If you operate a B2B business, now is the time to invest in e-commerce. This begins by building a customer ordering portal, and, in our experience, no platform is more effective at this task than Magento 2.
Here are some of the features that make Magento our go-to choice for building B2B e-commerce systems, along with our thoughts on why every B2B provider needs an online component to survive in the contemporary market:
Magento’s Key Strength: Simple Ordering for Your Customers
Businesses commonly use Magento to create customer-specific ordering portals so each client can have their own pricing, bulk order options, discounts, and regional tax needs. Magento allows you to build this customer-specific customization into product catalogs and reorder capabilities, so each user has an experience tailored specifically to their needs.
This creates a seamless online experience for the customer, which is exactly what they’ve been taught to expect by the B2C space. But why is this so important to overall business success? Because e-commerce is poised to dominate B2B networks in every industry.
B2B E-commerce Is Growing Now
B2B e-commerce, also known as a customer ordering portal, is growing quickly and becoming the future of B2B sales. Already, 70 percent of B2B leads originate on the web, and those same users are looking for easily accessible customer ordering portals for research and simple/fast purchasing.
The trends of B2B e-commerce are following in the footsteps of features that B2C customers already expect. When businesses don’t provide expected services in their online ordering systems, they lose opportunities to grow B2B sales. B2B e-commerce sites should offer the same intuitive user experience, functional design, optimized content, and personalized experiences that you would find on B2C platforms.
Analysts at Forrester project a promising future for the B2B e-commerce landscape. As this market quickly grows, businesses that fail to adapt to user needs will quickly find themselves behind their competition. Key growth indicators suggest that the B2B market will expand dramatically by 2023:
- US B2B e-commerce is expected to reach $1.8 trillion
- 17% of all B2B sales will be done through e-commerce
- 10% annual growth rate over the next 5 years
Why Magento Is the Ideal Platform for B2B E-commerce
Magento is an e-commerce solution built primarily with the widely used programming language PHP and released under an Open Source License. By remaining open source and using a commonly known language like PHP, Magento holds significant advantages over its competitors.
Magento is incredibly malleable, and the platform can be adapted to provide virtually unlimited e-commerce solutions. Open source tools also mean that e-commerce websites built with Magento guarantee exceptional performance and enhanced security for developers and merchants.
Because Magento is open source, it offers a scalable solution that is affordable and dependable.
Magento Easily Integrates with Third Party Solutions
Magento alleviates the pain of having to work with your existing business solutions by offering a large number of integrations. You can find commonly used integrations below:
- Automated Marketing: Oracle Marketing Cloud, Out of Stock Notification and Advanced Customer Segments by Amasty, The Feedback Company by Magmodules, Sold Together by Templates Master, and Predictive Replenishment Automator by Windsor Circle
- Email Marketing: SendGrid, TriggMine, Abandoned Cart Email by Magewares, Remarkety, MailChimp, and Wishlist Notification by Mates Marketing
- SEO/SEM: Rich Snippets by WeltPixel, XML Google Sitemap, Blog by Pixlogix, Google Tag Manager Pro, and SEO Friendly Images by Zymion
- CRM: Zoho CRM, HubSpot, Salesforce CRM, OroCRM, and SugarCRM
- Accounting and Finance: AvaTax, Connect Xero, Avalara Sales Tax Automation, and VAT Exempt by OSC Professionals
- Shipping and Fulfillment: Shipwire, Order Delivery Date by BssCommerce, Stitch Labs, Shipping Matrix Rates by Mageside, and UPS/USPS Address Validation by IWD Agency
- Payments and Security: Authorize.net, Stripe, PayPlug, FraudLabs Pro, Sage, Amazon Pay, and McAfee SECURE
- Customer Support: Zendesk Chat, Olark Live Chat, LiveAgent, FAQ by MagePrince, JivoChat, Facebook Live Chat, and Advanced FAQs by M-Connect Solutions
- B2B Credit: Apruve
B2B Customizations Available in Magento
As mentioned previously, because Magento is open source, developers at Blue Stingray can tailor the software specifically to your client’s needs. B2B customer portals often require unique features that are not common to B2C e-commerce sites.
Magento allows you to create portals with user-specific permissions that can be managed at a corporate level. This allows you to set users with different buyer levels and create payments on credit systems. You can also create an upload option so users can upload a SKU list for ordering, offer real-time inventory management to show live inventory across multiple locations, route orders to the best fulfillment center based on customer location, and build custom integrations into ERP and CRM systems via API.
Magento Offers Flexible E-commerce Solutions in the B2B Space
The customization options available through Magento are endless. If you have specific needs for your system, Magento allows developers to create unique features to achieve your goals. This flexibility, coupled with the enhanced performance and security of an open source platform, make Magento a powerhouse in the B2B e-commerce landscape.
With the quickly growing B2B e-commerce market, it is obvious that businesses must move into this industry if they want to keep up with the competition. When making the transition to this promising market, Magento is the frontrunner. It is the solution that can handle it all.
To learn more about how this platform can revolutionize your B2B sales, contact us for a free demo and consultation.