Using Magento as B2B e-commerce platform

Using Magento as B2B e-commerce platform

Magento is one of the fastest growing open-source solutions on the web, and is fast becoming the industry standard in e-commerce websites. Over 100,000 online stores worldwide utilise Magento as their e-commerce platform, taking advantage of the years of development and the extensive customisation library that is now available.

Magento as a B2B Platform

Business-to-Business (B2B) e-commerce operators have a specific set of requirements to make a web-shop work for their business and these requirements usually go beyond the scope of the standard out-of-the-box Magento solution. However, with the vast array of extensions available for Magento, it becomes easier to tailor Magento into a B2B platform. Below are some of the issues facing B2B e-commerce operators and how Magento can overcome them.

  • Customer Specific Pricing

Many businesses will offer specific discounts to their biggest customers, as well as tiered pricing levels based around quantity ordered. Out of the box Magento offers custom pricing per customer, as well as a several available extensions that replicate this functionality.

  • Hidden Pricing

Along with custom pricing, a requirement of many B2B businesses will be to hide prices for those without an approved account. With a bit of custom coding or using an extension like Not2Order, not only can pricing be hidden, but orders can be disabled for un-approved accounts.

  • Account Activation

[/list]Using the Magento’s Customer Activation extension, customer registration applications will need to be manually approved by an admin before they can place orders – a sometimes critical step for B2B sellers who need to confirm customer credentials before committing to potentially large orders.
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  • Business Payment Options

Many businesses will operate on orders placed with Purchase Order Numbers or Credit limits, rather than credit card payment gateways such as SagePay or Paypal. When paired with admin approved accounts, extensions such as Mavensoft’s Credit Limit allow businesses to match their e-commerce orders to their standard businesses payment processes.

  • ERP Integration

Existing B2B sellers may already have a larger IT solution, such as SAP Business One managing their business processes, such as orders, accounts, items and inventory. Magento has integrated API support, both SOAPv2 and REST, letting developers hook into Magento and set up integrated data flow between both systems. While not an out-of-the-box solution, Magento’s existing infrastructure makes this type of ERP integration an easier task than other e-commerce platforms.

Summary

By default, Magento might not have all the tools available to suit a B2B seller’s needs, however there are several options for overcome these few drawbacks, and make Magento one of the top choices as a business-to-business e-commerce solution.

Free Discovery Session

Culex offer a full discovery session to your business at no charge and with no obligation, during which we will discuss your current business systems and their pain points in detail, and explore the areas where we can help, including a demonstration of SAP Business One and Magento. To arrange, contact us on 0800 0199 420, or complete our contact form.

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