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e-commerce-software

 

These days, over 89% of B2B employees use the internet when conducting research related to their company, and that includes business buyers. In fact, more than half of B2B customers choose to purchase digitally, so it is not surprising that online sales and the online customer experience are the main areas of brand differentiation for 2020 and beyond.

As a consequence, B2B eCommerce spending is growing and investment in business tools is increasing - all driving up B2B eCommerce platform offerings. 

Navigating B2B eCommerce offerings and picking the right solution is overwhelming, so we compiled a comprehensive guide to help you select the best solution for your needs. In this post, we will explore the key features to consider and list the most popular B2B eCommerce platforms on the market today.

Jump to a section:

  1. Key specs to compare 
  2. OroCommerce
  3. HCL Commerce
  4. SAP Commerce Cloud
  5. NetSuite SuiteCommerce
  6. Salesforce Commerce Cloud
  7. Magento

Key Specifications to Compare

There are a number of things to know and look for when comparing your solution. You need to consider its ecosystem, its ability to work with your technology stack and adapt to your business needs over time. Here is what you should pay specific attention to:

Integration 

It’s important that your solution can communicate with the required corporate systems. Unless you are looking to transform all your systems at once, your eCommerce platform must work seamlessly with the existing ERP, CRM, PIM, eProcurement, warehousing fulfillment, or any other platform you are using. Go over APIs, integration partners and talk to consultants that have experience integrating the system you are considering.

Mobile experience

With more and more business customers searching for products on their mobile devices, mobile-friendly sites are not another bonus or nice-to-have. Unlike their B2C counterparts, B2B customers expect not only seamless shopping but also admin experiences on all devices. This means forms with auto-complete and call to action buttons that appear in the right place and work as expected.

Deployment models

Many eCommerce platforms offer B2B brands a range of deployment models such as a hosted, on-premise or hybrid. It’s crucial that businesses select a deployment method that aligns and scales with their long-term objectives. Businesses that don’t carefully consider their own requirements can end up with an eCommerce system that’s ineffective. A bad fit won’t scale with their business or deliver on promised results.

User friendly interfaces  

A good B2B eCommerce software solution is built for the B2B customer, the back-office staff, taking into account all the roles and permissions they require. When testing out your platform, ensure that the desired commands and functions can be easily found and called up. Look for the ability to design landing pages, include customer testimonials and related or popular product lists - social proof can be helpful in building trust in the eyes of customers.

Flexible pricing and ordering

B2B sellers often have unique pricing requirements for passing on to their business customers. This can include minimum order quantities, pricing tiers, discounts or packages designed for buying personas. A customizable pricing structure will give you the freedom to segment customers and modify pricing strategies over time. Some B2B customers also appreciate one-click ordering and automatic renewals of previous orders.

Detailed product content

Most B2B buyers require good self-service options and informative content to help them come to a purchase decision. In fact, B2B customers are overwhelmingly likely to buy from brands they consume content from. Therefore, investing in an eCommerce platform with the ability to host educational material, blog posts, detailed product descriptions, specification sheets, multimedia, and more is essential.

Best B2B eCommerce Platforms List in 2020 

 

U.S. B2b eCommerce Platform Market

OroCommerce

Background

Founded and developed by the team behind Magento

Framework

Open source

Deployment

On-premise, web-based, cloud

Support mobile

Yes, front-end and back-end

Average time to market

4 months

Advantages

  • Out-of-the-box support for any B2B and B2C scenario
  • Unique workflow and pricing engine
  • 24/7 free support and transparent pricing
  • Extensive API supporting virtually any integration

Disadvantages

  • May be too feature-heavy for small B2C eCommerce businesses
  • Requires technical expertise in order to make the most of its capabilities

Ecosystem & Integrations

Built-in CRM integration. Oro offers technical partners, solutions partners, a developer ecosystem, community and marketplace.

Sample Customers

Animal Supply, GameWorld, TruPar, Samuel Hubbard

Perfect for

SME to large enterprises in retail, manufacturing, distribution, wholesale.


orocommerce b2b ecommerce platform logo

 

OroCommerce is one of the few B2B eCommerce solutions that were designed from the ground up specifically for all types of B2B businesses. Founded by Magento’s executive team, it’s built with time-tested technologies and is available on-premise, cloud, and works on any mobile device (back-end and front-end). OroCommerce is built with customization in mind, boasting a powerful API allowing for headless setup and other integrations. The partner, developer and community ecosystems are large - allowing you to develop applications in line with your needs. It’s ideal for distributors, manufacturers, wholesalers, and brands of all sizes.

HCL Commerce (IBM WebSphere)

Background

Acquired by HCL in late 2018 from IBM’s WebSphere eCommerce division. 

Framework

Proprietary

Deployment

On-premise, web-based, hybrid

Support mobile

Yes

Approximate time to market

6 months

Advantages

  • For B2C, B2B, and marketplaces
  • Strong multichannel capabilities
  • Quality management including test management
  • Data management optimization

Disadvantages

  • Not the best for retailers and small businesses on a budget
  • Difficulty in setting up compared to other eCommerce tools

Ecosystem & Integrations

GSI (global systems integrator) and global partner for IBM, as well as SAP, Oracle and IBM partnerships.

Sample Customers

CEWE, J.J. Keller, Dahl Sverige AB, Terranova, Lindt

Perfect for

SME to large enterprises in retail, manufacturing, business services, consumer services.


hcl commerce logo ex-IBM websphereHCL Commerce offers flexible deployment options, including on-premise, cloud-based, hybrid, and headless. HCL Commerce makes use of IBM’s ecosystem of tools including the WebSphere Portal and other enterprise web content management tools. However, HCL’s recent acquisition of IBM tools leaves some uncertainty regarding the direction of these products. Nevertheless, HCL Commerce is a solid product with numerous features important for B2B eCommerce businesses that require multichannel capabilities. Its customers are spread across wide verticals in many industries and countries.

SAP Commerce Cloud

Background

SAP Commerce Cloud was known as SAP Hybris Commerce. It acquired Qualtrics to augment surveying and experience management functions of Commerce Cloud.

Framework

Proprietary

Deployment

On-premise, web-based, cloud

Support mobile

Yes

Approximate time to market

9 months

Advantages

  • Financial, content, catalog management
  • Strong multichannel and omnichannel capabilities
  • Sales force automation and performance features
  • Versatile document management
  • Pricing simulation features

Disadvantages

  • Originally an enterprise platform and not for small business on a budget
  • Less integration and automation features that enterprises may be used to.

Ecosystem & Integrations

Prebuilt integrations with SAP S/4HANA, SAP C/4HANA, and numerous other SAP applications.

Sample Customers

Bridgestone, Levi’s, P&G, Nikon, Lufthansa

Perfect for

SME to large enterprises in hospitality, manufacturing, wholesale.

 

sap commerce cloud hybris logoLike Oro, SAP Commerce Cloud places importance on seamless sales and shopping experiences by merging its eCommerce, CRM, and powerful content management capabilities. SAP Commerce Cloud offers enterprise-grade customization options and can be deployed in the cloud, on-premise or hybrid fashion. SAP offers quote-based licensing plans which are built for large businesses. This means that the cost of integrations, development, and consultations are higher than some are prepared to pay.

NetSuite SuiteCommerce

Background

Oracle acquired Grapeshot for contextual intelligence and to complement its NetSuite services and apps.

Framework

Proprietary

Deployment

Web-based, cloud

Support mobile

Yes

Approximate time to market

9 months

Advantages

  • Strong order management capabilities
  • View controls for customized experiences
  • Extensive POS features
  • Good quality of support

Disadvantages

  • Impressive UI, good for mid-market, IT and retail businesses
  • Lacking reporting and automation features enterprises may require

Ecosystem & Integrations

Native integrations with NetSuite family of products including accounting, order management, ERP, CRM, and more.

Sample Customers

Vivobarefoot, Quicken, The Second City, Lovesac

Perfect for

SME to large enterprises in hospitality, retail, construction, manufacturing.


netsuite suitecommerce logoNetSuite SuiteCommerce is an excellent cloud-based eCommerce platform for small to medium-sized businesses. While it offers native integrations between other NetSuite products such as ERP, CRM, PSA, it also means that many features are interlinked between these systems. SuiteCommerce also supports B2B, B2C as well as B2B2C and is particularly well-suited for retail, software and service-related industries.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Background

Salesforce acquired Demandware and CloudCraze for their B2B eCommerce solution.

Framework

Proprietary

Deployment

Web-based, cloud

Support mobile

Yes

Approximate time to market

6 months

Advantages

  • B2B, B2C, and B2C add-on
  • Reviews and returns management
  • Multi store and multi channel management
  • Kitting and inventory management
  • Templates

Disadvantages

  • Limited native marketing capabilities with additional customizations required
  • Only cloud option available

Ecosystem & Integrations

The Salesforce ecosystem gives you access to integrations, a large community, and development resources. 

Sample Customers

Puma, Boggi Milano, Adidas, POC, American Golf

Perfect for

SME to large enterprises in hospitality, retail, manufacturing.


salesforce cloud commerce logo

The Salesforce Commerce Cloud B2B solution integrates with the Salesforce family of products including the CRM, Marketing Cloud, Sales Cloud, Order Management system, among others. This allows Salesforce to support many business models, order fulfillment scenarios and give you a connected view of customers. Salesforce also offers a large community and third-party integrations that can address virtually every business need. 

Adobe (Magento)

Background

Adobe acquired Magento in 2018 as part of its eCommerce push with their cloud offerings.

Framework

Open Source

Deployment

On-premise, web-based, cloud

Support mobile

Yes

Approximate time to market

5 months

Advantages

  • Analytics and marketing features
  • Order, product management features
  • Multichannel and multi-website
  • Strong API, extensions and support

Disadvantages

  • Not the best choice for heavy B2B customizations and features
  • Cost of ownership can climb with the addition of extensions and plugins

Ecosystem & Integrations

Magento offers a strong API, developer community, training and consulting partners. 

Sample Customers

HP, PostNL, Tile Giant, Yakima, Rebel Athletic

Perfect for

SME to large enterprises in retail, manufacturing, construction.


magento commerce logoWith over 240,000 merchants using their platform, Magento is a leading eCommerce provider. They offer an array of extensions, training, consulting and integrations. Depending on the amount of customizations you choose to implement, the cost of ownership can climb quickly. While Magento is not the best solution for those looking for B2B-focused features, it remains a solid choice for businesses the world over.

Conclusion

As the B2B eCommerce industry grows, investing in your platform isn’t a question of if, but when. The breadth of B2B eCommerce platforms available out there means that carefully weighing the strengths and weaknesses will take more time and company resources.

When picking the solution right for you, look beyond your immediate needs and think years ahead. Consider your company growth, budget, and don’t forget to keep track of technological trends and how your customers may react to them.

Guest Author

Guest Author

Revenue River often times will publish posts from guest authors who are either looking to start a career in the inbound marketing field or have valuable expert insight from experience within different areas of the industry. To learn more about a specific guest author, look for a short bio at the bottom of every article written.

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