Without question, Magento 2 is one of the most popular and powerful eCommerce platforms available in the market today. The latest Magento release is the Magento 2.4, which was released just this year. Magento 2.4 was not a major release, and many called it a bug-fix release as its focus was primarily on bug-fixes.
Many B2B businesses often choose Magento 2 for setting up their eCommerce store as it is one of the robust eCommerce platforms that can handle the unique and advanced requirements of a B2B business. It is well capable of handling an extensive product catalog, which is often the case in B2B companies, and even comes with a multi-store capability.
Magento 2 offers an Open Source version and a Commerce/Enterprise variant to its customers. Magento 2 Commerce is clearly the superior one among these as it comes with a huge variety of built-in features that are ideal for B2B businesses. However, Magento 2 Open Source is the commonly used version for the simple reason of being more economical and worth every penny you spend on it.
Magento 2 Commerce is built for enterprises and large-scale companies with a turnover of $1 million or above. Furthermore, Magento 2 Commerce license cost starts from $22000, most small and medium-size businesses can't afford such investment, and their ideal choice is the Open Source version. The best thing about Magento 2 Open Source is that it is capable of delivering everything the enterprise edition can and more. All you need to do is integrate the right extension for the job and a reliable partner like Virtina to implement it.
This article discusses the B2B features of Magento 2 in both Open Source and Commerce versions.
The B2B Features in Magento 2
The B2B features in Magento 2 are flexible to suit the needs of almost any business vertical. The success of the B2B eCommerce store is dependent on how well you can cater to the unique needs of the B2B buyers. A typical B2B buyer is nothing like its B2C counterpart, which can be coerced into impulsive buying. All B2B purchases are intent-driven and consist of extensive research on the product before making a buying decision.
Similarly, the customer relationship in the B2B business is also quite different, and your eCommerce store needs to provide customized user experience to be successful. Magento 2 brings with it several advanced features and functionalities that can make this happen. Some of the best features in Magento 2 that can help you create the ideal B2B eCommerce store are discussed below.
Request for Quote
The Request for Quote feature is a must for a B2B eCommerce store. Why? Because unlike retail transactions, the B2B ones almost always involve large shipments and considerably higher pricings. A typical B2B transaction often involves requesting a quote from the seller for their unique requirement.
This is where your B2B eCommerce store can provide a customized or individual user experience to your customers, just like an in-store purchase. It also allows the buyer to compare the prices and products offered by different suppliers, which is a standard procedure for B2B purchases. Magento 2 offers superior features, including a Request for Quote feature.
Magento 2 Open Source
Magento 2 Open Source has several extensions in their marketplace that you can choose from for implementing Request for Quote (RFQ). One of the upsides of employing an extension for implementing an RFQ is that you can pick one with the features and functionalities that align with your unique requirements.
However, the basic functionalities on the Request for Quote extensions remain the same. It enables the buyers to request a quote from your company and compare it with other companies' quotes. But that's not all it can do. The RFQ extensions for Magento 2 comes with many advanced capabilities and custom solutions. Some of the more prominent features are listed below.
1. Custom Attribute Fields
It lets the admin create customized fields for the RFQ form; this can be extremely useful for a B2B business owner.
2. RFQ for Out of Stock Product
This nifty feature enables the buyer to send RFQs even if the product is unavailable, out of stock, or even non-existent. This enables you and the buyer to establish contact and make potential business connections with each other.
3. Use Image Files
With this feature, your potential buyer can upload images files along with their RFQs. This can come in handy when the buyer is not sure about the product or its specification. A pictorial representation can reduce confusion and help find the right product.
4. Customer Login
This feature constrains the people who can send an RFQ to your business unless they are logged in to your eCommerce store. The login is often employed to categorize the customers and even implement special or individual pricing of B2B products.
5. Map Attribute
This feature enables you to display the attribute field on the RFQ form by allowing the admin to map attribute sets with a category.
6. Send RFQ to Multiple Sellers
This is one of the features that can help you manage your business more efficiently and save yourself a lot of time. It enables you to send an RFQ to multiple sellers who are looking for the same products.
Magento 2 Commerce
With Magento 2 Commerce, implementing an RFQ feature is as easy as it can ever be because Magento 2 Commerce comes with built-in functionality to implement an RFQ. Magento 2 offers one of the most streamlined workflows for the RFQ process. It has perhaps the best RFQ process that is built-in on an eCommerce platform.
One of Magento 2 Commerce's notable features includes the buyer's ability to attach documents and comments to justify their requests. Furthermore, it even lets them view their quote's details and documents. Some of the other features Magento 2 Commerce has to offer include the following.
1. Include Comments in RFQ
Magento 2 Commerce lets your buyers include comments and documents that can be used to justify their request. This feature can come handy for your buyers to relay the product details using pictures or other specifications that may not be put up on your eCommerce store.
2. Superior Cost Calculation
With Magento 2 Commerce, the merchants have the capability to view the total cost data. You can even calculate the percentage of discounts that you can offer depending on the buyer's margin targets.
3. Negotiate Prices
Unlike B2C eCommerce, where the prices are almost always fixed and never negotiable, a B2B business needs to be able to provide personalized pricing to their customers. Magento 2 Commerce lets your buyers negotiate the product and shipping prices, which in turn meets the customer's demand.
Quick Order Entry
Quick order is yet another feature that all B2B eCommerce stores should have as it can simplify the order process to a few clicks. The B2B buyer can easily use this feature as long as they know the product name or SKU of the product. Re-order is a critical feature demanded by the B2B buyers, and they expect the B2B platforms to give them full support for purchase orders.
Re-orders can save your buyers a lot of time, and it is the most convenient way to place an order. A typical B2B order process is much more lengthy than a B2C one. The B2B buyer or procurement officers have to cross-check the products, specifications, and order quantity to ensure that everything is in order. As far as a B2B is concerned, a simple mistake can have astronomical effects on the business.
Magento 2 Open Source
Magento 2 Open Source has an extensive range of extensions in the marketplace that can be integrated into your B2B store to implement Quick Order Entry and Requisition Lists. With advanced features that enable fast searching for products and provide flexibility to create custom URLs and page titles. Some of the other features implementable on Magento 2 Open source through extensions include the following.
1. Bulk Add to Cart
Your users get the ability to add products in bulk to the cart once you have successfully integrated this to your B2B eCommerce store. This means you can add multiple products to the cart either by using various SKUs or by uploading CSV files.
2. Plus/Minus Buttons for Product Quantity
Although this may seem like a pretty simple feature, it can make a world of difference for your B2B buyers. This little feature can save the user a lot of time and make room for your B2B eCommerce store's superior flexibility.
3. Highly Customizable Design
One of the advantages of using an extension for implementing a quick order entry is that many of them come with customizable design. This means that you can customize its appearance to align with your branding and website's overall look and feel.
4. Quick Order for Groups
With a Quick Order entry, you can configure your Quick Order page to be visible for specific groups. This allows you to provide more buyer-focused and custom details to your customers.
Magento 2 Commerce
When we move to Magento 2, there is no need to worry about finding the right integration or be concerned about it not integrating well with the eCommerce store. Magento 2 Commerce offers you a built-in Quick Order Entry feature for its customers. It comes with many in-built features that include listing frequently purchased products for easy ordering. The in-built features in Magento 2 Commerce are listed below.
1. Superior Search Capability
The B2B buyers on a Magento 2 Commerce store can search for products using either SKUs or a CSV file. Magento then validates whether the SKU the buyer entered is valid or not, according to its catalog and inventory. It then displays the relevant data to the buyer, including thumbnails and the price of the product.
2. Orders With Multiple SKUs
Magento 2 Commerce lets you place orders with multiple SKUs, but it has to be either imported to the Quick Order form or entered manually. Furthermore, the Quick Order feature can be used by the customers as a guest; it's not just limited to those who are logged in to the site.
Like Quick Order entry, the Requisition list is also a predominantly important feature on a B2B eCommerce store. It lets you create a list of items that can then be used to make orders later. This can improve your customers' shopping experience as they can periodically re-order items once they have created a requisition list of items they order frequently.
Requisition lists aren't merely a list of products that your buyers are interested in. They can be handy for financial audits and prevent miscommunication. Furthermore, it helps you to organize orders and even aid in the legal documentation in some instances.
Magento 2 Open Source
It should be relatively easy for you to find an extension for implementing a requisition list feature on your B2B eCommerce store. There are a number of options you can choose from, and most of them come equipped with many useful features, including multiple requisition lists, individual or bulk update of products, and adding products to the lists from product pages. Some of the other main features you get can include the following.
1. Add to Lists From Product Page
The Magento 2 extensions allow you to add products to your requisition list directly from the product page. This makes room for superior flexibility for the users as it lets them create requisition lists with ease.
2. Move/Copy Items Between Lists
Another flexible feature that extensions can provide for your buyers is that it can make creating or modifying requisition lists by moving or copying items between lists. This makes the creation or modification of requisition lists flexible and easy to manage.
3. One-click Add to Cart
Adding a product to cart from any of your requisition lists is just a click away with this feature. This aspect also appeals to the convenience the user always looks for from an eCommerce store.
Magento 2 Commerce
As with the rest of Magento 2 B2B features listed above, this one also comes built-in on Magento 2 Commerce. For easy ordering, Magento automatically lists frequently purchased products from your B2B eCommerce store. The buyer could simply select the product from the list, specify the quantity, and add it to the cart. You can also create multiple requisition lists and even implement re-orders, which basically means you pretty much get everything you might need out of the box.
1. Add to Lists From Previous Orders
One of the exciting aspects of the requisition feature in Magento 2 Commerce is that it lets your buyers add products to lists from their previous orders. This can make creating a requisition list easier, especially since B2B businesses almost always repeat the same order.
2. Re-order Capability
Not having a re-order capability is one of the major flaws in a B2B eCommerce store, and many businesses often end up employing customized solutions to rectify this. With Magento 2 Commerce, you get this functionality in-built, which means you'll not have to go through the trouble of integrating it.
One of the factors that truly sets the B2B business apart from the rest is its payment flexibility. We are talking about large-scale shipments that can cost a fortune here, and you can hardly expect all of your clients to put the money upfront. Without the flexibility of payment, it is unlikely you'll be successful in a B2B business regardless of the channel you sell on.
So, what does it mean to have payment flexibility on your B2B eCommerce store? Your B2B store must be able to process different types of payment on it, and this includes extending credit to your customers in addition to traditional payment methods such as credit cards and PayPal. A credit system makes it easy for your customers to make a purchase and build trust and long-term relations.
Magento 2 Open Source
Setting up different payment methods on your Magento 2 Open Source can be a bit challenging as payment integrations may be complicated. However, that does not change the fact that Magento 2 has several reliable extensions you could use. The primary thing to do is to integrate all the leading credit systems in your store to improve your payment flexibility. The features you could implement further are shown below.
1. Specify Credit Limit
As far as a B2B buyer is concerned, knowing their credit limit can make a world of difference. The credit limit can tell them how big their order can be or how big their budget needs to be. For B2B business, these details can be crucial factors that can affect their buying decisions. Furthermore, the credit limit can be applied for individual customers as well as groups of customers.
2. One Step Checkout
The influence a one-step checkout process has on your potential and return buyers is never to be underestimated. A one-step checkout is one of the vital steps you can take to enhance the user's convenience of shopping from your store. Once the company accounts are integrated into your B2B eCommerce store, your buyer can easily make payments on it with the one-time checkout.
3. Manage Credit Payments
Another attractive feature you can avail on your Magento 2. With the right Magento 2 extension, you can manage the overdue credit payments and even set automatic email notifications for your credit operations.
Magento 2 Commerce
Magento 2 Commerce comes with its own set of built-in features to the platform that can help you with payment flexibility. In addition to traditional payment methods, including credit cards and PayPal, Magento 2 Commerce comes equipped with a Payment on accounts feature. It can even control the geographical limitations for using the payment methods. The other features that are inbuilt on Magento 2 Commerce include the following.
1. Extend Credit to Buyers
The Payment on Accounts feature in Magento 2 Commerce allows you to extend credit to customers, Magento 2 Commerce accomplishes this without the help of any extensions or custom solutions, and that saves you time and money. It even supports credit limit specification, which is all you can ask for as far as out of the box solutions are concerned.
2. Adjust Outstanding Balance
Magento 2 Commerce comes with a feature that lets you view and compare its transaction against their company credit. This further allows businesses to make relevant adjustments to the outstanding balance. With Magento 2 Commerce, you can also allow your trusted customers to exceed their credit limit when ordering. This can help you build stronger relationships with your loyal customers.
Product Catalog and Pricing
For B2B business, their product catalog and pricing are crucial factors that directly affect the buying decisions. Due to the unique nature of B2B business, companies often make use of customized catalogs and price lists to their customers. Product catalogs in B2B companies need to accommodate products that look similar but are dimensionally different, and hence the buyer should have no room for confusion. Apart from that, it would be best if you also implemented advanced pricing on your store, including custom or individual, tiered, and volume pricing based on which is best suited for your unique business needs.
Magento 2 Open Source
Magento 2 Open Source provides numerous options for you in the marketplace for implementing a customized product catalog and pricing for your B2B eCommerce store. There are too many features that you could implement on your Magento 2 Open source website with the help of Magento extensions. However, the most significant features when it comes to product catalog and pricing in B2B includes the following.
1. Customize What Your Customer See
With a customizable product catalog, you show your products to your customers how you want it and where you want it. This means being able to show a customized product catalog for individual customers or for various categories or groups of customers. You can also duplicate your existing catalogs for quick setup or create tiered catalogs like Gold, Silver, Bronze, etc., depending on your unique needs.
2. Special Pricing
The pricing on your B2B store can't be the same for all your customers; more personalized pricing is inevitable as you move to a B2B business. With the right extensions, you can implement customized or individual pricing for your customers, or you could implement volume or tiered pricing. Each pricing method can reward your buyer based on different factors. You can even categorize your customers into other groups to make the pricing easier to manage and implement.
Magento 2 Commerce
Magento 2 Commerce makes product catalog and pricing management on your B2B store a child's play. With in-built features that allow superior customization capability on your B2B Magento store, you can easily modify your product catalog, its data displayed to various customers and customer groups. The same goes for the pricing aspect as different pricing methods are readily available on the Magento 2 Commerce platform.
1. Customizable Catalogs and Prices
The biggest and most useful feature about the pricing and product catalog in Magento2 Commerce is that they are incredibly customizable. You have the freedom to customize and show the data that is best suited for a customer or customer groups, easily giving you unmatched control over your business.
2. Set Price for Single and Multiple Products at Once
One of the features that are sure to come handy for your business is Magento 2 Commerce's ability to set prices for products individually or as a group. You can choose several products and set the price for it at once, saving you time and effort.
In conclusion, the Magento 2 platform, whether it be the Open Source edition or Enterprise edition, is well equipped with features and functionalities to handle a B2B business. Although we have discussed all of the major aspects that make Magento 2 a perfect choice for B2B eCommerce, it is not limited to these features. Magento 2 also supports Multiple Inventory Source. You can sync multiple inventories to your eCommerce store and manage it from a central hub.
The feature Magento 2 has to offer also makes it one of the best platforms for implementing an omnichannel experience for your business. Magento 2 Commerce is clearly the more superior among the two editions offered by the Magento team. However, it all comes down to practicality when it comes to running a business, and most companies, especially small and medium-scale ones, can not afford to run their business on Magento 2 Commerce.
Magento 2 Commerce is an ideal choice if your company has the capital investment to afford it, but if you are a small or midsize business, then Open Source is the way for you. It can do everything the Magento 2 Commerce edition can do with the right extension and a reliable eCommerce partner like Virtina. Even if there isn't an extension available on the market that fits your unique requirements, our experts can develop a custom solution that can get your job done fast and easy.