By Author admin

Magento 2 for Business to Business (B2B) Commerce – Features Overview

Magento Commerce includes everything you need to manage B2B Commerce sites for multiple brands, channel partners, or key accounts.

B2B buyers toady demand an easy, intuitive online buying and account management experience that’s so good it feels like B2C.

Magento 2 is packed with B2B features that drive growth:
1. Company accounts & self-service account management
2. Custom catalogs and price lists
3. Fast, friction-free purchasing
4. Streamlined request-for-quote workflow
5. APIs

We will cover each of these in detail below.

1. Company accounts & self-service account management 

 

Create company accounts for business customers

Magento Commerce includes company account functionality that empowers B2B companies to:​

  • Accept new account requests online
  • Designate a “Super User” to manage the account
  • Associate a sales rep to each account
  • Assign custom catalogs and price lists

You can see an example of the company account summary view in the Magento Merchant Admin below:

B2B companies will also have the power to:

  • Manage the company profile and status for their customers

  • Choose which payment options to offer customers, including offering them the ability to purchase on credit​
  • Control a company’s ability to place quotes or orders online​
  • Set up automated email notifications to customers regarding their account and transactions

Self-service account tools empower B2B customers

Magento Commerce empowers companies buying from B2B sites to manage their accounts and take control of their purchasing experience with easy to-use self service tools. Companies can easily go to their company account to:​

  • Add and remove buyers on their own
  • Drag-and-drop buyers into a hierarchy that matches their organisational structure.
  • Each buyer can track his or her own orders and quotes along with those created by his or her subordinates
  • Assign roles and permissions for each buyer
  • View credit balances, company info and their assigned sales rep

A B2B buyer’s “Super Admin” or someone with the appropriate permissions can also define roles and permissions to control how individual company buyers interact with the site. For example, they can choose whether or not an individual buyer can:​

  • View quotes or orders​
  • Place quotes or orders​
  • Use the Pay on Account method​
  • View or edit company profile information​
  • And view or manage roles and permissions​

Permission options can also be customised by Solution Partners​.

Extend Credit to companies – high-level settings

B2B companies commonly extend credit to attract customers, encourage increased spending, and build loyalty. Magento now includes support for payments on account so B2B companies can extend credit to their buyers online, in addition to supporting traditional B2C payment methods like credit cards and PayPal. ​

The Magento Admin includes high-level settings that allows B2B companies to:​

  • Enable or disable the Payment on Account method per website
  • ​Choose how the payment method is named on the frontend for buyers​
  • Control which countries are eligible to use Payment on Account​
  • AND set minimum and maximum order amounts for credit purchases

Extend credit to companies – account-level controls

At the company account level, there are additional credit settings where B2B companies can:​

  • Set the credit limit and currency for each company​
  • View credit transactions for the company and see the their credit limit, balance, and available credit​
  • Choose whether or not a company can exceed their credit limit with a purchase or if orders with insufficient credit should be held. This setting is highlighted in the screenshot.​

Manually reimburse the credit balance when payments are received.

Support credit and PO purchasing during checkout

When checking out, buyers eligible for Payment on Account can always see their available credit before placing an order.  ​​They also can enter a Purchase Order Number that will allow them to more easily track their purchase in their order history.​

Magento Commerce also offers B2B buyers self-service tools to manage their company credit line. They can quickly and easily view:​

  • Their credit limit, available credit, and outstanding balance​
  • They can see a list of transactions against their credit line – note that they can see the purchase order number associated with each purchase​
  • And, they can view whether a transaction or adjustment was made by a buyer in their company or the merchant​.
  • 2. Custom Catalogs and Price Lists

Magento enables B2B companies to create customised catalogs and price lists and assign them to individual companies or groups of companies. This allows B2B companies to honour the negotiated contracts they have with their customers when they shop online.​

The first step is to set up the catalog. As you can see in this screenshot, B2B companies can select which categories and products they want to include using the category tree and detailed product records. They can use filters and search to find specific products to include, and they can even duplicate existing catalogs as a fast way to get started.​

The products and categories included in the catalog control the buyer’s shopping experience on the site, including what products show up in search results, what appears in site navigation, and what they are eligible to purchase.

After B2B companies have selected the categories and products for a catalog, the next step is to define custom pricing. They can:​

  • Set prices for a single product or multiple products at once for greater efficiency​
  • Use fixed pricing where they specify a final product price or dynamic pricing to offer a percentage discount off a product’s base price​
  • Use tiered pricing to offer quantity discounts on products

Once a custom catalog has been created, a B2B company can assign that catalog to an individual company or multiple companies (for example, if they have a tiered pricing strategy). They can also create a default “public” catalog that can be displayed to site visitors who do not have an assigned catalog. This is a great way to ensure products are found by search engines and that you can display critical product information to prospective customers visiting your site for the first time.

Magento also ensures that changes to custom catalogs are efficiently processed, so that B2B company employees can stay productive when making updates.​

Changes to custom catalogs are processed in the background. This means that a B2B company employee can submit a bunch of catalog changes and then continue to work on other tasks in the Admin while the catalog is being updated, with no productivity slow-down. And, when the process is finished, they receive an alert in in the Admin Panel Notification Center.

3. Fast, Friction-free Purchasing

 

Magento’s quick order feature enables buyers to quickly add products to their carts by:​

  • Searching for a product name or SKU number​
  • Entering individual or multiple SKU numbers​

Or uploading CSV files with many SKUs​

Magento validates that the SKUs are in the assigned catalog and available in inventory, and displays product information (including a thumbnail picture and price) so the buyer can confirm the correct SKUs have been entered. ​

Then, all the buyer has to do is enter their desired quantity and hit “add to cart” to checkout or request a quote

Buyers can also create requisition lists. Requisition lists are like saved shopping lists containing frequently purchased products and quantities for fast and easy restocking.

 


Multiple lists can be created by each buyer to support different purchasing needs or projects.​ You can add these by:

  • Entering product SKUs
  • Copying previous orders
  • Selecting “Add to Requisition List” from product and category pages

Magento Commerce also makes reordering faster than ever before. In previous versions, buyers could only copy over cart items when reordering. With Magento Commerce 2.2 and later releases, they can re-order prior orders, carrying over:​

  • The line items and quantities​
  • Shipping and billing addresses​
  • Shipping methods ​

 

Payment methods​

The buyer can edit any of these options if needed, but saves considerable time by not having to re-enter or select this information.​ Magento also offers an assisted selling capability that allows B2B company sales or customer service reps to efficiently deliver high-touch service by:​

  • Creating orders on behalf of buyers
  •  Editing or troubleshooting existing orders
  • And making intelligent product recommendations based on insights they can access from the admin assisted selling screen

4. Streamlined Request for Quote Workflow​

 

Another significant new B2B capability in Magento Commerce 2.2 and later versions is support for quoting, which allows business buyers to ask for custom pricing for an order. ​

​We’ve built a robust workflow for handling quote requests so that they can be entirely managed through Magento or via APIs, from the initial request, through negotiations, to the final order. ​

Magento’s quoting functionality is powerful because it can be configured to meet individual B2B company needs. They can set rules for which buyers or orders (like all orders over $5000 in value) are eligible for quoting, and they can configure email templates used for quote communications to fit their unique process.​

There are also built-in safeguards to prevent conflicting updates to quotes as they are processed.​

Requesting a quote is easy for buyers. They can start a quote from the shopping cart by selecting the “Request a Quote” button or can start from previous quotes or orders. ​

When starting a quote, the buyer can include comments and attach documents to support their request.​

​Once submitted, the buyer can see the status of their quote and can correspond with the merchant as needed in the “My Quotes” management interface in their company account. ​

B2B companies can easily view and manage all of their quotes in the Magento Admin. For each quote they can:​

  • See the quote details and documents in an easy-to-scan format​
  • Set quote expiration dates (highlighted on screenshot) to drive action​
  • Add comments and attachments to address buyer questions​
  • Save drafts of proposals until they are ready to send – so they can, for example, work up a quote and then get internal approvals before sending it out.​Within the quote, B2B companies have a range of tools to help them negotiate with buyers to boost their bottom line. For example, they can see total cost data and can quickly calculate a percentage or dollar off discount, or a target final price that supports their margin goals. ​​They can also negotiate both product and shipping prices to meet customer demands and they can include comments with their quote to explain their proposals.​​The tools also lets them suggest additional SKUs to increase AOV or substitutions to handle out-of-stock situations.​​All updates to the quote, including communications with the buyer, are logged in the quote history tab for full insight into each proposal.​​Buyers can also manage all of their quotes and view quote details from their Company account. ​

    On the quote detail page, they can immediately see the quote status, items included in the quote, any comments, and the history log. ​

    Once a B2B company has sent a proposal to their quote request, the buyer can easily accept it and proceed to checkout.​


All this happens without the buyer ever having to call a sales rep, saving both parties considerable time.​

5. APIs

 

Nearly all B2B sites integrate with other IT systems, such as an ERP or PIM. The new B2B features in Magento Commerce 2.2 and later releases are fully supported by APIs to make this integration quick and cost effective.  The APIs are services which are also exposed as web APIs.  This makes it easy to customise behaviour via plugins.​

​REST APIs are available for each of the new features, including:​

  • Company accounts, users, and company structure​
  • Company credit limit and credit transactions​
  • Shared Catalog creation and company assignment​
  • The Quoting process and approval​
  • Requisition lists​

They’ve  also developed a new bulk Tier Price API that can be used to update large numbers of product prices quickly.​

And all of the new APIs use the same authentication methods and documentation as the existing core Magento 2 APIs you are familiar with, with documentation provided by Swagger.​

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acidgreen is a multi-award winning digital commerce agency specialising in Magento B2C and B2B solutions.  With over 19 years of industry experience, we know B2B commerce and understand what features your users will benefit from. Our qualified team of magento solution specialists and certified magento developers are here to create Magento B2B stores that provide the best user experience and provide outstanding ROI.

Give us a call today to learn more about our services.

By Author admin

Big news! Datasolution acquires acidgreen

We are thrilled to inform clients and partners that acidgreen has been acquired by leading international digital commerce agency, Datasolution.

Datasolution has more than 110 staff, 150 clients and offices around the globe in Paris, Lille, Nantes, Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Dublin, Hong Kong and New York.

With global expertise, Datasolution has successfully delivered complex, experience-driven commerce solutions across B2B and B2C for some of the world’s leading organisations.

“I am delighted to welcome acidgreen. This acquisition allows us to consolidate our international presence. The synergies between our companies will enable us to offer even more services to all our customers. Our ambition is to support our customers in their worldwide deployment. We now cover three regions: EMEA, Americas and finally APAC, thanks to acidgreen.” says Jean-Claude Nogues, CEO, Datasolution.

This acquisition takes the merged acidgreen/Datasolution team to over 180 staff making it one of the largest and most experienced digital commerce agencies in APAC.

Mike Larcher will remain as CEO and continue to lead and grow the acidgreen team in Australia, as well as assist with global expansion.

“This merger and acquisition is exceptional news for digital commerce in Australia and all current and future acidgreen clients. We can now offer more services and have even greater capacity and capabilities to deliver, support and optimise our client’s digital commerce stores. I look forward to continuing the growth and success of acidgreen in APAC.” Mike said.

After 19 years of prosperity in Australia the acidgreen brand will remain, though now backed by an international powerhouse to help the company reach new levels of success. The addition of new team members across the globe accelerates acidgreen’s capacity to deliver superior solutions and provide world-class support to its clients.

By Author admin Tags ,

Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce Enterprise

Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise are two of the leading contenders when it comes to cloud-based e-commerce platforms in the eCommerce market. For enterprise level brands, both platforms, Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise, are top contenders offering sound design, mobile-friendly features, and around the clock 24/7 customer support services.

Whether you’re new to the game or looking at upgrading your current platform, you’re probably wondering which is better for your needs and your big business. BigCommerce vs Shopify? Which will support your requirements as your business grows?

Shopify Plus or BigCommerce Enterprise? Below, we’ll take an in-depth look comparing these two leading cloud-based e-commerce platforms. We’ll go through the specific advantages and disadvantages of each platform so that you’re able to make a better, well-informed decision.

What Is An eCommerce Platform And Why Is It Important To Have One?

eCommerce platforms are fundamentally the backbone of any online retail enterprise. We often underestimate the complexities of these business operations but an eCommerce platform can provide a suite of functionalities to help enhance your business functions. CRM capabilities, tailored web design and warehouse inventory management are just some of the features that an eCommerce platform can provide.

With the rise in focus on a seamless mobile responsive site, an integrated M-commerce (mobile commerce) functionality of an eCommerce platform is just what we’re after when looking at why a powerful eCommerce platform is just so important for any online retail operation.  

What Is Shopify, What is BigCommerce Enterprise? And Why Compare Them?

Shopify Plus and BigCommerce Enterprise are two of the main contending platforms for businesses with a revenue of over $1 million per annum. Both are unlike on-premises eCommerce solutions (such as Magento) and are hosted as software-as-a-service (SaaS) which requires significantly less support and development.

Who Came First And Which Is Bigger?

Shopify was first to market with its Shopify Plus Enterprise-level product being launched in February 2014. BigCommerce soon followed suit with the launch of its BigCommerce Enterprise being launched in May 2015.

BigCommerce merchants sell to 150 countries around the world and generate roughly $9 billion in sales. On the other hand, Shopify Plus merchants sell into 175 counties and generate about $60 billion through the platform.  

Merchant Annual Growth

Today, a few years down the track, both platforms have considerable experience under their belts. So, let’s allow the numbers to do the talking. On its homepage, BigCommerce boasts a healthy average of 28% growth for merchants, which is about twice the industry average. As for Shopify Plus, their homepage cites an 126% growth year over year, a substantial difference, benefiting their merchants – and ultimately the bottom line!

Scalability

The ability for your e-commerce platform to grow as the business grows is an important factor to consider. How a platform can help your brand to grow can be a measure of its scalability. If you’re looking at scaling your brand, you will likely be exposed to increased traffic and markets. With that, comes its own set of complexities. Both platforms boast industry-leading uptime, especially important when encountering the unexpected, such as an increase surge in sales orders.

Both platforms have autoscaling and can handle any traffic you send at them. Shopify Plus though delivers page speeds three times faster than BigCommerce.

Customisation

For many merchants, the ability to customise their storefront to suit their brand’s unique design is a number one consideration. Many platforms have limitations which can lead to frustrations and one of the main reasons why many re-platform their eCommerce site.

Shopify Plus offers “Shopify Scripts” which allows for your brand to be more flexible, giving your developers the ability to customise scripts, including shopping carts and checkouts. Similar to Shopify Plus, BigCommerce Enterprise allows for customisation with HTML and CSS codes.

Themes

Choosing a theme is a major part of customising your storefront. The Shopify Plus platform offers a sophisticated library of themes allowing for complete customisation and virtually taking out the need for manual page manipulation. BigCommerce Enterprise also offers an array of customisable themes with an “advanced customisation framework” which allow for appealing storefronts to be created without the need to write any code.

For us, what sets these apart is the design library of Shopify Plus and the many choices that come with it. Understandably, they’ve been around for longer and with that, more time to perfect its library and a bigger overall design team.

Pricing

With Shopify Plus, pricing per month is roughly based on the turnover of your shopfront but is largely merchant dependant. Pricing starts from $2000 per month but can increase based on your GMV (gross merchant volume). To put the cherry on top of it all, ongoing costs are at a minimum: no additional 3rd party hosting costs or hosting managed service fees.

BigCommerce Enterprise have pricing plans starting from $1000 per month, which again can vary depending on your storefront and sales. We have however seen some top merchants quoted up to $15,000 per month. The pricing with all inclusions scales quickly.

The Comparison

Below, we’ve put together a summary to compare the similarities and differences of Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce Enterprise

Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce Enterprise

Which is the best Enterprise eCommerce platform?

Shopify Plus BigCommerce Enterprise Winner
24/7 priority support Yes Yes Tie
Merchant success manager Yes (free) Additional cost Shopify Plus
Sales via platform $60 billion $9 billion Shopify Plus
Page load 3 Times Faster Fast Shopify Plus
Merchant annual growth 126% 28% Shopify Plus
Apps 2000 400 Shopify Plus
Theme Options & Customization Huge Selection / Quality Fewer options Shopify Plus
Uptime 99.98% 99.99% Tie
Total merchants 600,000 60,000 Shopify Plus
Enterprise merchants 5,000 500 Shopify Plus
Monthly cost (from) US$2000 US$1000 BigCommerce Enterprise
Customisation Via Shopify Scripts and Apps More flexible (handlebars with javascript) BigCommerce Enterprise
API calls p/h 10-15 Calls / Second Per Key – Soft Limit 100s of API Calls Per Second BigCommerce Enterprise
Checkout customisation Cart Scripts Possible Tie
One-page checkout* No (Possible With App) Yes BigCommerce Enterprise
Features/innovation Market Leader One Step Behind Shopify Plus
Product Options and Attributes 3 Options Per Product With 100 variants 600 Variant SKUs And 250 Option Values BigCommerce Enterprise
Product Search & Filters Limited (Requires Apps) Robust Product Filters And Search Options Built Into Their Platform BigCommerce Enterprise
Security Level 1 PCI DSS Compliant Level 1 PCI DSS compliant Tie
Wholesale Limited Via Wholesale Channel Better BigCommerce Enterprise
Admin User Experience Intuitive Not As Intuitive Shopify Plus
Multilingual & Multi-Currency Limited (Clone Stores) Not As Limited BigCommerce Enterprise
Discounts & promotions Script Editor and Launchpad 70+ Different Tie
Replatform SEO Traffic Control App Manual Shopify Plus
Discounts Good Better BigCommerce Enterprise
Marketplace channels 20+ Channels Less channels Shopify Plus

Total Winner: Shopify Plus

Conclusion

To conclude our big debate: Shopify Plus vs BigCommerce Enterprise. Which one has come out on top? Both platforms are major contenders on the market today as sophisticated eCommerce platforms, bringing with them both a host of powerful tools. Although they are similar in many respects, there were some standout points making Shopify Plus the winner today.

Still unsure which eCommerce platform is best for business needs? Contact acidgreen for a no-obligation consultation. Our expert staff will walk you through the best solution for your brand, so contact us today for a free quote.


acidgreen is an award-winning e-commerce agency specialising in Shopify Plus, Magento and digital marketing.  With over 18 years of industry experience, we know how to read big business and understand what features your eCommerce store will benefit from. Our qualified team of developers and digital marketers are here to create websites that generate the highest conversion rates and outstanding ROIs. Give us a call today to learn more about our services.