Today’s eCommerce climate presents a challenging, fast paced and rapidly changing marketplace for B2B retailers where only the most agile thrive. But it’s a challenge seemingly worth the risk. Selling online to your B2B customers is a different ballgame than selling to B2C customers alone. The differences present a host of challenges that touch almost every aspect of an eCommerce store.
Magento as a B2B Platform
One can’t overstate the fact that Magento eCommerce has brought transformational changes in the way B2C businesses operate. But it’s high-value B2B functionality as opposed to other platforms often goes unsung.
Magento 2 is the long-awaited, big reboot in Magento’s history, having the ability to run both Direct to Consumer and Business to Business operations on a single platform. It offers varied enhancements that include features like content and commerce capabilities, content staging, and tightly integrated order management that have resonated well with Magento merchants. Additionally, it comes with attributes that may change enterprises to drive conversion rates and as well improve productivity.
Customers require personalized, efficient self-service, and Magento allows B2B businesses to create just that.
Despite Magento 2 offering improved eCommerce capabilities, it still can’t do everything B2B out of the box. However, with the right configuration, it can do some amazing things.
How Does Magento 2 fit Your B2B Needs?
Online shopping has changed the way people buy, and those B2C (Business-to-Customer) habits are finally moving into the B2B (Business-to-Business) market. B2B buyers now increasingly demand the same quality of experience and sophistication in both online shops.
At the same time, B2B merchants need to be able to offer the simplicity of efficient self-service to B2B buyers on a platform that supports the daily complexities of their developing business.
Most B2B e-commerce solutions do have a standard set of features used to fulfil the minimum requirements for managing B2B commerce online.
Let’s see which of these can be fulfilled using Magento 2. Here goes..
B2B companies don’t purchase individually. They usually buy in bulk. Magento 2 platform provides a way to buy large quantities of items, specify minimum order thresholds, and offer bulk discounts. This feature is present in Magento 2 by default.
In B2B, customers regularly place repeat orders. All they look for is the ease in searching products, and importantly selecting bulk products at one go when buying those items regularly. The “Quick Order” functionality enables the customers to do the same quickly and easily by entering the SKU or by uploading an order sheet. This will drive up your repeat customers, order frequency, conversion rate and average order value, among other key performance indicators.
B2B organizations operate in complex environments, dealing with a large number of suppliers and distributors. They mostly follow a typical flow – request for proposal, go in for negotiation, quotations are made accordingly and send to the requester, closes with the requester accepting the proposal. Once the deal is closed, the transaction occurs. This feature is present in Magento 2 by default.
In a B2B environment, you might have multiple people working on your eCommerce site. Magento allows you to have total control of your business by giving you account management processes. You can set permissions and roles, and create sub-accounts, as needed.
Tiered /Customer Specific pricing
Each customer is unique. Each customer usually also has their own set of terms and conditions, requirements, and even pricing. Most of the time, custom customer pricing is needed so each individual buyer can see exactly what it will cost them as a buyer, and not just on a general level.
Magento allows you to associate accounts with specific price lists, payment options, and shipping methods. This is a key feature being a B2B retailer, as you will have a range of prices based on factors such as how long they have been a customer, how often they buy, and the size of their orders.
Complex Product Configurations and Custom Requirements
B2B is not one size fits all. Conventional methods of categorisation need to be abandoned as trade buyers look for more refined categorization techniques when buying or navigating for a product. Magento 2 provides you with the ability to tailor these category pages and customize the view of different lists as per the convenience of trade buyers.
Payment options and Credit limit
In any B2B business, retailers and wholesalers make payments on a monthly or quarterly basis and due to their relationship with B2B E-commerce stores they can place the orders on credit. This helps mitigate financial risk as well as not having to tie up cash flow in inventory. This is done through the use of Purchase Orders, a functionality which Magento 2 offers by default.
As a B2B seller, odds are that you’re tracking inventory across different warehouses (online,offline or both). Hence, it is vital that you have accurate inventory data as this data is utilized in making future decisions. Magento’s B2B solution helps you keep track of your inventory across all of your warehouse locations.
As a B2B seller, your ERP is the current foundation of your business; using which you handle all your financial and logistic processes. If you don’t want to manage your eCommerce site in a silo and want to benefit from the potential of automating your B2B order process, it’s essential for your store to be connected to this ERP system.Your ERP has to be integrated into your eCommerce site to ensure that you continue to run your business smoothly.
Magento 2 infrastructure makes ERP integration a cakewalk. The ability to connect with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems will take a lot of the pain out of using Magento for B2B and the fact that it can be done easily using Magento2 helps distinguish the M2 platform from the competition.
The ability to connect with ERPs more easily takes out the pain of using Magento for B2B.
Build your Customer base
Acquiring a customer is the object of any business. Through the SEO management and email marketing system of Magento 2, you can attract plenty of customers and ensure that you not only attract them but acquire them.
So, as you can see, Magento can perform almost all the basic functionality of a B2B store. As for the other functionalities, the good news is that there are modules out there that can fulfil them for very little cost, or free altogether!
Are you an enterprise looking to create an online store? Our Magento eCommerce development team can help you develop an eStore based on your business needs. Whether you are struggling with the initials or want us to optimize your B2B E-store to take it to new heights, we ensure that your chrysalis e-business blooms into a fully developed behemoth! Do not wait and contact us now.