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Earlier this year, I wrote a post looking at some of the best ecommerce sites around, picking out aspects of these sites that others could learn from.
As the vast majority were B2C, some commentors challenged me to find similarly good examples of B2B ecommerce sites.
I've asked the Econsultancy team, found a few myself, and here we are.
Some are listed because they offer a great all round experience, others because they do a particular thing very well (navigation, copywriting, and so on).
Envelopes aren't the most exciting product, unless we're talking manila envelopes stuffed with cash. However, Blake does a great job of making them desirable.
First of all, the quality of the site design conveys the quality of the products.
Moreover, the functionality matches this. Check out the filtered navigation. I'm no envelope expert, but the options look pretty comprehensive and are very well presented.
This industrial supply site is designed for quick ordering and reordering.
Note the instructions in the search box, and the quick order pad, which allows you to enter part numbers and order multiple items at once.
A nice site for finding stock images. Clean, simple and easy to use. If you need stock images of people with iPads, you know where to go.
Nice copy here, which is full of attitude and energy. A contrast to many of its competitors.
One of the world's biggest B2B marketplaces.
Ease of ordering is key here, and a guest checkout option helps this, as well as avoiding the risk of abandonment normally associated with compulsory registration, a common problem on B2B ecommerce sites.
This is a lovely site. Well presented with excellent navigation and product pages. Check out this drop-down menu:
Ok, you can't actually buy a tractor direct from the site, more's the pity, but you can buy a range of accessories, toys and workwear. So it goes in the list.
This site is used by thousands in the trade, and it has to be reliable and easy to use, while stocking a wide range of products.
This means site search has to work well, which it does, key information is clearly presented on product pages, and reviews are used well.
In addition, features like in-store collection and next day delivery are crucial when people have jobs to get on with.
Quill does the basics well, providing a usable site, and paying attention to details like fast reorder and searching by catalogue number.
Auto-complete on site search is another way to make the site easy to use.
RS won in two categories at our Digitals awards last year, and featured strongly in several others. This is a B2B form that uses the web well.
The site isn't the prettiest, but it works well, which is important when you stock more than 500,000 products.
Firerock provides building materials and fireplaces for builders, and makes great use of photography to showcase its products. Its Pinterest page is excellent:
Simple really, the Amazon model applied to B2B.
It helps that Square is selling just one product, mobile card readers, but it's still a beautifully designed site.
A long scrolling page explains the product and pricing, and provides video demos and testimonials.
Easy to use and navigate.
Overdrive provides ebooks and audiobooks for education and retail. It's easy to use, with a focus on excellent site search, and fully responsive.
Though there are some excellent B2B sites which focus on lead generation, It's much harder to find innovative B2B ecommerce websites.
So here we have a mix of excellent design and good functionality - several of these sites are selling a huge number of products, and so the user experience tops design aesthetics.
I'm sure I must have missed some good examples, so please let me know in the comments...