B2B ecommerce is something of a revelation in our industry, 10-15 years ago it didn’t even exist outside the likes of Alibaba. Today, it’s a fast-evolving market that’s estimated to be worth around £236 billion in the UK alone by 2025 (Statista).
B2B ecommerce allows businesses to extend their market reach beyond geographical boundaries. With an online presence, companies can connect with potential customers worldwide, breaking down traditional barriers and opening doors to new business opportunities.
If you’re an ecommerce business that’s operating within the B2B market, it’s more important than ever to have a robust strategy and technology in place to meet the growing demands of B2B buyers and seize new business opportunities.
Adobe Commerce is the platform we recommend as an agency for any business operating in the B2B market. Our highly skilled London-based team takes the most daunting and complex Magento/Adobe Commerce projects in their stride for our B2B clients. Whether you need to start from scratch, have a website needing rescue or are looking for ongoing consultancy and support - our forte is to unlock neat solutions to knotty problems.
In this blog, we’re going to run through six of the key features of Adobe’s solution that make it a powerful solution for B2B ecommerce. From advanced catalog management to personalised pricing and seamless integration, learn how Adobe Commerce can transform your B2B online store and drive success:
1. Company accounts
Unlike B2C, B2B ecommerce sites require more complex company account profiles. Company accounts form the basis of all quotes and/or orders from your customers and it is the fundamental functionality you must get right as a B2B business trading online. Company accounts enable multiple buyers under that account to request quotes, submit orders and review payment information.
Adobe Commerce offers excellent functionality surrounding the set-up of company accounts, offering your customers a simple and seamless experience for what can actually be a complex purchasing journey behind-the -scenes. Some of the advantages of company accounts within Adobe Commerce are:
Offers unlimited company users and the creation of additional accounts, which simplifies corporate purchases.
Includes support for a smart company account hierarchy with different roles and permissions for placing orders.
Provides a mechanism for merchants to increase income by offering company store credit as a payment method.
Supports the management of all company accounts in the Admin.
For more information, visit Company Accounts.
2. Negotiable Quotes
Another unique function within B2B ecommerce is the ability for customers (businesses) to negotiate quotes. Often in B2B purchasing, there is price negotiation that takes place between the buyer and seller. Adobe Commerce offers a solution to this challenge by enabling authorised buyers to initiate quotes with your business from their shopping cart online. This can also happen in reverse, where you as a business can initiate the quote through admin controls. You can then use the quote functionality on site to manage the negotiation process–such as adding items, updating quantities, requesting and applying discounts—until you reach an agreement with your customer. The Quotes grid in the Admin lists each quote received, and maintains a history of the communication between buyer and seller.
For more information, visit Negotiable Quotes.
3. Shared catalogues
It’s not always a ‘one size fits all’ approach in B2B ecommerce, and this analogy can also apply to your pricing structure. Often, B2B businesses need to be able to set custom pricing structures in place according to the business they’re selling to. For example, a business ordering in larger quantities will require a different pricing structure to that of a business purchasing small order quantities. The Adobe Commerce feature ‘shared catalogues’ allows you to do just that, giving you the ability to maintain gated shared catalogues with custom pricing for different companies. In addition to the standard, primary, product catalogue, it provides customer access to two types of shared catalogue with different pricing structures.
For more information, visit Working with Shared Catalogs.
4. Quick Order
One commonality with B2C in B2B is returning, loyal customers. Influencer Marketing Hub predicts that more B2B businesses are going to be focusing on increasing their revenue through existing customers. The quick order functionality that Adobe Commerce offers is one sure way to contribute to this. Quick order simplifies the order process for returning customers, reducing their order process to a few clicks. Think Amazon’s one click functionality for B2B. Once the customer (business) is logged in on their company account, they are able to quickly search for the product name or SKU of the products they want to order and complete the purchase of these online in a few simple steps, rather than having to go through the entire purchasing journey again. When enables, the order feature can also be displayed to your customers in their company account in the top navigation.
For more information, see Quick Orders.
5. Purchase order approvals
B2B billing can often be more complex than B2C, with businesses requiring purchase orders (PO’s) for accounting purposes for the vast majority of purchases made through the business.
Adobe Commerce has a Purchase Order Approval solution that when activated on company accounts, allows all orders made by the company to automatically create PO’s against them. Customers with authorised permission dictated by the company on the company account are able to create, edit and delete PO’s.
For more information, see Purchase Orders for Companies.
6. Requisition lists
Comparable to that of the B2C ‘wish list’ is B2B’s answer which is a ‘requisition list’. Customers (businesses) can use requisition list to save time when purchasing frequently ordered products because they can add items to the shopping cart directly from the list. They can maintain multiple lists that focus on products from different vendors, buyers, teams, campaigns, or anything else that streamlines their workflow.
For more information, see Requisition Lists.
B2B ecommerce plays a crucial role in enhancing efficiency, expanding market reach, improving customer experiences, driving sales, and providing valuable data insights. Embracing B2B ecommerce empowers businesses to adapt to changing buyer preferences, stay competitive, and unlock new growth opportunities in the digital era. So why not make sure you’re using the right platform?
If you’d like to browse a great example of a B2B case study we’ve developed on the Adobe Commerce platform, check out what we did for FixFast.
Get in touch if you have any questions surrounding how we can support your B2B business online.