Magento and B2B e-commerce is a perfect match. The e-commerce platform complements perfectly the needs of modern-day B2B buyers who have become oblivious to paperwork, spreadsheets and over-a-telephone-call procurement methods.
Also, the thin line that differentiates personal shopping and B2B commerce are blurring. B2B players expect the same level of user experience and convenience in B2B buying as they would expect from online shopping.
But, B2B e-commerce has several tangles in it unlike personal shopping. Take, for instance, the need for extensive quoting, discount management, backend integration and so on. The business model requires the choice of e-commerce platform to be agile, flexible and accommodating of additional add-ons and customization. It is here that Magento proves its mettle as a B2B e-commerce platform.
The latest Magento 2.2 Community and Enterprise Edition is simply an undisputed leader in B2B e-commerce.
Highlights of Magento 2.2
Magento comes bolted with specific features that make B2B e-commerce management a breeze. It serves procurement managers and decision makers with the right set of tools and analytic reports that help them perfect their B2B business operations for cost-efficiency and superior customer service.
Here are some such noteworthy features:
Company Account Management
B2B buyers have varying levels of buying hierarchies within their organization. Most often, there would be multiple buyer groups within the same organization, which makes the procurement process confusing. Efficient order tracking, credit limit utilization, quote management etc. is impossible to achieve using spreadsheets and conventional procurement systems.
Magento helps B2B buyers remove the pain in company account management with extensive features for multi-user management, permission controls, invoicing, order tracking and much more.
The beauty of the system is that it does not require one to pick up the phone and dial the vendor or fax a purchase order or do anything similar that was habitual in the conventional procurement process.
B2B buying involves buying from different products from the same company at different rates. The pricing model is prone to fluctuate from time to time, depending on market forces. This makes B2B buying in bulk volumes a challenge, unlike personal shopping, where transactions are more of singular in nature.
Magento places itself as a platform that allows B2B users to configure custom pricing for each vendor that is automatically fetched when orders are placed. Furthermore, discounts, if any are also charged to reflect the final invoice amount. This facility helps in adhering to centralized purchase contracts that companies often enter into for company-wide uniform rate procurement.
Streamlined Quoting Workflow
Endless quotations and negotiations happen before a final procurement order is passed. Magento provides B2B buyers with the option to convert a shopping cart order into a quote. The quote can be shared with the merchant for ensuing discussions.
Discussions and price negotiations are made hassle-free with commenting within the quote. This streamlined way of quote management helps B2B buyers and merchants arrive at a final price quickly.
B2B procurement is all about bulk volumes. It is the sheer volume of transactions and quantities involved that makes B2B e-commerce stand apart from personal shopping. But, bulk ordering is easier said than done. Bulk orders need to have minimum order quantity thresholds, discount management, shipping management and order management.
Magento enables all this with efficient catalog and product management system. Minimum limit allowed in the shopping cart can be configured in the inventory module of Magento. Similarly, pricing rules for bulk discounts can be configured using the Promotions tab in Magento.
Magento Visual Merchandiser enables B2B merchants to showcase their products elegantly and categorically with a simple drag-and-drop feature. All it takes is a click of a mouse to showcase products that best meet the buyer needs. The product positions and can also be further adjusted based on real-time inventory levels and consumer demand.
Business buyers are mobile users too. iPhone and tablet armed B2B buyers expect procurement process to happen on the go. Magento delivers high in this area with its mobile-optimized websites that display content well-fit to any screen size.
It helps B2B buyers to enact a friction-free ordering process without having to rely on a single system, like a desktop. Cloud connectivity ensures order sync across all devices, which suits perfectly for remote order management across multiple warehouses or distribution centers.
Above all, mobile-responsiveness also gives Magento websites an SEO advantage, leading to higher search engine ranking.
Magento is a highly flexible e-commerce platform. It allows integration for several applications including CRM, delivery tracking, ERP, Accounting, and Invoicing, etc. APIs and customized solutions can be easily integrated into the Magento module for seamless B2B e-commerce management. API integration for popular online store backend like Amazon, eBay, etc. is a noted advantage that is exclusive to Magento.
Magento provides 75 built-in reports that allow the B2B buyers to stay on top of business performance. From sales order reports to customer profiling and Product Information Management (PIM), Magento comes loaded with reports that will help B2B buyers to make logical procurement decisions.
Cloud-based Inventory management helps accurate forecasting of inventory levels and immediate purchase requisitions. Additionally, users can create custom reports best suited for their business needs and decision-making.
In A Nutshell
B2B e-commerce is growing exponentially; and so is competition. B2B merchants need the power and simplicity of a utilitarian e-commerce platform like Magento to stay on top of their business. It serves all B2B e-commerce procurement management needs with comprehensive account management, bulk ordering, customer pricing, powerful merchandising, mobile responsiveness and a host of other competitive features. By all means, Magento is an undisputed leader in the B2B e-commerce domain.
If you want to discuss the possibilities of Magento for your business, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.