August 27, 2015

Getting MORE Out
of Magento B2B

Author Stalin Cruz
Category Blog |
Magento is successfully used by more than 240,000 merchants globally across B2C and B2B segments. And the recent announcement of Magento B2B program is bound to bring smiles on a number of B2B merchants’ faces. The program is a sign of the continued investment that Magento will bring to the world of B2B eCommerce – a space dominated mostly by players from the world of B2C.

Magento is already a leader in the world of B2B with more than 30% of its enterprise clients using the platform for their B2B requirements. What makes Magento unique is its ability to give Distributors and Manufacturers the flexibility to customize the platform to match their unique requirements while giving their customers the convenience of a B2C eCommerce platform.

While features like account management, quick order, inventory tracking, customer groups, pricing terms, and responsive design, etc. make Magento popular, its adoption and the B2B customer experience can further be enhanced by adding a few critical features, used very commonly across the B2B industry, like
National Accounts
In a B2B scenario, it is very common to have multiple customers from the same company with varying permissions – like products they can order, the order size, etc. Also, more often than not, a custom order approval workflow process accompanies every order placed by these individual customers. But, Magento by default was not designed to handle situations like these and requires an add-on to provide this functionality.

Sales Person Module
Despite the increasing popularity of eCommerce stores, the role of on-field sales representatives in the success of a B2B organization cannot be undermined. A number of B2B organizations in fact, adopt eCommerce stores not to replace but to support their on-field sales representatives – access product, inventory, customer and order information, create or update orders on behalf of customers, and more. For this, your eCommerce store must also act as a sales portal for your sales representatives.

Also Read – SalesPerson Module for Magento.

Advanced Quotation
B2B businesses operate in a complex environment dealing with a large number of distributors and suppliers. A sales order is materialized after it goes through a series of processes – proposal, quote, and negotiation. Hence, ability to create, modify and approve quotes online is a must in a B2B eCommerce cart for any B2B business to even consider adopting it.

See how i95Dev’s Sales Quote Module for Magento enables Magento to support the complete quotation process. With ability to create, modify and approve sales quotation online sales representatives can quickly negotiate and convert quotes into orders; a process which would have taken days earlier can now be quickly completed in a few hours.

Frequent & Saved Orders
B2B customers are aware of what they want (they often repeat previous orders or order from a saved cart or list) and require functionality to simplify the order placement process. Hence, B2B eCommerce cart must not only allow customers to save carts or list to use in future for order placement but also make it convenient for them to repeat one of their earlier orders.

Net Terms & Bill Pay
Credit purchases, payment terms and bill payment are at the core of all B2B transactions – different from B2C transactions where the prices are often fixed and payments settled immediately (with exceptions like cash on delivery). A B2B eCommerce store must support these for successful adoption; businesses cannot expect their customers to buy online and go through the lengthy paper-based payment process. The eCommerce store must allow customers to purchase on credit and agreed payment terms and pay invoices when the time comes.

Read about i95Dev’s Bill Pay Module to understand how it can help your customers pay their pending invoices from the convenience of the Magento eCommerce store.

ERP Integration
ERP Integration is another critical requirement that a B2B eCommerce cart must fulfill. B2B organizations are heavily dependent on their ERP system and without eCommerce and ERP Integration the eCommerce cart would be of very little use. With eCommerce and ERP integration, businesses can create custom workflows, automate information sync, streamline order fulfillment process and improve customer experience.

How i95Dev can help?
i95Dev specializes in Magento eCommerce development and Magento and ERP integration. We have worked with a lot of B2B customers and developed a number of B2B modules which not only extend Magento, converting it into a true B2B platform, but also sync the related information back to the ERP systems.

Also, read how i95Dev’s solution has put Lone Star Distribution on the fast track road to success.

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