8 Key Magento B2B E-commerce Features

B2B transactions can involve large and complex ordering processes necessitating robust front and back-end systems. Here are some of the inherent capabilities an e-commerce system built on the Magento (typically their enterprise edition) platform can provide that specifically aide in operating a multi-faceted B2B business.

Fast Ordering Process
Convenient features where buyers can directly enter product SKUs, use requisition lists, or copy a previous order for a fast checkout. This benefits customers who already know what they want; allowing them to bypass the product browsing step in order to quickly place an order of the products they desire. Benefits include accelerating the purchase process, facilitating rapid reorders for common purchases, and driving recurring revenue with fast, frictionless ordering.

Request a Quote System
Bulk orders are common in B2B so an advanced e-commerce system with a streamlined workflow can attract buyers requesting a quote. The process involves adding items to the shopping cart, followed by negotiating a quote, and eventually having credit reimbursed once payment is made. The website admin have a quote management panel that provide access to Quote Details, Historical logs, communication data, Quote Negotiations. A Merchant can offer price changes and shipping offers, and set expiration dates for quotes.

Personalized Customer Experience

Magento enables offering different buying experiences based on a customer’s size or industry to tailor experiences based on browsing behavior (products viewed or added to cart) or purchase history (spend and product quantity).

a) Custom Shared Catalogs

Magento allows you to create multiple catalogs and share them among different companies in your system. So the public catalog and what each B2B customer is able to view upon login could be different and highly customised exposing some catalogs to only some customers.

b) Customizable Pricing

Magento 2 has several pricing options in Magento 2 to help serve your business customers. Group pricing allows you to offer promo prices for selected customers. Tiered pricing makes it possible to offer a certain price to a customer group based on the quantity that is being purchased. Dynamic prices involve reflecting pre-configured business rules and negotiated contract pricing terms.

c) Content Staging
Magento’s content staging feature can help create dynamic pages for industries that are cyclical seasonally allowing for product displays, category selections, and prices to change according to a predetermined schedule.

d) Rule-Based Product Relations
Inherent product relationship rules in Magento allow creating of links between products in order to standardize targeted product merchandising, including if for just a specific period. Rules features exist to determine the order in which the products appear on the page, and decide which products are presented as related products for upselling and cross-selling opportunities

Multiple Brand Offerings
B2B firms may offer multiple brands through channel partners and specific to key accounts. while offering a consistent brand experience for each brand.

Magento allows you to create ‘separate Stores’ , websites and Store Views creating different branding experiences for each view if needed. This means you can have a separate B2B website, or B2B store within your website, and manage this offering from the same place as B2C sales. Additionally, the store view allows for multiple language options, making it easier to offer your B2B products to an international audience. You can also accept multiple types of currencies.

Advanced User Account Management Support

Magento offers a refined user management system for corporate accounts allowing companies to segment by teams, divisions, or regions. Each company (and buyer) can have their own set of roles and permissions into the system (such as for designating who can issue order approvals). New self-service tools allow corporate accounts with multiple buyers and layered organizational structures to interface with the system as per their allocated access.

Lines of Credit
B2B e-commerce often involves purchases financed on credit. Magento can store all payment and purchase transactions, and enable credit allowances to credible buyers. Magento B2B payment options included purchase orders, invoice me, and sophisticated authentications for various options – purchase order limits, good credit standing, etc. Also payment options can be set up separately for B2B and B2C customers when both exist on the same Magento installation.

Co-existence of B2C and B2B

Magento has the capacity to host both B2C and B2B on the same installation, with different pricing, catalogs, payment options to be made available on each site with ease.

ERP & Back Office Integrations
Magento has a plethora of back office ERP connections to major companies like Netsuite, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, Epicor, and many other ERP systems.

- David Alpern & Sheila John | 

Filed under: <E-commerce>