B2B customers now expect the same ease of use, flexibility, convenience and service they enjoy as consumers when buying online – which is why almost half of B2B buyers (49%) prefer to use consumer websites to make work-related purchases.
- 52% of B2B buyers say they expect half of their purchases to be made online by 2018.
- 78% of B2B customers (and 83% of consumers) say fulfilment options – such as next-day delivery – are important or very important.
- When asked about their technology priorities, the following e-commerce features came out top: enhanced search functionality (48%), improved personalisation and service recommendations (42%), and mobile website access (39%).
(Source: The Future of Commerce)
B2B buyer preferences are changing.
B2B buyer preferences are changing. They want both self-service and full-service purchasing options. B2B customers want to make purchases 24x7, track orders, view order history and manage their credit without having to talk to a sales rep. However, when they do want to talk to a sales person, reps need capabilities at their fingertips that allow them to deliver high-end service including creating quotes and orders, recommending products and trouble shooting issues with orders started online.
Magento has made significant investments in B2B functionality in recent years and was named a leader in B2B commerce in the Forrester Wave: V2B Commerce Suites for Midsize Organisations, Q3 2017. The well know research firm cited the Magento platform, an all-in-one cloud solution with a full set of B2B and B2C functionality, as the “best fit for mid-sized B2B companies that want an open, feature rich solution that can be extended easily and inexpensively”.
Magento is packed with B2B features that drive growth. Please find below an overview of the features and functions available in Magento to make the most of the opportunities presented in the market today for B2B omni-channel eCommerce.
Engage customers across multiple devices
Business buyers are consumers too. You can create engaging mobile optimised experiences to empower your customers and sales staff to place orders on any device, at any time.
Allow customers to manage their own accounts
Magento Commerce allows customers to request and manage their own company accounts. Customers can set roles and permissions within their account with multiple levels of buyers.
Allow B2B merchants to categorise and organise accounts
B2B merchants have access to extended features to better categorise and organise their customer information including the power to export customer lists and the ability to designate sales reps to selected accounts.
Improve buyer relations
Magento Commerce supports customer quoting and price negotiations with a streamlined request for quote workflow that can be entirely managed within Magento or via external systems using APIs. Magento’s advanced workflow helps improve quote responsiveness and ultimately leads to higher conversion rates.
B2B customers can request quotes directly from their shopping baskets, including supporting comments and documentation if desired. They can also track their status once issued.
On the merchant’s end, quote requests can be easily monitored and customised through a quote management panel where quote details, history and communications data are all recorded to assist negotiations. Quote expiration dates can also be set to encourage customer action.
Magento comes with powerful tools for merchandising, content management and promotional campaigns.
With Magento B2B merchants can create custom catalogues and make personalised product recommendations for different customer groups. In addition, they can create custom price lists for individual companies or groups of customers.
“Magento’s advanced workflow helps improve quote responsiveness and ultimately leads to higher conversion rates.”
Improve shipping options
Merchants can improve service and reduce overall shipping related costs by automating their primary shipping processes. Magento Shipping includes management tools to organise the loading and dispatching of store products from anywhere, and the ability to apply unique product allocation rules per each shipping location.
Customise payment options
Payment options can be customised for each customer to support payments on account, credit cards, etc. for maximised sales and convenience.
Magento merchants can configure their store’s credit options to manage the purchasing conditions for their B2B customers, therefore reducing the need for their customers to call for support. Minimum and maximum order limits, and credit restrictions for chosen countries are amount some these adjustable credit payment settings.
Furthermore, Magento merchants will be able to monitor customer credit data and specify limits between those individual accounts. This means trusted buyers can exceed the credit limit for purchases compared to other less familiar customer accounts. Customers will also be able to track the status of their personal credit information.
“Magento is packed with B2B features that drive growth”.
Access easy to use business intelligence tools for greater insight
Magento Business Intelligence provides a complete commerce analytics platform to make it easy for non-analysts to gain valuable insights from their data such as what their customer lifetime value is across different segments. Magento BI includes the following:-
- A simple, easy to use UI with drag and drop metrics, one click filterning and an easy chart builder.
- Easy collaboration on reporting.
- Email segmentation capabilities.
- Marketing ROI reports.
Drive recurring revenue
With Magento you can improve operations with a single solution for managing orders from all sales channels.
B2B customers can place orders by entering one or more SKUs at a time. Once input, Magento will automatically validate the SKU and notify customers whether that inventory is available. Customers can also upload CSV files to quickly complete their orders or choose items from pre-set requisition lists.
On the other side, merchants can assist customers by creating requisition lists for the products that are purchased most often. These can be later assigned to selected customers to streamline orders.
Integrate your website with your back office
Provide customers with accurate, real-time inventory from across your supply chain and use automated business rules to optimize your fulfillment costs and delivery times.
Magento comes with extensive APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and off the shelf extensions that allow B2B merchants to integrate with any Enterprise Resource Planning, Customer Relationship Management, Product Information Management, Accounting Suite, etc. In order to sell effectively online, customer expect to see real-time inventory, pricing and shipping information.
Magento Commerce has all the features and functions that you could want to capitalise on the current B2B eCommerce digital transformation.
In addition, Screen Pages has extensive experience of implementing both B2B and B2C omnichannel ecommerce solutions for merchants on Magento.
For a list of case studies and references, please go to https://www.screenpages.com/about/our-clients under the B2B section.
Call us today on +44 (0)1932 359160 to find out how we can help you.