With B2B eCommerce transactions expected to reach $1.8 trillion by 2023 and 93% of buyers now saying they prefer to purchase online, it’s safe to say that digital is playing an increasingly important role in B2B sales.
At the same time, it can be hard to stand out in an ultra-crowded marketplace and fully meet the demands of today’s buyers. Business to business customers expect a seamless online buying and account management experience, and they aren’t afraid to go to your competitors if yours is below par.
So, how can you ensure your B2B website blows your customers away and delivers everything they have come to expect?
It all starts with choosing the right eCommerce platform to power your online sales and meet the often-complex needs of your own business.
Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce and the Rest
From WooCommerce and Shopify to Salesforce and Magento, there’s certainly no shortage of eCommerce solutions available on the market.
While some might appear similar on the surface (and, let’s face it, they all claim to be the best!), dig a little deeper and you’ll soon discover they are actually very different.
For example, WooCommerce and Squarespace are simple and easy to use but lack the functionality and flexibility required by larger businesses, or those with ambitions to grow.
At the other end of the scale, Magento is an enterprise-grade solution offering a high degree of power and scalability. As you will see later, it also includes a multitude of features designed specifically for B2B environments, along with simple integration with existing backend systems.
Choosing the Right eCommerce Platform
Choosing an eCommerce platform is a big decision and one that requires some very careful thought and consideration. After all, you probably don’t want to invest significant amounts of time, energy and money into something that turns out to be completely unsuitable, or which can’t easily be integrated with your existing in-house systems and processes.
You need to get a feel for any solution and assess whether it fully meets the demands of your business. For example, a clunky interface can quickly cause problems and inefficiencies. Likewise, a lack of features you require might mean relying on lots of third-party add-ons or plugins just to be able to do the basics.
Also, don’t neglect to think about the future. A platform might suit your requirements today, but what about in 12 months’ time? It’s important to choose a solution that offers a degree of scalability and flexibility, or else you’ll have the upheaval of moving to a different platform every time your needs change.
Magento: The Right B2B Platform for Your Business
With over 10 years’ eCommerce experience, we’ve worked with most of the leading platforms at one time or another.
In truth, each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, but when it comes to B2B, our firm opinion is that one platform stands head and shoulders above the rest: Magento.
With rich, built-in B2B functionality and significant performance and deployment enhancements, the latest version of Magento offers a robust, powerful and versatile eCommerce solution that’s specifically designed for B2B businesses. It empowers your customers to take control of their orders, while putting flexible controls at your fingertips to help you improve efficiency and boost sales.
Convenient Online Ordering
Magento offers B2B buyers a wide range of quick and convenient ordering options, allowing them to select the method that’s best for them. For example, buyers can place orders by choosing items from pre-set lists, entering SKUs, or even uploading a CSV file containing a list of items.
Advanced Payment and Shipping Options
As you would expect, you can customise the platform with various payment options, with support for payments on account, credit cards and more. You can also allow customers to reorder at the click of a button, while bespoke shipping modules from Aware allow for pallet shipping or click and collect.
The built-in quote management tools allow you to create orders and build quotes for your customers on their behalf. Authorised buyers can even submit a negotiation request direct from the shopping cart, with the ability to respond and track communication with the buyer directly from within the system.
Custom Catalogues and Price Lists
With Magento, it is possible to assign custom catalogues and price lists to business to business buyers. In addition, you can target content to specific segments, allowing you to tailor promotions and maximise your marketing ROI.
Minimum Order Size or Quantity (MOQ)
B2B sales often involves bulk products, so it’s good to learn that Magento allows you to specify the minimum order or quantity of a product you sell. For added flexibility, parameters can be set according to the customer group or product, with the ability to assign differing price levels for a certain order quantity.
Robust Inventory Management
Magento provides powerful inventory management tools that offer accurate, real-time inventory across all supply chains. You can also use automated rules to improve efficiency, thereby reducing both customer delivery times and fulfilment expenses.
Advanced Account Management
Business to business customers can quickly and easily manage their account and set up multiple tiers of buyers with individual roles and permissions. Also included is the ability to track quotes and view order history online, providing convenient access to detailed order information.
Magento provides quick and easy integration with existing in-house backend systems and other third-party enterprise tools. With robust APIs and a wide range of off-the-shelf extensions, it’s ready to fit right into your business and deliver exceptional online experiences with low maintenance costs.
Built for B2B
We love Magento because it is powerful, flexible and built for scale. It offers a wide range of features tailored for the B2B environment, along with easy integration with other business and sales tools.
Cost-effective and feature rich, we believe it is the best platform for B2B businesses of virtually any size or industry.
Want to find out more about how Magento could work for your business? Get in touch with our expert team today.