Your current B2B eCommerce platform sucks. It’s not an accusation. It’s a fact.
And that’s because lots of “B2B eCommerce platforms” out there just don’t offer a fully-integrated, fast, and effective B2B shopping experience. Instead, they’re built to B2C standards – and are just adapted to B2B customers with a few simple tweaks.
This results in a user experience that’s… lacking, to say the least. This is one of the reasons that many B2B business owners think that B2B eCommerce is a bad investment – they’ve only ever used slow, poorly-featured, and shoddy B2B eCommerce platforms.
What are the biggest issues with these platforms? In this blog from 121eCommerce, we’ll break down just a few of them. Read on, and learn why your current B2B eCommerce platform sucks – and what you can do about it.
Speed kills. Or, rather, lack of speed kills conversion rates.
B2B buyers are busy, and they don’t have time to mess around on a website that loads slowly and offers poor overall performance. 47% of people expect your website to load in 2 seconds or less – and a 1-second delay in loading time reduces conversions by 7%, results in 11% fewer page views, and causes a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.
The longer your pages take to load, the less effective your B2B eCommerce website will be. That’s why you need to choose a modern solution like Magento Commerce.
Magento Commerce offers extreme performance thanks to its modern design and powerful cloud backend, as well as a CDN (Content Delivery Network) that helps optimize loading times throughout the world.
If a B2B buyer knows what they want, chances are they’re going to skip browsing your eCommerce store and they’re going to just enter it into the search bar. So they enter the product SKU and then… nothing.
Guess what? If your search is broken, chances are the buyer is going to leave your store, and they won’t come back – especially if you have a lot of items in your store’s catalog.
Again, Magento Commerce can help with this. Using Elasticsearch and other search APIs, Magento Commerce provides an unbeatable search experience for both B2B and B2C customers. You also have a wide variety of filtering and customization options that helps ensure a great overall user experience.
Ordering by SKU is usually the fastest way for B2B buyers to re-order products they buy a lot. For example, if you run an auto parts store and a buyer buys 1,000 brake pads per month, chances are they’ll want to order them by SKU – rather than looking around on your website and adding them to their shopping cart manually.
But lots of eCommerce platforms – especially those with a B2C focus – either don’t offer SKU ordering at all, or have poor support for ordering by SKU. This is not the case with Magento Commerce, though – it supports a streamlined, simple order-by-SKU experience to provide a better overall user experience.
This is a unique challenge that doesn’t usually face B2C merchants, who typically offer the same pricing to all customers. But in B2B companies, controlling pricing on a per-customer basis is important.
For example, you may provide a customer who orders a large volume of items with a 5% discount on certain products, but you wouldn’t want other customers to see this discount when they’re shopping.
You won’t find this feature in most eCommerce platforms – and even in some B2B-focused eCommerce platforms, implementation is clumsy at best.
Magento Commerce has the solution, though – offering shared catalogs with prices that are adjustable for each company. Best of all, this doesn’t require you to duplicate any items or catalogs. It’s totally simple to set up.
Some more bare-bones B2B eCommerce platforms don’t offer B2B customers the ability to perform basic self-service tasks, such as checking on their credit limits, looking at their order status, or searching for shipping information for a particular order.
If your B2B eCommerce platform doesn’t offer these features, that’s a problem – your customers will have to contact your sales or service team every time they have an inquiry or need more information about an order. That leads to a lot of wasted time and effort.
What’s the solution? If you guess Magento Commerce, you’d be right! Seeing a pattern here? Magento Commerce offers a wide variety of self-service features that allow B2B buyers to check credit limits, order status, shipping, and even assign new roles and create new buyers and users – all without your help. This makes managing orders a breeze for B2B buyers.
B2B transactions are often done using bank transfers or other terms like Net 30 terms, which are rarely – if ever – used for B2C transactions. Because of this, lots of eCommerce platforms based on B2C architectures don’t have robust support for these payment methods.
Magento Commerce supports a wide variety of payment options including net terms, bank transfers, checks, credit cards and more. Using its payment gateway, you can let your B2B buyers pay however they want.
In lots of cases, “B2B eCommerce platforms” aren’t B2B platforms at all – rather, they’re a mixed bag of ill-fitting, third-party apps and extensions pasted over a B2C platform.
That’s why B2B features often feel like afterthoughts on other platforms. Lots of times, they are! The user experience is not designed around B2B users at all. Even when there are B2B-specific features, they usually fall short of the mark.
In contrast, the suite of B2B features in Magento Commerce is not an afterthought – but a core component of its design. That’s why it offers more B2B features than just about any other eCommerce platform – and that’s why these features actually work the way they’re supposed to!
This is a problem that’s more unique to companies that run both B2B and B2C sites, but it still bears mentioning. The last thing you want is to invest in a B2B eCommerce platform that uses a totally different backend than your B2C site.
This is particularly true if you share inventory, catalogs, and other information between both platforms. You’ll end up doing twice the work – once for B2C products, and once for B2B products. That’s undesirable for obvious reasons.
Magento Commerce lest you run your B2B and B2C sites on the same administrative backend – simplifying administration and reducing the overall complexity of your eCommerce implementation.
Whether you’re looking to migrate to a new B2B eCommerce platform or launch a brand-new B2B site, Magento Commerce is the best option. It’s full of native B2B eCommerce features that make it easy for you to sell to buyers – and it addresses every single problem we’ve discussed in this article.
Interested? We thought so. To explore the possibilities offered by Magento Commerce and its B2B-specific features, you can contact 121eCommerce for a consultation. As experts in both Magento and B2B eCommerce, we can help you explore the possibilities in more detail – and show you how Magento can help you build a better business.