Using Your Existing Magento Platform for B2B Enterprise E-commerce
E-commerce Web Development

Using Your Existing Magento Platform for B2B Enterprise E-commerce

By Mainak Biswas October 30, 2014 - 651 views

No matter which business model you are into, it is utmost important to equally focus on the B2B (Business to Business) needs of your business while you run a retail e-commerce business; focusing solely on the normal B2C (Business to Customer) is not enough. Now, you must be wondering why. Here are the key reasons for your consideration and business success:

The first and foremost being B2B enterprise e-commerce always co-exists with B2C business. Almost every retail online portal necessitates having the presence of distributors, resellers, sales employees, wholesalers etc. for a continued business growth with sustainable revenue from these business stakeholders. After all, a considerable amount of revenue that gets generated from this channel can be used for boosting marketing campaigns and increasing sales for your B2C business.

It’s true that Magento, like any other SaaS or Open Source software, mainly supports B2C model; however, Magento is flexible enough to be attributed with a number of B2B features. This blog would take you through a detailed synopsis of which B2B features Magento can be configured with and which B2B features e-retailing often needs.

B2B features Magento can be configured with

Some small changes in the As Is Magento installation can provide you with almost all the B2B features required for your business. As nowadays, B2B portal needs are similar to the fundamental B2C business needs, it’s not too difficult to customize Magento with the following features that are mostly required by retailers, resellers etc. like you:

  • Discount details
  • Downloadable data sheets and manuals
  • Invoice and order history
  • Live customer help
  • Order and shipment details
  • Product details with multiple images
  • Product suggestion and wish list
  • Quick re-ordering
  • Video tutorials

B2B features your e-commerce portal might need

Though B2B business needs are widespread and even 25% of those requirements can hardly be predicted, but here are some of the most common B2B features that e-commerce businesses generally need:

  • Company Account:  If you are into e-commerce business, you would know that the basic difference between B2C and B2B modes of business is that in B2C mode, an e-commerce portal is browsed by consumers, whereas, in B2B mode, partner companies access an e-commerce website. Hence, if you fall within the latter category, your e-commerce business would necessitate having a company account with a list of contact persons who are authorized to place online orders against the name of his or her company.
  • Financial Data Management: If your business deals with bulk orders from companies, then your e-commerce business might need to disable or hide financial details from contact persons of those companies when they browse through your e-commerce website. This B2B feature in Magento would help you do that.
  • Payment Method Integration: B2B businesses depend on different payment modes than B2C businesses. B2C businesses mostly use payment gateways like Authorize.Net, PayPal etc., whereas, B2B e-commerce businesses prefers using conventional or offline payment modes like credit limit, purchase order etc. However, many companies nowadays think it to be wise to use both. If you are among those companies, you would surely need this B2B feature in Magento.

Now, Magento includes purchase order by default but to make it more B2B business friendly, it’s necessary to include such a feature that would allow contact persons to attach a PDF based purchase order if they like to. Moreover, credit limit that you can set for your partner companies at the onset of a financial year is something new for Magento. You can set this credit limit on the factors like order frequency, average order amount and payment status etc.

  • Automated Order Approval: You, as a B2B business owner, might require approving orders and hence, need to have a prearranged order approval process in place. However, it’s always good to have an automated order approval process for your business that would enable your Magento based e-commerce website to automatically approve orders based on some criteria like total order amount, quantity etc. However, to set such a criteria specific automatic order approval process, your e-commerce website needs to have a rule engine through which you would be able to set criteria against each organization account.
  • Organization Account Management: Sales employees who are mostly responsible for managing organization accounts associated with your B2B e-commerce business often require doing the following things:
    • Creating and updating organization accounts
    • Placing orders on end customer’s behalf
    • Checking order status and updating contact persons
    • Quickly finding out an organization account in Magento
    • Placing quotations in Magento

    Now, to make organization account management easier for your sales employees, it is important to feature your Magento based e-commerce website with this B2B module.

Other  key B2B features that you can achieve through Magento extensions

  • Company specific product catalog
  • Company specific product pricing
  • Quotation placing in Magento

B2B e-commerce requirements are very much business specific and unique for the organization. Through this blog post, we have tried to cover the most common features of B2B e-commerce model. Apart from the aforementioned B2B e-commerce features, there are many other features that Magento can be configured with.

Feel free to book a no obligation consultation session with our e-commerce specialists for more details related to B2B features in Magento.

FAQs :

  1. How can I use my existing Magento platform for B2B enterprise e-commerce? 

To use your existing Magento platform for B2B enterprise e-commerce, you need to customize the platform to meet the unique needs of B2B customers. This may involve adding features such as bulk ordering, account-based pricing, and multi-user support.

2. What are some of the benefits of using Magento for B2B enterprise e-commerce? 

Some benefits of using Magento for B2B enterprise e-commerce include its flexibility, scalability, and ability to handle large product catalogs. It also has a wide range of features and integrations that can help streamline your business processes.

  3. What are some of the challenges of using Magento for B2B enterprise e-commerce? 

Some challenges of using Magento for B2B enterprise e-commerce include the need for customization to meet the unique needs of B2B customers, as well as the cost and complexity of implementing and maintaining the platform.

  4. How can I ensure the security of my B2B enterprise e-commerce platform?

To ensure the security of your B2B enterprise e-commerce platform, you should implement strong password policies, use SSL encryption, and regularly update and patch your software. You should also work with a reputable hosting provider and consider using a web application firewall.

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