You’re a B2B company and you want to start selling online. Your sister’s husband’s co-worker’s son told you:
“Use Shopify! That’s what everyone’s using now!”
Shopify is the 2nd largest eCommerce platform. But Shopify’s main focus is business-to-consumer (B2C) or direct-to-consumer (D2C). If you’re selling t-shirts, candles, portable batteries, phone cases, sunglasses, or other consumer products, I’d recommend Shopify too. But you’re not selling consumer products.
Your business makes over $1M per year. You sell manufacturing services. You sell flexible LED tape. You sell bakery cooling fixtures. You sell digital image analysis services.
These offerings require discovery calls, variable pricing, data sheets, Q&A, and service coordination. Shopify wasn’t built for B2B technical offerings and here are the 5 reasons why:
1. Shopify doesn’t have a built-in request-for-quote (RFQ) system
While there are some decent Shopify “apps”, you’ll spend countless hours and brain power on:
- Reading reviews for the app
- Browsing through the app’s demo store to see if it provides the right features
- Deciding how much you want to pay for the app or which plan you want
- Figuring out how to use the app
- Installing the app
- And even more steps that we’ll address in a later blog post
It’s definitely not “plug and play” when using a Shopify app for anything.
2. Shopify wants you to have one public price for each product
What if you want to hide pricing? Get ready to write some code. While Shopify now has wholesale pricing, it’s only available to Shopify Plus subscribers (who are, in Shopify’s own words, “high volume merchants, and large businesses”.) Maybe there’s an app? Sure, that’ll be an extra $29.99 per month!
3. Shopify forces you to build a new website
When you set up your Shopify store, your “home” page has a header image or a slideshow or a “featured collection” or social media links or space to talk about your brand. Shopify also offers blog posts, pages, navigation options.
What about your theme? Which theme is right for your company? Should you pay for a theme or use a free one? I guess Shopify expects you to be a UI design guru.
Do you need these distractions when all you want is an RFQ system?
4. Shopify doesn’t provide out-of-the-box options for min/max quantities, product FAQs, data sheet attachments, and other B2B needs
Maybe you don’t want to get inquiries for one unit of an item, only 50 units or more.
Maybe you get asked one specific question so many times that you want to put the answer right on the product page.
Maybe you want to let your customers see the MSDS without having to send it via email.
Then you’ll DEFINITELY need to purchase more Shopify apps. Potentially costing another $50-100 per month.
5. Shopify’s support is hit or miss
You must be thinking, “I’ll never need technical support.” You’re savvy enough to figure it out on your own. But you will. Bugs and software are like peanut butter and jelly.
When you do need to contact support, it’s a coin toss. You might get that awesome CSR that knows the system and can solve your issue in a few minutes. You might, not hear back for three weeks. You might get a CSR that thinks support are “just car washers”. Great customer service isn’t usually associated with one of the “big guys” in any industry.
BONUS: termrelay is here
At termrelay, we’re focused on B2B. Whether you need a cost-effective, turn-key RFQ system without the distractions or you need an entire digital strategy, we’re here to help. If you have any questions, you can contact us or chat with us on the bottom left corner.