A Quick Guide to B2B Ecommerce with Magento
Ecommerce offers a universal platform to support various business transactions all over the globe and it refers to the exchange of business information by using e-mails, electronic fund transfer, electronic data exchange and other network based technologies. B2B e-commerce is not a new concept and it started since internet first connected business in the form of EDI. Today, it is a methodology of modern business that addresses the requirements of business organizations, customers and vendors to improve the quality of services and reduce costing while simultaneously increasing the speed of delivery.
The B2B customers often have different needs and they have a different mindset and buying modes than the B2C customers. The B2B ecommerce sales are expected to reach $12 trillion globally by the year 2020 and selling channels are highly influenced, but the combination of increasing buyer expectations and ubiquitous digital technologies have made a rapid shift towards digital B2B commerce.
How to Start Your B2B eCommerce Business?
For any business owner willing to develop a B2B ecommerce, it is important to follow a process that is recommended below:
Take time for research: Once you have made up your mind to invest in B2B ecommerce, it is very important to take some time for robust research before you begin as some important discovery will pay dividends later on.
Resource planning: While developing the strategy, alignment, stakeholder of your ecommerce website in the Magento development platform, remember that you also need to plan resources and this includes how you can leverage internal resources, outsourcing and who will lead the project and plan this effort.
Understanding that the website touches varied aspects: It is important to understand that your website touches various aspects of your organization that includes Customer Service, Sales/ Marketing, Accounting and Information Technology. Once you start to put the strategy of your website together, understand how the site can reach every corner of your organization.
Platform selection: Another most important thing is to decide about the platform that you want to build the website on. Together with the development of the website and the digital strategy, you may have to do some research work to choose the best platform for your ecommerce site. With numerous platforms available in the marketplace and each having their own features and functionalities, choosing the right one is imperative.
“Questions you should ask before starting a B2B Magento store”
What are the objectives of your company for the e-commerce store?
Identifying the business needs is crucial to select the platform and the deployment method that are right for you. Prepare a business case for your ecommerce site, consider the revenue model, conversion rate, customer life and average order so as to set your ROI expectations. Define the use cases that are tailored to the B2B purchase environment and ensure that you define the user interface to suit that. Identify key elements in the present sales process and make sure you have features that address the workflow requirements in the purchase process.
How suitable is your chosen platform for B2B commerce?
Magento is an open source platform that has attained a positive reputation among the B2B users and Magento development also offers unique features to cater to varied B2B users like the bulk order management and the inventory tracking across multiple warehouse locations. But check the platform thoroughly so that it meets all your business needs without any hassles
Is the platform for your B2B ecommerce customizable?
Most of the platforms for ecommerce stores have standard features that usually do not allow a very high level of customization. Once your business requirements are clearly defined, you can choose a platform that offers immense flexibility to customize features to suit your processes and workflows. Magento allows a lot of flexibility and it is suitable for B2B projects.
Starting a B2B ecommerce business many be a daunting task. But there are certain factors that you should consider like your requirements, technology or platform chosen, support services and adoption challenges and etc. Getting to use the best practices and the strategy right will help in smooth transition.