A Comprehensive Overview Of How B2B E-commerce Operates

If you’ve ever thought about establishing a business or have already operated one, you’ve likely heard the term “B2B” quite a bit. The meaning of “B2B”—which stands for “Business-to-Business”—may be obvious, but its practical application may not be.

The ins and outs of B2B e-commerce will be specifically examined in this article, along with its procedures and important benefits over more conventional offline B2B trading.

According to a Statista analysis on B2B e-commerce, the worldwide B2B e-commerce market was worth US $14.9 trillion at the end of 2020, which is more than five times the size of the B2C market.

With these kinds of statistics in mind, it is simple to understand why many companies are deciding to include B2B e-commerce.

What is the process of B2B e-commerce?

Suppliers can choose from a variety of B2B e-commerce models to suit their needs. Setting up their websites and conducting business with consumers there is one alternative available to providers.

The B2B online marketplace model, which comprises online trading platforms like, is another approach that has lately gained popularity. These online markets serve as gathering places for consumers and sellers from around the world to communicate, interact, and do business.

On these platforms, vendors can put up their shops, list their goods and services, promote them, and make sales. Now let’s examine the procedures that suppliers and customers go through while engaging in B2B e-commerce.

What is the procedure for both providers and customers?

The majority of the B2B e-commerce process occurs online, as was already established (though certain stages take place offline). Knowing the various stages is crucial for sellers since it enables them to develop their online presence, produce leads, and finalize deals.

Process of supplier’s B2B online shopping (B2B sales pipeline)

The major steps suppliers take as they progress through the B2B e-commerce sales funnel are listed below.


Suppliers search for the companies they will be selling to in this first stage of the sales pipeline. In an ideal world, you would have developed a buyer persona (or customer persona) that will help you gain a clearer understanding of your ideal client, their needs, the reasons they need you, and their financial situation.


The process of qualifying a lead involves determining whether or not it meets the criteria of your buyer persona, making it more probable that it will turn into a client.


In this phase, the vendor makes their offer to the client, emphasizing both their competitive edge and the advantages their good or service would have for the prospect’s enterprise.

Although they may vary by industry, most proposals generally contain the following essential components:

  • Purpose: Your prospect’s offer’s purpose.
  • Goals: What the potential customer stands to gain from the transaction.
  • Benefits: Advantages the potential customer receives as a result of doing business with you (certain online discounts, etc.)
  • Process: Outlining the steps a potential customer will take to purchase from you.
  • Pricing: Outlining how much the prospective customer will have to pay for the offered goods or services in the quantity they desire.
  • Future steps: What the potential customer should do if they want to deal with you.

B2B e-commerce procedure of the buyer (B2B buying process)

The B2B e-commerce buying process is generally conducted online, just like the B2B e-commerce sales funnel. The following main steps that purchasers take when transacting business to business online are listed below.

Problem identification

The B2B purchasing process has one stage, which is this. It entails the buyer determining their precise demand or requirement for particular goods or services. These requirements could pertain to either business development or operations.

Information looking

Following the identification of the demand, the buyer will carry out primary research to locate the ideal goods or services to fulfill the need.


The buyer must consider the benefits and drawbacks of the various providers or product options at this point.

Buyers may take into account the following factors:


  • On online listings, product characteristics are provided (features, functionality, etc.)
  • Pricing
  • Certification and quality control
  • The availability of stock
  • Online customer testimonials and reviews
  • Payment conditions for the provider or platform
  • Terms for delivery and returns


At this point, the buyer moves on to decide what to buy and places an order with the selected supplier. This could be a one-time purchase or a component of a regular supply plan.

Successful wholesale B2B platforms

The top 10 B2B websites in the world that operate as a successful wholesale B2B platform including: 

  • Amazon
  • Alibaba
  • Rakuten 
  • Made-in-China 
  • eBay
  • AliExpress
  • Global sources 
  • EC21       
  • ECplaza

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