Not very long ago, when solicited for advice on how Magento fares in B2B, Magento evangelists and enthusiasts expressed uncomfortableness in their responses. It indicated that Magento was not a true solution for B2B problems as B2B had a different workflow where Magento had less foothold. But, that is not the same as saying that Magento was incapable to handle B2B requirements, rather Magento was not designed for it, in the first place. Traditionally Magento is B2C aligned and literally owns the B2C space. But remember that unless worthy of a mention, a B2C e-commerce platform like Magento, should not be doing the rounds in B2B talks.
B2B businesses are expecting 21 to 40% of the sales from e-commercialization alone, which is sizeable.
B2B merchants have taken to e-commerce of late and in the process have experienced 52% reduction in indirect costs.
Studies have revealed that B2Bs moving online brings along the regular benefits besides an average of 44% hike in orders as well as increased spending by its customers.
Customers experienced opportunity and efficiency in doing business compared to the traditional offline mode fueling unprecedented loyalty.
86% of the B2B merchants are now online to sell and reach out to new markets and customers.
Stats tells us that 2 out of 3 B2B businesses are already online and sees revenue growth to the tune of 34%.
Being online is just a small step but to reap the benefits requires a big leap in terms of investment. B2B businesses experience a lot of hurdles in completing the e-commerce success story. 47% of B2B businesses face issues in integrating e-commerce with their existing sales process, while a whopping 62% do not know which technology to adopt. And a 52% of the lot faces problems in developing the right business model.
Those B2B businesses who are already e-commercialized consider making their sites SEO friendly.
For effective B2B e-commercialization 59% of businesses will need assistance in implementation, 55% in management of the systems and 48% in strategization.
42% of B2B businesses are readying their sites for mobile.
B2B mobile use is expected to hit 26% by 2016. This is a 13 times increase. And 78% of B2B businesses has already embarked on selling via mobile.
Magento’s widespread acceptance translates to about 26% of the e-commerce market. This is a huge number that installs some confidence among the B2B folks of Magento’s capabilities. In its B2C skin Magento may not be the right fit however by virtue of its flexibility, segmentation options and unique catalogs, Magento announces its B2B readiness.
The vital part of the setting up is content and catalogue, this is done via cPanel.
Discreet access to prices on the website is managed through the private sale functionality where logging-in is made mandatory.
The checkout stage is used to record and verify VAT. Again, if necessary, a purchase order can be generated at the time of checking out.
A number of Magento extensions are available to establish pricing plans. You can configure price rules for specific customer groups and individual customers. Similarly price variations can be set for bulk purchases or frequency of purchases.
Cross-border sales is a not a problem because Magento has enough tools and extensions that enables transactions in multiple currencies and languages.
Magento comes with all the means for coherent integration with your ERP systems. This is made possible by an API, Magento connector or simply by transfer of data. At a first glance its not as easy it may sound primarily because of the huge amount of data that is involved. Integrations of this nature normally takes the form of projects that aims at understanding the associated workflows that finally culminates in the successful delivery of the project.
Magento’s content management side kicks in when it comes to managing your site’s content. You can incorporate contents of all formats and sizes into your Magento B2B site. Magento’s blogging platform can also be linked to the site. With this your customers are presented with a whole bunch of information that serves them in various ways. Some analytics extensions for Magento from Google enables e-commerce tracking for your Magento store/site.
B2B on mobiles is on the rise as expected. Magento has proven capability to excel on cross-platform and handheld devices with its responsive layouts/contents.
Your e-marketing efforts with a Magento powered site is very effective. Magento’s API aids integration of your e-commerce with email campaigns. The email campaigns are supported by extensions like Pure 360 and Maxemail among many others. These intelligent and personalized campaigns can be automated.
Arming your site with SEO capabilities is quite easy. Magento is supported by SEO extensions like SEO Blast, Advanced SEO suite, etc, that put your site at the top of the search results.
Magento is coming of age and Magento powered B2B stores can do as good as its B2C counterparts if not in the strictest sense. Magento has been able to fulfill nearly 70% of what a full-blown e-commerce site could. With further introduction of extensions and modules, Magento is set to become a serious B2B solution in the not so far future.