and more satisfied clients. In short, for USA-based manufacturers and distributors seeking to thrive in the digital age, embracing B2B ecommerce is no longer optional – it's vital.

The B2B Ecommerce Revolution: A Boon for US Manufacturers and Distributors


The rise of B2B ecommerce is a global phenomenon, transforming how businesses of all sizes conduct transactions. This surge is fueled by several key factors. The ever-increasing penetration of the internet and widespread mobile adoption have created a landscape where buyers expect anytime, anywhere access to information and purchasing options.

Furthermore, B2B buyer preferences are shifting. Today's buyers, heavily influenced by their consumer experiences, demand a seamless, digital journey that mirrors the convenience and personalization they encounter in B2C ecommerce.

This is where B2B ecommerce platforms come in, offering a wealth of benefits for US manufacturers and distributors.

Increased Sales and Market Reach

B2B ecommerce platforms empower manufacturers and distributors to establish an online store, essentially a digital storefront accessible to a global audience. This extends their reach far beyond traditional sales channels, allowing them to connect with new customers, both domestically and internationally. Features like search engine optimization (SEO) and targeted marketing campaigns further enhance product discovery, attracting potential customers who might not have found them otherwise.

Improved Customer Experience

B2B ecommerce streamlines the buying process for customers, transforming it from a time-consuming exercise into a convenient and efficient experience. Self-service options such as online product catalogs, real-time inventory management, and automated ordering systems empower customers to research, compare, and purchase products at their own pace. Additionally, features like account management with order history and real-time order tracking enhance transparency and build trust with customers.

Reduced Costs

B2B ecommerce can significantly reduce operational costs for US manufacturers and distributors. Automation plays a key role here. By automating tasks like order processing and fulfillment, B2B ecommerce solutions free up valuable time and resources for sales teams. Additionally, B2B platforms can facilitate better vendor selection through a wider pool of potential suppliers, potentially leading to more competitive pricing and optimized inventory management.

Enhanced Visibility and Data-Driven Decisions

B2B ecommerce platforms provide a treasure trove of valuable data insights. This data, encompassing customer behavior, purchasing trends, and product preferences, empowers manufacturers and distributors to make informed decisions. They can leverage this data to understand their customer base better, optimize pricing strategies, identify new market opportunities, and gain a competitive edge.

Improved Customer Relationship Management


B2B ecommerce fosters better communication and transparency between manufacturers/distributors and their customers. Features like automated communication tools for order updates and readily available product information on the ecommerce platform keep customers informed and engaged. This transparency builds trust and fosters stronger customer relationships, ultimately leading to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The Rise of AI in B2B Ecommerce Platforms

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is further revolutionizing B2B ecommerce, unlocking new levels of personalization and efficiency. Imagine AI-powered features like:

  • Smart product recommendations: Recommending complementary products based on a customer's purchase history or browsing behavior.
  • Personalized marketing campaigns: Tailoring marketing messages and promotions to specific customer segments or buying habits.
  • Chatbots for customer support: Providing 24/7 customer support through AI-powered chatbots that can answer common questions and resolve basic issues.
  • Predictive analytics for demand forecasting: Utilizing AI to analyze customer data and predict future demand patterns, enabling manufacturers and distributors to optimize inventory management and production planning.

By embracing B2B ecommerce and leveraging the power of AI, US manufacturers and distributors can unlock a future of growth, efficiency, and stronger customer relationships.

The Challenge: Building a State-of-the-Art B2B Tech Stack


While B2B ecommerce offers a wealth of benefits, unlocking its full potential hinges on having a robust B2B tech stack. This tech stack refers to the collection of interconnected software tools and platforms that power your B2B ecommerce operation.

However, building a B2B tech stack can be a complex undertaking for US manufacturers and distributors. Here's why:

  • Identifying the Right Tools and Platforms: The vast array of B2B ecommerce platforms and software solutions can be overwhelming. Selecting the right tools that cater to your specific business needs, product complexity (think basic features for widgets versus complex configurations for industrial machinery), and customer base (considering features like customer accounts, personalized portals, and contract pricing) is crucial.
  • Integration Challenges: Integrating various systems within your tech stack, such as the B2B ecommerce platform with your existing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, can be a technical hurdle. Seamless data flow between these systems is essential for accurate inventory management, order fulfillment, and real-time customer data insights.
  • Security and Data Protection: Protecting sensitive customer data like purchase history and payment information is paramount in B2B ecommerce. A secure tech stack ensures compliance with data privacy regulations and fosters trust with customers.

This is where WebriQ comes in. We understand the unique challenges faced by US manufacturers and distributors venturing into B2B ecommerce. We offer comprehensive solutions to help you build a state-of-the-art B2B tech stack, empowering you to unlock the full potential of digital commerce.

StackShift as the Core for Your B2B Ecommerce Platform


At WebriQ, we understand the challenges of B2B ecommerce. Unlike traditional platforms built for B2C transactions, B2B businesses require features that cater to complex product configurations, customized pricing structures (like contract pricing), and the ability to manage customer groups and personalized portals.

That's why we offer StackShift, a cutting-edge solution designed to be the core of your B2B ecommerce platform.

Deploying Composable Ecommerce with StackShift

Building a complex B2B ecommerce solution doesn't have to be a headache. Imagine a user-friendly platform that simplifies the process, allowing you to focus on crafting exceptional customer experiences. This platform streamlines the setup, getting your B2B ecommerce store operational within weeks.

But it goes beyond just speed. This solution prioritizes your overall efficiency. Free from technical complexities, you can concentrate on creating compelling content and user journeys. A dedicated team of experts guides you every step of the way, meticulously designing your ecommerce infrastructure, ensuring smooth integrations, and prioritizing security. This comprehensive support empowers you to navigate the intricacies of your B2B tech stack with confidence.

Key Features of StackShift's Composable Stack

WebriQ goes beyond just offering an ecommerce platform. We understand the complexities of B2B ecommerce for distributors and manufacturing companies, especially when it comes to integrating with existing systems.

Our platform, StackShift, is meticulously designed for user-friendliness and seamless integration with existing systems, and other essential software. This eliminates data silos and streamlines operations, allowing you to focus on what matters most – growing your business. The features that propel StackShift to a class of its own include the following:

Headless Architecture for Agility

Embrace the future of digital commerce with StackShift's headless architecture. This innovative approach separates content management from presentation, enabling you to deliver product information and promotions effortlessly across any digital touchpoint – websites, mobile apps, or even digital signage.

Content Tailored for Customer Focus

StackShift goes beyond basic content management. Our platform empowers manufacturers to create modular, reusable content. This allows for the creation of custom curated catalogs, customer specific pricing, and targeted promotions, fostering a personalized customer experience that builds loyalty and drives sales.

API-First Approach for Flexibility

StackShift's technology stack prioritizes open architecture with an API-first approach. This ensures seamless integration with any existing tools or future technologies you may adopt. Additionally, our platform allows for easy customization, enabling you to tailor the user experience to perfectly align with your unique business needs.

Scalable Solutions for Growth

WebriQ understands that your business needs are constantly evolving. Our platform is built with flexibility in mind. You can easily customize the user interface to match your brand and workflow, and integrate with third-party applications and tools as your business grows. This adaptability ensures you have the tools you need to stay competitive in the ever-changing digital landscape.

By leveraging these key features, WebriQ empowers US manufacturers to build a B2B tech stack that fosters operational efficiency, enhances customer loyalty and satisfaction, and unlocks new markets for sustainable growth.

Two Use Cases

Belwith Keeler B2B Portal

WebriQ has helped Belwith Keeler develop and operate a B2B portal

Main characteristics of the B2B portal:

  • Based on the principles of MACH
  • Private and on invite only
  • Over 6,700 SKU and variations
  • Pricing and discount schemes on a per customer and per product basis
  • Shop per collection
  • Quote and order functionality
  • Advanced search and filtering
  • Integrations through API
  • Cloudinary media integration
  • Credit card and ACH payments
  • Shipping engine with multiple shipping locations per customer
  • ERP for invoicing, inventory and available credit line

Jamplast B2B Portal

WebriQ helped 3DSHQ and Jamplast provide the following features and shopping experience to their wholesales 3D printer supply customers.

Main characteristics of the B2B portal :

  • Based on the principles of MACH
  • Private and on invite only
  • Over 100 SKU and variations
  • Pricing and discount schemes on a per customer and per product basis
  • Product Catalog with sections and filters
  • Product Page with images, details, video, reviews and other content elements.
  • RFQ Module
  • Account and Order Management
  • Account order history
  • Integration through API
  • Paytrace payment gateway
  • Shipping engine

The B2B Ecommerce Imperative

The digital revolution in manufacturing and distribution is undeniable. B2B ecommerce has emerged as a powerful tool, fueled by AI, to transform how businesses interact and customers make purchasing decisions. With traditional methods becoming obsolete, manufacturers and distributors face a stark choice: adapt or be left behind.

The Power of B2B Ecommerce: This article has outlined the numerous advantages of B2B ecommerce, from increased sales and market reach through a global online store to enhanced customer experiences with features like self-service options and real-time order tracking. Furthermore, B2B ecommerce platforms empower data-driven decision making through valuable customer insights, fostering improved customer relationships and ultimately, higher profit margins.

Building a B2B Tech Stack for Success: However, reaping the full rewards of B2B ecommerce hinges on a robust B2B tech stack. While navigating the complexities of building a tech stack can be daunting, WebriQ offers a comprehensive solution. Our user-friendly platform, StackShift, streamlines the process, getting your B2B store operational in weeks.

StackShift: The Core of Your B2B Ecommerce Platform: Unlike traditional B2C platforms, StackShift is specifically designed for the unique needs of the manufacturing industry. Features like headless architecture for content management across channels, customizable content creation for personalized experiences (e.g., customer specific pricing, curated catalogs), and an API-first approach for seamless integration with existing systems like ERP and CRM software ensure manufacturers can leverage B2B ecommerce to its full potential.

WebriQ: Your Trusted Partner in Digital Transformation: Our proven track record includes success stories like Belwith Keeler's B2B portal with over 6,700 SKUs, and Jamplast's B2B portal offering features like account management and RFQ modules. Partnering with WebriQ empowers US manufacturers and distributors to embrace the digital future, unlocking a new era of growth and efficiency.