Well, the name b2b e-commerce suggests that
1. Its an online transaction where buyer and seller interact and transact over Internet
2. Both buyer and seller are businesses – as opposed to consumer or any other entity. So, it will be totally different from b2c e-commerce
A b2b e-commerce system must have all the features or at least major features of a normal offline b2b transaction, such as
a. Sales are in bulk quantity
b. Prices are never fixed – It goes up or down with volume/quantity change
c. Higher the ordered quantity – Lower is the price per unit
d. There should be re-order facility as business buyers tend to buy regularly
e. There will always be bargain – so negotiation will be part of transaction
f. Credit is an integral part of b2b sales – So, it will always be part of terms/conditions
g. Buyer and seller jointly bear responsibility of after-sale service
h. Distribution is extremely important feature – buyers in most cases are resellers.
i. Since volumes are large – logistics plays important role
These are a few basic features of a b2b e-commerce platform. There will be more requirements for product-specific or organization-specific features such as govt ordering or OEM purchase. Overall, the online system must be more efficient and user-friendly to attract and retain customers as otherwise businesses will continue to follow offline process. And most important – please unlearn b2c e-commerce before embarking on designing b2b e-commerce – both are miles apart design-wise.