Why You Should Consider Magento as Your B2B eCommerce Platform
By David Ephraim, ATAK Interactive President, Development + Operations
There are more than a few popular eCommerce platforms that B2B businesses around the world rely on day in and day out. Most platform companies claim their software is outfitted with “great features” and “intuitive design” but then come saddled with shortcomings that become apparent much quicker than expected. Many just fail to scale appropriately when the time comes to grow your business.
Enter Magento: the Open Source eCommerce platform with the added benefit of a global ecosystem of implementation partners. With powerful tools and customization capabilities, this Adobe-owned platform allows users to build meaningful, user-centric B2B eCommerce experiences across all devices. Seamless shopping, customer satisfaction, scalability, intelligent operations, important customer and operation centric customizations, and operating with confidence should be your standard no matter what else you prioritize.
Magento can do all of it.
Outlined below are just a handful of reasons why Magento makes for the ideal B2B eCommerce platform.
Rich Native Features Focused on B2B Growth
One doesn’t need to delve into the world of extensions and customized code on Magento to be granted access to an expansive eCommerce toolkit. Out of the box, the platform is outfitted with a robust set of included, intuitive, easy to use features. With its ability to support up to 500,000 products and enterprise-level volumes of up to 80,000 orders per hour, Magento provides plenty of room for your B2B business to grow.
Here are some of the most important B2B features designed to drive growth:
- Price negotiation and quote request workflows
- Personalized price-lists
- Custom catalogs capabilities
- Buyer levels and custom permissions to simplify sales to corporate accounts
- Streamlined ordering and reordering to help generate recurrent revenue
- Marketing, promotions, and conversion tools
- Site management capabilities
- Search engine optimization (SEO) features
- Analytics and reporting features
- Mobile commerce capabilities
Multiple Storefronts, One Interface
Another strong feature within the Magento platform is the ability to support multiple storefronts and shopping experiences from one interface/administration, with relatively easy set-up.
Multiple storefronts can be incredibly useful in cases where your business operates across multiple or different:
- Brand Names (i.e. Gap also owns Athleta, Banana Republic, and Old Navy)
- Domain Names
By creating a unique storefront for each unique justification, an organization provides an improved user-centric experience to site visitors. At the same time, the administration remains efficient because your administrators have to login to only one system to manage orders, catalog and inventory, customers, and customer price groups for all stores.
Magento is Open Source, and Widely Adopted
One of the primary factors making Magento so attractive to brands, especially those with development capabilities as part of their team, is the fact that Magento is open source. Being open-source means that anyone with the technical know-how can do some killer custom web development via direct access to the source code of the software, leveraging the platform to a company’s own competitive advantage. ECommerce development teams want control so they can set your online presence apart and customize whatever might be needed, and Magento allows for this.
Magento is so widely adopted, with over 300,000 active online stores and a roughly 8% market share, there are excellent places for teams to find help. These adoption rates result in excellent forums and other online outlets for development teams to learn, collaborate, and find solutions.
Integration with Popular Enterprise Tools + Vast Options for Extensions
The Magento platform was designed to drive profitability at scale and improve the outcomes of your sales and marketing efforts. The Magento open-source framework allows for integrations with any major ERP or CRM Software (i.e. Oracle NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, HubSpot). Magento can be a real efficiency play for a B2B operation, and because Magento is open source, one has more control to customize the feature set to be optimal, whereas one might find themselves restricted with a platform that is not so open to customization.
For B2B companies who are thinking about, or have already expanded into, working with an ERP software such as NetSuite or Microsoft Dynamics, one can connect their ERP to Magento, providing back-office reps, customer service agents, warehouse managers, executive management, and your users with real-time inventory and data from across the supply chain (i.e. more accurate shipping costs and delivery times).
Magento has an Active Developer Community
Magento Community forums were created as part of Magento’s effort to bring developers and enthusiasts together in one place. They’re a great source of assistance when a developer is stuck. Whether the developer is greener to the web game or even more seasoned, one is sure to have plenty of helpful individuals and groups willing to help resolve issues. According to Magento’s community page, there are 360,000 forum members in their own Magento-run forums alone, covering topics around security, version control, plugins/extensions, and more.
The Magento Community is quite expansive and includes a global ecosystem of implementation partners who gather from around the globe to offer each other encouragement and insight when needed the most. Software partners, product managers, bloggers, partner agencies, and other critical players in the eCommerce game all come together in these forums and create a powerful compendium of information.
Hundreds of highly talented, independent developers have also come to the table with their own extensions/add-ons/modules (free and paid) one can purchase and install to increase productivity and customer satisfaction. Once installed into Magento and carefully configured to your business rules, these can quickly drive success in many different areas. Why reinvent the wheel when there are premade modules on the market that cost a fraction of the price?
Just a few notable extensions Magento development teams have to offer include:
- Google Tag Managerby MagePlaza *one of our favorite module developers.
- Link with Google AdWords and Analytics for improved usability and more metrics.
- One Step Checkout (FireCheckout) by Templates Master
- Only 22.7% of orders are actually purchased; the other 77.3% are abandoned in shopping carts.
- Enabling one-step checkout increases your likelihood of beating these stats.
- Every step of checkout is streamlined into one simple page.
- Refer a Friend Extension by Amasty *one of our favorite module developers.
- One of the most powerful Magento extensions allows one to easily and quickly build an automated referral program with full functionality, turning customers into referral sources.
- Seamless Payment Gateway Integration: Magento integrates with most of the biggest payment systems currently available, including, but not limited to:
- Amazon Payments
- Live Chat Extensions from various creators
- Live Chat has been shown to be a tremendously beneficial marketing tool.
- Help customers with simple queries so you can focus on what’s important behind the scenes.
Long-Term Cost Savings
Magento is an investment that pays off over time. By connecting Magento to an ERP, Amazon, and/or other order fulfillment software/tools ATAK has seen a move to Magento result in a reduction of at least one full-time employee(s). Here is a quote from one of our B2B clients running on Magento:
“There are several integrations that have had a substantial impact on our day-to-day operations. First, linking our ERP, NetSuite, with our multi-channel solutions software, Seller Active, via API changed the way our company functioned from the get-go. When you’re processing hundreds of orders per day, the last thing you want to be doing with your time is facilitating the data to move from one endpoint to another. The manual shift of this data takes away from time that can be used to grow the business. Orders are coming into our system reliably, quickly, and without concern. The productivity savings on this integration alone is worth thousands of dollars every year. Automation is key to future success – ATAK made this happen for us. Further, we utilized ATAK’s expertise to create API links between our new website on Magento and NetSuite. This connection manually populates fields such as price, description, and other important product details. A critical win here is that we can focus on expanding our product line versus maintaining our website. Between all integrations, we comfortably save the time/cost of 2 FTEs.”
Both small and large businesses can rely on Magento’s strong eCommerce capabilities to do business day in and day out. Between its ease of use, high scalability, and countless integration options, Magento offers a safe place to land, especially for growing B2B businesses who anticipate some growing pains in the coming years and want ultimate flexibility.
At ATAK Interactive, we believe Magento is an incredible eCommerce platform. Through our work with various clients across several industries, we have the experience to tailor, integrate, support, and scale your Magento website as your business grows.
If you would like to learn more about how Magento can help your business, don’t hesitate to contact us. We would love to chat!
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