What is the Best Pricing Model for B2B eCommerce?

By Sofia Simaria

Jan 19, 2023

It’s not enough to simply set up a web shop for your customers. B2B buyers expect a consumer-like eCommerce and omnichannel experience, with serious implications and complications for pricing. A thoughtful approach and next-gen tools are required to meet modern competitive demands.

How Does eCommerce Demand Impact Pricing Decisions?

The ever-expanding use of digital commerce as a part of daily modern life is inescapable. Now there is also the expectation of personalized, efficient online commerce in the workplace. Young generations that grew up on Amazon and Netflix go to work and want the same seamless experience when dealing with suppliers.

What does that mean for the average B2B company? It means they must be set up with 24/7 product availability, an intuitive customer-centric site, frictionless quoting without a salesperson, and critically, the ability to display rational prices that can be updated dynamically as needed.

I cannot stress enough, do not overlook your eCommerce pricing strategy. Prices that don’t make sense have the potential to immediately send less-than-loyal eCommerce buyers running into the arms of your competitors. Not only do the right prices need to be set to respect important customer relationships, but decisions must be made as to how you prevent less strategic clients from accessing higher discounts they haven’t earned.

Which Price Should I Present Online?

While often times negotiation does not happen directly in the eCommerce channel (though visionary companies are enacting self-service negotiation), you want both long-time customers and net-new prospects to be able to buy from you online. And as my colleague Barrett Thompson has said, the “Call for Pricing” button is a dead experience – don’t go there.

The decision tree that determines which prices you show must be aligned with your business strategy and with what sales reps are quoting in the field. Ideally, you are using a price optimization solution to generate market-aligned prices for every customer and selling scenario in your business.

You may show a list price on the open web but it is best practice to require that a customer logs in to receive their specific, previously agreed-upon price. If an existing customer wants to purchase an item that is net-new to them or not covered in their agreement, that business should fall back to the matrix price.


Considerations for an eCommerce Project

When embarking upon a modern eCommerce project, there are distinct opportunities, challenges, and other considerations to be aware of. These include:

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