In eCommerce, the B2B market comes with a unique set of challenges that differentiate it from B2C. The need of managing wholesale orders, calculating quotes, and dealing with more complex shipping processes can all take a lot of time and effort to get right. As such, effective B2B workflows are essential – and plugins that improve these workflows are highly valuable.
B2B workflows are sequences of activities and specific tasks that make up the processes in your eCommerce site. Structuring workflows to run efficiently can help your business operate in a more streamlined and successful manner.
If you are using WooCommerce to run your B2B operations, you have the advantage of being able to leverage on diverse technological solutions to automate your workflows. With this in mind, this guide will cover some of the best WooCommerce plugins for improving B2B eCommerce workflows and boost efficiency.
What Are The Needs Of A B2B WooCommerce Site?
B2B eCommerce is often more complex than B2C, with larger orders, higher value purchases, and more reliance on long-term relationships with customers. Understanding B2B requirements is essential for selecting the best WooCommerce B2B plugin stack.
Some of the B2B specific requirements for a WooCommerce site include:
- Larger orders and wholesale – B2B businesses tend to deal in much higher value purchases than B2C businesses, mostly from dealing in bulk orders and wholesale.
- Quotes and invoices – Transactions aren’t as simple in B2B as they are in B2C. B2B companies will often offer quotes to their clients rather than a fixed price in order to accommodate different needs and conditions. They may also charge customers via an invoice rather than taking payment at checkout.
- Complex shipping – Since B2B businesses often sell products in bulk, and often serve customers nationally and internationally, shipping can be much more complex to organize. More complex shipping can also make it harder to calculate or estimate shipping costs prior to a purchase.
- Maintaining customer relationships – B2B businesses often rely heavily on repeat purchases from loyal customers. As such, it’s vital to keep customers happy through good service and a smooth customer experience on B2B eCommerce platforms.
- Complex catalogs – It’s common for B2B businesses to segment their catalogs based on the buyer – some goods may only be available to select customers, or may be priced differently for different buyers. This makes B2B catalogs more complicated to manage than B2C catalogs.
- Inventory management – Since B2B companies often deal in bulk purchases (eg. wholesale), efficient inventory management to maintain the required stocks of products is essential.
Managing these complex requirements effectively requires B2B eCommerce businesses to have effective B2B workflows in place.
What Are B2B Workflows?
As explained above, a workflow is the sequence of tasks necessary to complete a process from start to finish. B2B workflows are therefore workflows specific to managing the daily activities and requirements of a B2B eCommerce operation.
Some examples of B2B workflows include:
- Product data entry to ensure catalogs are accurate and up to date
- Order management – processing customer orders from purchase through to delivery and payment
- Inventory management – keeping track of product quantities, reordering items when required for restocking, and updating catalogs to reflect out of stock or newly restocked items
- Customer journeys and relationship management – interacting with customers to guide them through the initial buyer’s journey, then providing support and customer service to maintain long-term relationships with them
These activities all require efficient workflows that ensure tasks are completed in a specific order and within a specific timeframe to keep the business operational.
Why Are B2B Workflows Important?
B2B workflows are important as they provide a structure for daily processes. They ensure that businesses can keep on top of important tasks and activities to keep everything running smoothly, laying the groundwork for success and growth.
Efficient B2B workflows provide a number of benefits. They can help to streamline or even automate particular tasks, saving time and allowing your team to work on other activities. They also reduce the risk of mistakes and errors which could otherwise have a costly impact on your business.
Efficient workflows also provide a smoother customer experience, as they ensure that customers have access to up-to-date information and that their needs are met in a timely manner. For example, efficient order management workflows can ensure that orders are processed quickly, reducing the time between a customer placing an order and receiving their purchase.
Improving your B2B workflows can therefore help your business to grow by increasing efficiency, delivering a better customer experience, and allowing your team to allocate time and resources to other tasks.
6 Best WooCommerce B2B Plugins For Improving Your Workflows
One of the best ways to improve your B2B workflows is through technology, and the best place to start is with your eCommerce store. The following plugins for WooCommerce provide a wide range of benefits for B2B eCommerce businesses, from automating manual tasks to streamlining complicated workflows.
Alternatively, if the following plugins don’t meet the specific needs of your B2B business, our WooCommerce experts can help you craft a custom solution to tailor your WooCommerce site.
1. B2B eCommerce for WooCommerce – B2B Woo
One of the most comprehensive options for improving your B2B workflows is B2B eCommerce for WooCommerce from B2B Woo. This WooCommerce B2B plugin provides a full suite of features that cater to wholesale and custom pricing requirements of a B2B site.
For example, the plugin provides a dedicated Quotes panel for both your team and your customers. This panel allows customers to quickly and easily submit quote requests and negotiate on price, and provides an intuitive interface for your team to track and manage quotes.
Alongside, your customers will get automated email notifications for quote updates, drastically streamlining the price negotiation process.
Some of the other features that B2B eCommerce for WooCommerce offers include:
- Custom signup forms for wholesale buyers which can be embedded anywhere on your site, allowing you to automatically gather necessary client information when they sign up, meaning your sales reps don’t need to contact them manually for details.
- Streamlined catalog management with the ability to personalize available content for different users
- One-click repeat purchasing, bulk reorders, and recurring order setups which reduce the workload for repeated purchases
- Account management tools to track customer accounts, amend orders, and identify when customers are likely to purchase again based on their order history, making it easier to forecast sales
This plugin is available for $99 per year, making it an affordable solution considering that its features that can have a huge positive impact on your business operations.
2. Roles and Permissions for WooCommerce – B2B Woo
Among B2B Woo’s wide range of B2B WooCommerce plugins we find Roles and Permissions for WooCommerce, which allows you to improve management for your WooCommerce customer accounts. Using this plugin you’ll able able to:
- Create company accounts with an associated company owner and team members with different purchase permissions according to each role.
- Facilitate business transactions by giving each company account access to an individual dashboard with self-serve features.
- Set credit limits for the different companies you work with while giving them an overview of their credit status
Sold for $99 per year, this is a great solution to improve your customer relationships and optimize account management workflows on your WooCommerce B2B site.
3. B2B For WooCommerce – Addify
Addify’s B2B For WooCommerce is another full-suite plugin with a variety of features designed to streamline B2B workflows. It’s designed for companies that deal in both B2C and B2B eCommerce, making it one of the best B2B WooCommerce plugins for those running a diverse business model.
Some of B2B For WooCommerce’s key features for improving workflows include:
- The ability to extend and customize default registration forms to accept B2B registrations, meaning that sales reps don’t need to handle B2B sign-ups manually
- Product visibility options that block off B2B products from B2C customers, enabling simple catalog segmentation to streamline catalog management workflows
- Custom prices for different users, meaning that products with variable prices don’t require customers to ask for a quote each time they order, reducing quotation workloads
At $149 per year, B2B for WooCommerce is a slightly more expensive option, but still provides some valuable tools for improving B2B workflows.
4. WooCommerce PDF Invoices & Packing Slips
The free WooCommerce PDF Invoices & Packing Slips plugin enables you to automatically generate and attach PDF invoices to order confirmation emails and generate PDF invoices and packing slips in bulk. This can help to streamline order management workflows by removing the need for sales teams to create and attach these documents manually.
The free version of the plugin comes with customizable invoice templates, as well as the ability to download or print invoices from the WooCommerce order admin tab.
There’s also a premium version of the plugin which adds further features, such as automatically sending order notification emails to specific addresses (such as suppliers or warehouse managers) when orders change status. This is particularly useful for ensuring that the relevant people in your supply and delivery chain are kept up to date.
The premium version starts at €59 ($67.67) per year for a single site, with further pricing tiers for additional site licenses. However, the core PDF generation features are all available for free in the basic version of the plugin.
5. Roles & Rules B2B For WooCommerce
The Roles & Rules B2B For WooCommerce plugin is designed to streamline wholesale pricing and catalog management workflows. It does so by allowing you to set up specific user roles with unique purchase options. Pricing and product availability of your catalog is modified automatically based on who, or which role, is viewing it.
The plugin simplifies pricing workflows by using a single base price for each product, then modifying this price according to the rules you apply to each user role. It also includes tools to manage rules and roles in bulk, applying specific discounts across entire product categories.
There are also options for dynamic pricing rules for categories and products, such as enabling discounts for bulk purchases. These features all help to simplify and streamline catalog management and pricing workflows.
The plugin is priced at $79 per year, with a 30-day money-back-guarantee and full support for a whole year, adding even further value.
6. WebToffee Product Import/Export For WooCommerce
WebToffee’s Product Import/Export For WooCommerce plugin helps to simplify a variety of workflows by enabling much easier importing and exporting of products and data from your WooCommerce store. The main feature is the ability to export, import, and download product data in CSV and XML file formats.
This can help to massively streamline catalog management workflows by enabling your team to quickly and easily update your WooCommerce store from external databases. At the same time, your WooCommerce data can be quickly and easily exported to other software and databases.
What’s more, the Scheduled Actions feature can automate import and export processes to be carried out at regular intervals, removing the need for your team to deal with product data manually.
Finally, the plugin includes bulk modification tools to allow you to modify product data across hundreds or even thousands of products with a single click. For instance, if you’ve raised prices for a specific product category, you can increase the price of every item within that category to a set amount, then import this product data into WooCommerce to quickly modify all relevant products.
The plugin costs $69 per year for a single site, with additional price tiers offering 5 site licenses for $99 per year or 25 licenses for $199 per year. For B2B eCommerce businesses with extensive product catalogs to manage, the Product Import/Export Plugin is a valuable tool for automating and streamlining data entry workflows.
WooCommerce B2B Plugins
For B2B eCommerce businesses to be a success, they need to ensure that they implement effective workflows. Improving workflows using technology can lead to drastic increases in efficiency, freeing up your team’s time and resources to work on other activities, which in turn increases your capacity for growth and expansion.
All of the above tools for WooCommerce provide highly valuable features that can streamline and automate B2B workflows. However, if your business needs a custom solution to improve its B2B WooCommerce workflows, then get in touch with our team of WooCommerce experts – we can work with you to configure and customize your site to optimize workflows even