Saltar al contenido

B2B ecommerce scalability: strategies to achieve it successfully in 2024

Ecommerce scalability is the ability to scale your ecommerce platform to fit the needs of your business's online growth.

Such ability to scale has become essential for the long-term growth and sustainability of any business. Scalability refers to how to manage incremental growth without compromising service quality or customer experience.

In this article, we share what scalability really means in B2B ecommerce and the practical steps that entrepreneurs and ecommerce managers can take to successfully achieve it.

Go for it!

What is B2B ecommerce scalability?

As we anticipated in the introduction, scalability in B2B ecommerce refers to a company's ability to grow efficiently and profitably as demand for its products or services increases.

It implies the ability to adapt and expand without proportionally increasing operating costs or compromising service quality. Put another way, scalability allows companies to meet the needs of a growing market without sacrificing profitability or quality.

The scalability of ecommerce: totally essential

A recent study by Google revealed that 53% of mobile users abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. A relevant fact from which we can intuit that it is essential to have an e-commerce site that can easily scale to adapt to the growing audience of your online store.

In 2018, Amazon's website couldn't handle the surge in Prime Day web traffic, and customers looking to complete a purchase were redirected to the home page... leaving them unable to complete payment for their purchases. This issue lasted an hour and was estimated to cost Amazon around $1,000,000 per minute because it occurred during Prime Day peak hours.

Without a doubt, there is a great lesson! We have to learn from this big mistake, and it all comes down to: scalability, scalability, scalability. If your business isn't scalable, then it won't last.

Why is B2B eCommerce scalability important?

Besides, a Forrester study projects that B2B e-commerce sales in the US will reach $3 trillion in 2027. Things are not much different with retail, where FTI Consulting predicts that the total US market share of digital sales will surpass the 31% mark by the end of the decade. – a 10% increase over the 10-year period.

escalabilidad en el comercio electrónico

To all this, companies are responding by moving their sales catalogs online in record numbers. As digital commerce advances significantly even in older industry segments, business owners face the unknown challenge of scalability.

It's never too early or too late to plan for scalability. With scalability, you avoid downtime, ensure timely deliveries, handle more orders with ease, and keep customers happy. On the other hand, if you ignore scalability, you risk losing customers. That's why it's important to have a well-designed scalability plan to adapt to changing demands, capitalize on growth opportunities, and thrive in a rapidly evolving digital environment.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Stay tuned to the best practices and strategies in e-commerce and grow the business as leading brand in your industry.

What do you need to do to achieve true ecommerce scalability?

To achieve theTo truly scale e-commerce you should review the following list, especially during peak online shopping seasons:

  • Reliable performance for high order volumes: Contrary to popular belief, a scalable system is not necessarily a reliable system. Just because your system can expand without fundamentally changing it doesn't mean it will do so gracefully. A reliable system will not break or stop working when the workload increases.
  • Peak traffic: When your online store receives a high volume of visitors, performance can be scaled vertically with more hardware or horizontally with additional servers.
  • Load balance: It is essential that your store can perform load balancing to ensure optimal use of your servers, guaranteeing a reliable and fast experience that your customers will love while shopping at your online store.
  • Lazy loading: Lazy loading is another great way to improve the performance of your digital store. This technology delays the loading of images (content and product images) on long web pages.
  • Activity time: A reliable online store needs to have a reliable hosting system that never fails.
  • Multiple stores and brands: A scalable e-commerce platform is one that allows you to have multiple stores and brands, all on a single platform.

A scalable B2B eCommerce platform

Is not just about ensuring that a website can handle additional traffic and process orders on time. A scalable e-commerce platform tIt should also support business expansion as you grow your product catalog, enter new sales models and verticals, or expand into new geographic locations.

In digital commerce, scalability refers to: user experience, business needs, growth opportunities and agility. Let's look at these aspects a little more in detail.

User experience

The most obvious aspect of scalability is the ability to handle increased traffic and sales. As your business grows, the e-commerce platform must handle more products, transactions or customers… without fail. This creates a better shopping experience for the customer.

  • Traffic spikes. When most people think of scalability, they think of accommodating heavy traffic on a website. To ensure websites perform optimally during peak demand, you need high-performance, scalable eCommerce solutions based on a solid infrastructure. This provides a consistent experience no matter when a customer visits us.
  • High order volumes. If you regularly process bulk orders with dozens or hundreds of order lines, your website should handle these orders with ease. Scalable ecommerce solutions not only prevent your website from crashing when many complex orders are placed simultaneously, but they can also handle surges in orders over long periods of time.
  • Large quantities of SKUs. Whether you sell to other companies or directly to customers, B2B companies, such as manufacturers and distributors, tend to have large product catalogs. A scalable eCommerce solution supports additional product lines or increases in the number of products (SKUs) offered to customers.

Business needs

With scalable e-commerce, businesses operate more efficiently, open up new opportunities, and maximize revenue. Companies benefit from a reduction in errors in their daily operations and this saves time and money.

  • Multiple catalogs and websites. Different customers have different needs and preferences in the products they purchase. Scalable B2B eCommerce solutions enable sellers to maintain brand consistency, personalize their offerings, target diverse customers, manage inventory, and more.
  • Automated workflows. To keep B2B customers satisfied, you must adapt to their purchasing processes. Scalable B2B eCommerce software can successfully automate business processes such as custom pricing, inventory management, order processing, and invoicing.
  • Security and compliance. Scalable eCommerce platforms help your business stay on top of security. You can expand your capabilities, meet new requirements, and grow without risking the security of your customers' or business's data.

Growth opportunities

If you're not growing, you're falling behind. As you acquire companies, open offices, or add distribution centers, your eCommerce software should easily adapt to your growth.

  • Expansion to verticals. Unlike the physical world, it is easy to expand into neighboring verticals online. This is particularly true if your vertical overlaps with others or if entering a new market requires little effort. Scalable digital commerce solutions make it easy to introduce entirely new brands and storefronts to take advantage of these opportunities.
  • Expansion to geographic locations. A scalable e-commerce solution overcomes many of the obstacles of cross-border selling. Because customers prefer to research and buy in their own language and currency, you need a scalable solution that supports unlimited localization or multiple websites. Scalability gives you the speed, accessibility, and site security that can make the difference between conversions and abandoned shopping carts.
  • Expansion to new sales channels. To increase awareness and sales and build resilience, many companies expand into new sales channels. In the process, they may adopt the characteristics of a B2M (business-to-many) seller. With a scalable ecommerce platform, the solution adapts to any business model and supports unlimited sales channels.

Agility

Greater agility and flexibility make it easier to focus on revenue-generating activities, put customers at the center of your business, and drive sustainable growth.

  • Pivot towards new business models. The pandemic, subsequent B2B supply chain disruptions, and economic pressures make business agility crucial. If existing models don't work, sellers need the flexibility to move to new models such as franchises, marketplaces or direct-to-consumer sales. Scalable e-commerce supports multiple models without the need for modifications.
  • Fusions and acquisitions. If you've grown by acquiring other companies, or if mergers and acquisitions are part of your growth plans, you need a scalable eCommerce solution. Without technology supporting your growth through acquisition plans, you will struggle with mismatched systems, costly workarounds, or platform changes.
  • Provider agnosticism. In addition to enabling growth, scalability removes barriers to growth. Choose a digital commerce platform that does not interfere with the way you do business or make it difficult to achieve your goals.

Essential Steps to Achieve Scalability in B2B ecommerce:

Now that you know what scalability is in B2B ecommerce and the most important characteristics of this capacity, it is a good time to review the most important steps to achieve it with your B2B e-commerce business. Here's what you should consider:

  1. Long-Term Strategic Planning:
    1. Clearly define your long-term goals and develop a detailed strategy to achieve them.
    2. Identify the resources needed, including technology, people and capital, to support your future growth.
  2. Optimize Processes and Technology:
    1. Continuously evaluate and optimize your internal processes to ensure operational efficiency.
    2. Deploy scalable technologies, such as robust ecommerce platforms and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, to support seamless growth.
  3. Focus on Customer Experience:
    1. Prioritize the customer experience at every stage of the purchasing process, from website navigation to delivery and after-sales service.
    2. Customize the customer experience based on the specific needs and preferences of your B2B customers.
  4. Prioritize Logistics and Inventory Scalability:
    1. Develop a flexible and efficient supply chain that can adapt to changes in demand and sales volume.
    2. Use technologies such as real-time tracking and automated inventory management to optimize logistics and minimize delivery times.
  5. Remember the Collaboration with Strategic Partners:
    1. Establish strong relationships with suppliers, distributors and other key business partners who can support your growth and expansion.
    2. Look for collaboration opportunities that can help you expand your reach and diversify your product or service offering.
  6. Perform an Analysis and Continuous Improvement:
    1. Use data and analytics to monitor performance and identify areas for improvement.
    2. Take a continuous improvement approach, making adjustments and optimizations as necessary to maintain scalability as your business grows.

Now is your turn!

As we have seen throughout this article, scalability in B2B e-commerce is essential for the long-term success of any company. By following these steps and adopting a strategic, customer-centric approach, your company can position itself to grow sustainably and make the most of opportunities within a market of rapid evolution and change.

We know that every business is unique, with its own growth plans and scalability requirements. That is why at Orienteed we work with modern e-commerce platforms, which put control in your hands. With scalable B2B eCommerce software and the accompaniment of a specialized technology partner, like Orienteed, you can make sure that your business will meet any challenge that comes its way.

Do you need to develop or migrate your ecommerce?

Contact us today here to start an incredible project together.