In today’s world, there’s no doubt that B2B sales interactions are moving online. The world of B2B eCommerce is developing quickly and won’t slow down soon. The proof is in the facts: Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of all B2B transactions will occur on digital channels. Therefore, it’s never been more important to look to the future of B2B sales, and ensure that your eCommerce site is supported by a robust and reliable platform. Magento B2B provides a compelling solution to this need: it has proved itself as a dynamic, secure, and powerful platform that can support both B2B and B2C customers.
Magento boasts a wealth of impressive features. In this article, we will share how a B2B company can harness these, and how Magento can step up your business through a platform that looks to the future of eCommerce.
Two types of transactions happen in the world of eCommerce: B2B and B2C. But what is the difference between these two abbreviations?
Short for Business to Business, this type of sale is from one business to another. Often, a transaction takes place between business sellers and business buyers, which involves a more in-depth purchasing process.
B2B buyers have unique needs. Most significantly, B2B buyers want:
– A streamlined buying process
– Trustworthy partnerships with sellers
– Timely responses from their vendor
– Tailored and personalized content
Since there are many types of businesses, the unique requirements of each B2B market must be considered. B2B purchases are often made in higher volumes and therefore involve thorough record-keeping for company accounts. B2B sales can happen through physical documents, emails as well as eCommerce sites; however more frequently the latter.
Short for Business to Customer, this form of transaction takes place between a retailer and a consumer. A B2C sale might typically occur when a customer browses for a product online, selects their shipping method, and enters their payment preference. Naturally, B2C sales demand different marketing techniques to encourage sales and products will be purchased in lower volumes than in a B2B transaction.
We’ve compiled a handy table below to outline some of the key differences between B2B and B2C eCommerce:
|Multiple prices tiers for different customers||Singular pricing tier for all customers|
|Large volumes of products purchased often on repeat||Products mostly bought as singular items|
|Smaller, niche market||Large scale market|
|Develop long term relationship between buyer and seller||Short term relationship created between business and customer|
|Longer buying and selling cycle||Shorter buying and selling cycle|
Is Magento Open Source Good for B2B?
When it comes to B2B transactions, the demand for an efficient, powerful eCommerce solution is clear. Companies need to rely on a platform that can withstand the requirements of their buyers. It should offer uncompromised functionality with its search and be able to integrate add-ons with no interruptions. Above all, it must offer a seamless business user experience, whilst keeping up with market demand.
Magento Open Source provides a reasonable solution here. From Magento Open Source, you can create a website with features that enable businesses to follow their strategy, expand their markets and offer their clients new features without compromising on user experience. However, a crucial consideration for B2B clients to make here is due to the fact that Magento Open Source requires a dedicated developer with strong technical ability to create the site. For B2B companies lacking a team of developers, we would recommend leaning toward a packaged model such as Bigcommerce or Adobe Commerce.
To decide which Magento version is right for you, it’s important to differentiate between Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce. There are key differences between the two that should be considered when it comes to B2B eCommerce.
Below, we have reviewed some key distinctions:
To put it simply, Magento Open Source is the source code that enables you to create a powerful website. In opting for Magento Open Source, you will be given free access to the code from which the website can be developed. Upon development, you can enjoy a range of impressive website features. However, it’s worth considering that advanced technical skills and knowledge of the coding process are required to develop the platform.
Magento B2B eCommerce
In Magento B2B eCommerce (also known as Adobe Commerce), you can enjoy the benefits of an upgraded version of Magento Open Source. Opting for Magento Commerce over Magento Open Source offers some considerable advantages, namely that Magento can host, secure, and personalize your site. Pricing for Magento Commerce starts at $22,000 per year.
Whilst Magento Open Source does not include any B2B features in its code, users can still implement them. This can be done by adding extensions and B2B functions to their sites, enabling them to personalize and prioritize their unique requirements of functionality.
Are B2B extensions available for Magento Open Source?
Luckily for users, there is an abundance of B2B extensions for Magento Open Source available. On Magento Marketplace, users can browse through over 120 B2B extensions which vary in price and features.
Some B2B extensions, such as the Private Catalog for Magento 2 by Aheadworks enable custom payment and shipping based on each unique customer’s group, address, and products. Another powerful plugin, BSSCommerce enables a fast bulk order feature, a powerful product search, and the ability to monitor multiple warehouses.
There is no need for users to be concerned about security when it comes to Magento extensions. Since these extensions are developed by reputable third-party providers and are thoroughly tested, you can rest assured that integration into your Magento platform will run smoothly.
If any challenges occur with B2B Open Source, customers can access the Adobe Commerce Help Center, which offers self-service solutions through its Troubleshooting pages.
Deciding on whether Magento Open Source or Magento B2B eCommerce comes down to a few main considerations, such as budget, time, and a user’s technical ability. For those who can implement their skills to use Magento Open Source coding, it could be an attractive option. In terms of pricing, we find that it falls in the middle range of the market, and it offers another financial benefit in that you need only pay a one-time fee for development.
Whilst Magento Commerce requires monthly or yearly payments, it boasts a lot of advantages for businesses: mostly due to the fact it takes care of the development for users, rather than them having to build from scratch. If your business has a slightly higher budget and wishes for the powerful advantages of Magento Commerce, we believe it is likely the best option for you.
|Magento Commerce||Magento Open Source|
|Upgraded version of Magento Open Source||Requires strong technical skills to develop|
|Offers hosting, security and customisation||Free access to code|
|Operates as PaaS (Platform-as-a-service)||Offers B2B Extensions|
With Magento 2 B2B eCommerce, all of your accounts can be managed in one highly functional online store. With everything your business needs in one place, you can prioritize a seamless brand experience for your customers from multiple brands and locations. Through Magento’s intuitive B2B features, businesses can focus on the important things: a streamlined sales process, better retargeting and marketing options, and being able to automate the connection between different suppliers.
Personalizing the online experience of your user can make your eCommerce business stand out from the crowd. Magento B2B eCommerce offers customer segmentation for individuals and companies with unique needs. This impressive feature allows for content to be dynamically displayed to customers based on different properties. These can include things such as their purchase history, browsing habits, customer address products viewed, and products purchased. As a company, being able to segment your buyers allows for broader marketing opportunities: you can create segments according to shopping cart price rules, and segments can display promotions to the specific customers you wish to target.
Adobe Commerce has created a self-service feature with buyers in mind. It allows sellers to grant buyers permission to access the B2B section of their site. Following this, a buyer can access the entire B2B platform, receive any agreed discounts, and submit purchase orders. Granting buyers the convenience of self-service makes the process faster and smoother.
The ability to create separate individual and corporate accounts is also paramount. Magento has considered this and offers the ability for merchants and a company administrator to sell B2B and B2C whilst remaining on the same platform; this is ideal for a B2B business that wants to remain flexible. This company account feature means that separate store manager accounts can be created. This way, businesses can seamlessly expand their selling markets without having to change eCommerce channels.
Customization is key to eCommerce, particularly if your business offers special discounts or deals to specific companies. Magento Shared Catalog Creation enables you to customize product prices for clients and display this through a Custom View. In addition, you can create catalog permissions, a catalog search, and display a public catalog view for every website visitor. This feature streamlines the B2B buying process too. Once a seller has set up a custom discount for classes of customer, the role of the customer allows them access to a standard discount rate. Through this shared catalog feature, Magento allows for this stage of the sales cycle to feel much more personalized for the buyer.
With Magento’s ability to create rules across your products, you can link your items for targeted merchandising. This dynamic feature enables users the advanced ability to decide how products are displayed: according to their related products, cross-sells, or up-sells.
Magento offers users the ability to set a minimum buying volume for online payments, allowing businesses to sell by certain amounts, such as full pallets or specific container volume. This solid feature means that, in turn, average revenue per user will be optimized. This feature enables you to customize quantity settings, shipping addresses, and product exclusions, granting you full control of volumes and revenue.
Customers making B2B eCommerce sales should be able to do so smoothly and quickly. Magento offers a Quick Order feature to streamline the purchasing process: products can be searched for by product name or SKU number, reducing time spent browsing through cumbersome lists and improving that all-important user experience. This is an ideal solution for wholesale customers.
For B2B customers who frequently re-order the same products, Magento’s dynamic requisition list feature is invaluable. Functioning similarly to wishlists, a maximum of 999 requisition lists can be saved to keep products in shopping carts by default.
Magento’s credit limit feature keeps the needs of its B2B customers at the forefront by maximizing its online payment methods. With its option for ‘Payment on Account’, users can make B2B payments using their credit balance with a clear indication of their outstanding balance too. Magento strikes an impressive balance between granting your credible B2B eCommerce customers flexibility, whilst also maintaining control through allocated credit limits. This feature is important for B2B buyers too. Magento Commerce makes its credit limit feature responsive to different roles. For example, a singular company might contain employees with various credit limits. Those within a company who have a low credit limit might only have access to orders under a certain amount.
Streamlining the supply chain of your B2B sales makes for enhanced business outcomes. With this in mind, Magento offers an impressive inventory management feature that can provide real-time information to distributors. This intuitive system keeps track of stock flow across all channels and locations.
Magento’s B2B Quote feature opens the conversations about prices between the buyer and seller. Through this feature, sales representatives can prepare a quote and send it to the customer as a “ready to order” cart. This important feature has a range of advantages: it allows for fast and simple negotiation, offers the ability to set a quote expiration and quote requests, and saves a thorough record of all communication between parties.
If a company has authorized and issued a Purchase Order, a B2B customer may wish to use this to pay. Magento’s Purchase Order feature allows your users this flexibility, as they can use their Purchase Order as payment method at checkout. By invoicing your clients and providing a date to pay in full, you can enhance your business relationship, and make B2B payments that bit easier for your users.
Magento offers powerful data analytics for companies to track their performances. Not only does Magento provide in depth statistics and reports, but allows users to easily consolidate it through smart visualization. This provides advanced business intelligence about retention rates, average order value, customer lifetime value, and more. Magento
Through Magento’s intuitive content staging feature, you can create product pages, categories, and price rules that fit into your business’s schedule. Through the ability to create, preview and schedule specific pages, you can keep on top of the trends of your industry. Magento’s content staging feature allows for automated changes according to a predetermined schedule. This is an invaluable feature for B2B sellers with seasonal trends: for example, automated rules can be set to display certain changes to a product catalog at different times of the year.
With its team of experts on hand to provide exceptional maintenance assistance, Magento Commerce allows for the smooth technical running of your website. If issues occur such as error messages, server overload, or shopping cart issues, you can contact the technical team for fast and efficient support.
Magento’s Seller-Assisted Shopping feature enables you to help clients with their purchases. A sales representative can log into the buyers portal, create a custom cart and send it for approval. By managing shopping carts for registered users and updating orders, Magento’s shopping assistance increases your chance of securing sales alongside boosting customer loyalty. This feature is invaluable for businesses: assisting buyers by cart customisation saves them time and increases the likelihood of their return.
It’s never been more important to ensure that your B2B eCommerce platform is running at top performance, producing results, and above all, nurturing client relationships.
The plethora of high-end features provided by Magento B2B eCommerce as mentioned above, place the platform at the forefront of B2B eCommerce technology. It prioritizes simplicity, intuition, and flexibility, and considers the priorities of both the seller and the buyer. For those who want to scale their business, streamline their business strategy and enhance their users’ buying experiences, Magento B2B eCommerce provides an exceptional solution.
If Magento seems like your best choice, then you can read our guide to understand how much Magento costs.
To take the leap, and boost your business, get a consultation today. We’ll help you better understand which solution is right for you and your customers, and advise you on how you can integrate this streamlined workflow into your business strategy.