As we can see from the results of the survey conducted by Oro, 76% of businesses specified B2B out-of-the-box functionality as an important consideration when selecting an Ecommerce platform.
There are very good reasons behind it. Based on personal experience, it could take Ecommerce s/w vendor 2+ years to implement a solid base of B2B functionality. And that would be just a start, as vendors need to invest continuously in further improvements.
It is not necessarily bad if the vendor’s starting point for the development was an existing B2C platform. B2B commerce has a lot to learn and borrow from B2C best practices and approaches.
Nevertheless, be very skeptical of vendors’ claims to support B2B implementation because they have APIs, and you, the customer, can modify what you want and develop missing bits yourself.
With highly developed B2B-specific platforms, there is absolutely no need to settle for this.
There are four main components of B2B project implementation:
- Generic Ecommerce functionality
- B2B core functionality
- Your industry-specific requirements and practices
- Requirements and processes that are unique for your business
You will greatly increase your chances of success and reduce costs by selecting a vendor who can move you further down the pyramid with out-of-the-box functionality.
Most B2B projects will require the management of multiple users with different roles and permissions, bulk order functionality, requests for quotes, sales team/customer collaboration tools, configurable products, specialized search, customer-specific prices & catalog restrictions, purchase approval process, budget management, and many other B2B features.
Look for a vendor who has experience in implementing solutions for your industry because its product would already have some required functionality, and its team will have the expertise and knowledge to support you.
And this goes beyond features. You also need to take into account integration efforts.
A B2B vendor is more likely to have pre-integrated solutions for B2B payment methods, punch-out, or CPQ.