Your organization’s e-commerce site is an important part of your growth strategy as a B2B organization. It never sleeps, it is a self-service engine for your customers, and it creates a revenue stream with margins that surpass that of a physical location / B2B storefront.
Many organizations start their e-commerce journey using a custom built or bolt on from their ERP provider. Over time, many organizations realize that making changes, creating a unique customer experience, or providing new features to their customers is extremely difficult.
So, what do most companies do when create a new e-commerce site? They do what they do for all new software. Create an RFP! However, identifying and writing your B2B eCommerce RFP requirements can be time-consuming to say the least. To help you, here is a starter list of common RFP requirements categories to include — as well as a free template for creating B2B eCommerce RFPs of your own.
Listen, carefully – I hate eCommerce RFPs, think they are outdated and broken, and very difficult for the average Distributor or Manufacturer to do well. But I also am a realist and understand that this is a process many companies must follow. Therefore, this article is intended to help you get started.
25 Must Have B2B eCommerce RFP Requirements Categories
For a decade, I have helped wholesalers, manufacturers, distributors, and high tech companies build and select B2B eCommerce software. My advice for putting together a good RFP is…
Do NOT do it!! Do this instead.
However, I understand that RFPs are a common business practice, so I want to help you get through it as fast as possible. Many of these categories and better descriptions can be found in The Components of a B2B eCommerce Site.
Supported Business Models
Having multiple business models in the same platform can be important to a B2B business. Support multiple business models including B2B, B2C, B2B2C in the same instance?
Site setup with multiple storefronts and microsites. How are new sites setup? Using technical resources or business tools?
Internationalization and Localization
Multi-site, multi-country, multi-language and multi-currency requirements.
Merchandising business tools for personalizing the product catalog experience. Up-sell, cross-sell, automated recommendations.
General best practice capabilities that are core to an e-commerce site. Shopping cart, login, customer dashboards, access to profiles.
Search rules, parametric search, type ahead, filtering, result sets, endless vs. pagination, etc.
I have written extensively on the value of search. If you want to learn more, you might want to check out why your on-site search sucks.
Navigation and Categories
Finding products by browsing through product categories, attributes, facets. Taxonomy considerations.
Product Results and Filtering
Viewing and interacting with search and category product results with faceted navigation.
Type of products supported, simple, configurable, grouped, custom, bundling, kitting, pass-through from our PIM. Business tools to update descriptions and attributes of products and pricing.
Quoting and Configuration
Add to quote, quote to order conversion, configure to order, 3rd party integration.
Segmentation-based selling, industry segmentation and personalization
Product Availability and Fulfillment
Warehouse product availability and methods of delivery to customers
Customer pricing, discount groups, customer quotes, strikeout pricing
Cart and product promotions, shipping, $/% off, free gifts, etc. coupons, some promos with coupon, some without
Product Review and Q&A
Product reviews, recommendations & questions / answer
Order placement, transmission, order management, order status.
Methods of payment accepted on the site. Credit card, on account, Purchase Order, billing cards
Customer profile, account settings, approval workflows, custom catalogs, custom pricing, contract terms and conditions, quotes, track orders, track returns, purchase lists.
Customer Service Reps (CSR) user experience
Assisted selling, buyer mirroring, complete order on behalf of customer
Adaptive, responsive, SMS, app creation.
Interacting, sharing, engagement and purchasing via social networks
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO descriptions, attributes, site maps, feeds, export management, scheduling, delivering
Supported Browser types and versions
Enterprise and 3rd party Integrations
ERP, CRM, CMS, DAM, PIM, etc
Page performance website and mobile. Time to paint
Site compliance requirements.
How is your company approaching the RFP process? How do you build requirements? Let us know in the comments below.