By 2020, the global business to business (B2B) ecommerce market will be twice as large as the business to consumer (B2C) market, according to research from Frost & Sullivan.

They forecast an annual growth rate of 7.7 percent in B2B ecommerce for each of the next five years,

Industry leaders such as Alibaba and Amazon are moving in to the B2B space and have accelerated a trend for B2B websites to become more like B2C, recognising that customer experience in B2B is just as important as B2C.

Just like B2C customers, B2B buyers like to collect information online before making a decision and find buying online convenient. They also expect a consistent and high quality experience across all channels, including desktop, mobile and call centres. They are also looking for suggestions for associated products, competitive pricing for bulk buying, great logistics and fast delivery.

They want personalisation and customisation, with interactive catalogues, customer reviews to give them confidence and real-time product availability information. In fact, all the features that make the Cloud the preferred solution for so many market leaders in the B2C marketplace.

Talking about why Williams Commerce has launched Cloudfy, CEO, Rob Williams, says: “We’ve taken our 10 years’ experience of working with B2Bs across dozens of industries and created a best in breed, fit for purpose, B2B cloud-based ecommerce platform. It is truly affordable, fast and easy to set-up, with 24/7 support. That’s what a sector that’s moving just as fast as B2C needs. Prohibitively expensive solutions with long lead-in times are a thing of the past.”

Read more about Frontline Apparel’s B2B solution here.

Importantly for B2B ecommerce businesses, having made the move to online self-service, B2B buyers are more likely to return and to spend more online. According to research by Forrester, 7.3 percent is the average conversion rate on B2B ecommerce sites, compared to 3.0 percent for consumer retail sites.

So the case for flexible, resilient and scalable B2B solutions in the Cloud is strong. But this is just part of the story.

Whether you’re a one-to-many B2B business, with your own online store or you are working with several companies in a many-to-many model, there’s another big challenge. You will need to reduce costs across your whole business to remain competitive.

According to Forrester, B2B companies can reduce sales costs by up to 90 percent by moving customers to an online self-service ecommerce environment.

Cloud-based ecommerce brings together the tools to create sophisticated user experiences and great cost-efficiency.

Magento’s newly-launched ‘Platform As A Service’ (PaaS) Enterprise Cloud Edition shows how this is achieved. Without owning the software or the infrastructure you can be innovative and provide bespoke customer experiences cost-effectively whilst retaining the ability to integrate with your existing systems.

Cloud-based, automated configuration and pricing technology can make it almost as easy to buy high value capital equipment as this season’s fashion item. Configure-price-quote (CPQ) technology can cost effectively improve customer renewal and lead conversion rates.

Powerful cloud platforms also support complex product and pricing models across multiple channels on a single platform to deliver seamless buying experiences.

In short, the whole business process can be consolidated in the Cloud, with fast and effective tools for development, security, resilience and scalability – improving both buyer experiences and cost effectiveness.

Contact us to discover the B2B ecommerce solution waiting for your business.