B2B Magento 2 Dictionary from A to Z: We Literally Mean It!

B2B Magento 2 Dictionary from A to Z: We Literally Mean It!

{Updated:] An annual report by Frost & Sullivan predicted that the B2B eCommerce market would reach $6.7 trillion in 2020. Thus, it is time to get on B2B Magento 2 train if you want to expand your business and get significant rewards.

However, do not jump into any field without getting a knowledge base about it.

Here we cover all you need to know about Magento 2 for B2B including terms, best practices, strategies, and recommend B2B extension collections.

And, we literally mean it – An A to Z Magento 2 B2B dictionary.

Main discussions: Magento 2 Enterprise B2B features, Magento Community B2B extensions, and Magento 2 B2B demo included.

Adobe & A Hybrid Platform Ambition

adobe-magento-B2b-future

For those who might not know, Adobe acquired the Magento platform in May 2019 with a view to “delivering a single platform that serves both B2B and B2C customers globally.”

Accordingly, Adobe is dedicated to creating a hybrid B2C and B2B platform to help businesses expand target markets, grab new chances of sales, and reduce the duplication of systems and effort.

Read later: Why You Should Build A Unified B2C and B2B Website?

This landscape will come true soon. Know why?

Magento 2 itself is the leading digital platform with a strong portfolio of features and customizations to empower merchants, especially medium-to-large B2B merchants. Meanwhile, Adobe is leading in delivering consistent and intuitive digital experiences through data and content.

Thus, both consumers and businesses can expect every interaction in Magento 2 will soon be shoppable – whether on the desktop, mobile, social or in-store places.

B2B Magento 2 Platform

b2b-bussiness

From what we mentioned right above, you already guessed it out, didn’t you?

Yes, it was the potential of B2B eCommerce that resulted in the Adobe and Magento merger.

To be specific, Adobe uncovered by its survey that 93 percent out of B2B/wholesale buyers were then ready to purchase online with a self-service experience – like what they can get in Magento  2 Enterprise B2B developed by Magento itself for several years.

Wait for a second, have you heard about Magento 2 Enterprise B2B before?

Do not mistake it for the Magento 2 Enterprise, it is similar a little “here” and different “there.” To help, we will discuss some main features of Magento 2 Enterprise B2B right below.

Magento 2 Enterprise B2B (a.k.a Commerce)

Magento-Enterprise-B2B

Back then, Magento 2 had already developed a functional B2B solution even before its acquisition to Adobe with four main features:

  • Company Account: Create and many a system of corporate accounts with different roles and permissions.
  • Quick Order: Wrap all products available within a form to search and order by SKUs or names.
  • Requisition List: Relieve the time and effort of reordering, especially when it comes to a list of large-scale items at regular intervals.
  • B2B Quote: Pricing negotiating is an integral part of every B2B transaction, which used to be performed via phones, emails, or meetings. Now, this process goes online.

Now, with the investment and know-how technologies from the giant Adobe, B2B experience will take a great leap forward.

From an insider’s reveal, Adobe and Magento are about to release new B2B features in Magento Commerce 2.4 to enhance both buyers’ shopping flow and the admin’s management.

So excited and look forward to the release date. “It will be really soon” – as we are confirmed.

Magento Community B2B (a.k.a. Open Source)

Many merchants take it for granted that there is Magento Community B2B besides the Enterprise.

We need to confirm: Good as all Magento B2B features are, they – unfortunately, are only pre-built in Magento 2 Enterprise B2B.

Thus, those using Magento 2 Community B2B FREE version have to wait quite a time for those B2B features to be shared characteristics.

Otherwise, you can either consider upgrading your website to Magento 2 Commerce version or install extensions or install B2B extensions that we will mention later on.

Take a look later: Magento 2 Open Source vs Magento 2 Commerce

Magento 2 B2B Demo

Magento-2-B2B-demo-form

A good habit, whenever you buy something online, is to check demo (if there is any) to figure out how it works in a practical scenario.

Fortunately, you can access the Magento 2 B2B demo by submitting a request.

What to expect from this Magento B2B demo?

  • A website with sample data
  • All B2B features launched are available
  • Complete user guide of Magento 2 B2B demo
  • Dedicated support and consultation by Magento team

You might also need: Magento 2 Demo Free With Sample Data

Business Intelligence (BI)

Magento B2B platform is a must-have component, yet far from enough to streamline your business. You need to invest in many other tools.

Take data & analytics tools, for instance.

“Without data, you are just another person with an opinion.” – W. Edwards Deming.

Thus, we can say it for sure, without data, your business might end up an unrealistic idea.

Ideally, B2B Business Intelligence (BI) by Magento is on your side.

In general, BI tools help collect and proceed with advanced analytics in terms of customer insights, visualization capabilities, warehouse, sales, and many more data pipelines.

bi-business-intelligence

In specific, the Magento 2 BI for B2B is advertised to provide a single data warehouse and a dedicated space to analyze.

  • Integrate with Magento database directly
  • Connect to other systems in multiple ways
  • Adopt to data replication technology: full-stack & automated
  • Consolidate data in a central cloud-based space
  • House in a central cloud-based space
  • Offer calculated columns and join tables
  • Standardize and customize based on your business metrics
  • Build analyses professionally, using a report builder

Schedule a Magento 2 B2B demo with BI here.

Content in B2B Magento & eCommerce

content-is-king

Some useful tools are readily built for your demands.

Now, it is your turn to create valuable and convertible content!

Gones are the days when you tried to hide your B2B content and made it hard-like-hell to figure out how much it is or how to place the orders.

B2B eCommerce now is more open. It means your content now should also be more detailed and helpful. Of course, you can still protect valuable information like prices or product lists. However, make sure that it is accessible for those who really need it.

So, how to create converting B2B Magento content? – Keep our advices in mind:

  • Portray personas of your target audience (B2B customers)
  • Emphasize kinds of ROI that B2B customers expect (quick ordering, competitive prices, free shipping, etc.)
  • Add sine educational information about industry jargon (statistics, reports, experts’ predictions)

Demand Generation

demand-generation-tactics
Thanks, Drift, for this useful funnel

Buying Magento 2 Enterprise B2B platform, investing in the advanced BI tools, tailoring dedicated content, etc. are all to generate demands and close deals.

For that reason, you should understand the conceptualization of demand generation.

Do not misuse the term “demand generation.” Many people interchangeably use this term with the “lead generation.” However, professional B2B strategists know that they are different.

Simply put, demand generation in B2B or any business is to increase the interest of potential customers in your products or services. Thus, to generate a lead, you need to drive their demand first.

More importantly, B2B demand generation is different from that of B2C business, mainly because it takes longer to sell things. So, how?

Here are the factors you should include in your very next marketing strategy.

  • Content marketing and content syndication
  • Organic search engine optimization (SEO performance, indeed.)
  • Social media marketing and paid advertising
  • Sales enablement assets
  • Lead scoring and nurturing
  • Client retention methods and real-time message

Extensions for B2B Magento 2

Keep on our A-B-C song with the extensions, for both Magento Enterprise B2B and Magento Community B2B.

What is a B2B extension for Magento 2?

Like Chrome extensions or Safari extensions, Magento 2 extensions are installed to enhance the performance of Magento Enterprise B2B or Magento Community B2B platform to meet the ever-changing demands of buyers and store owners. Those extensions often fix errors of the default or introduce completely new features.

How to choose B2B extension Magento 2?

b2b-extension-bss

Do not jump on buying whatever extension.

Do some research in advance.

  • Know default Magento 2 for B2B features

Sometimes, the platform has already supported some functions that you are searching for. You just do not know where they are and how they work. Fortunately, there are many tutorials available on the Internet.

However, if you use the Magento Community B2B platform, you might have to invest all key B2B features from scratch.

To tell the truth, do not pay too cheap for the Magento 2 extension. The best solutions must adopt high-quality code and functional logic to handle bulk management in the wholesale business. Moreover, they are compatible with various extensions.

  • Check screenshots and try the Magento 2 B2B demo of those extensions.

The best way to learn about the function of B2B extension Magento 2 is via screenshots and demo, and user guide. If the information on the product page is not useful enough, feel free to contact the support team.

What are must-have B2B extensions?

Take notes some useful extensions, especially for Magento Community B2B, as follows:

Find more here: Top 9+ Efficient and Affordable Magento B2B Features

Features for B2B in Magento 2

magento-2-built-in-features

B2B and B2C are not different, like cheese and chalk. They shared basic features in terms of Catalog, Marketing, Seo & Search, and Report, etc.

However, there are some unique features only recommended for wholesale buyers and store owners. We divide all into 5 main groups:

  • Account and Access: Company Account, Customer Attributes, B2B Registration, Force Login.
  • Pricing in B2B: Hide Price, Call for Price, and Request for Quote
  • B2B Purchase: Add Multiple Products to Cart, Configurable Wholesale Display, Fast Order
  • Wholesale Checkout: Checkout Suite, MOA per Group, Shipping & Payment per Group.
  • Reseller Functions: Multiple Wishlist, Reorder Product Lists, Requisitions, Store Credit.

Get insight into these features: 5 Primary Magento B2B Features Every Website Must Have

Global Expansion with Online B2B

B2B-global-expansion

We bet, every merchant engaged for eCommerce B2B is dreaming of a global expansion in terms of market share and sales. Big dreams and hard work pay off, with the help of the SaaS B2B platform and Magento B2B features above.

Here we reveal some best-practices published by Magento experts to help your business can go even beyond online, but international!

Think local & flexible

To be globally successful, you need to understand your local customers – to be specific, their whole shopping experience, special values, and preferences besides the merely foreign currency, languages, and payment/shipping methods.

Communicate in other cultures

Translation languages between different websites are 100% not enough. Differences in languages, in particular, and cultures, in general, are complex and subtle. Even worse, communication breakdowns even on websites can turn customers from love to hate.

The recommendations are to translate and be prepared to accommodate adjustments according to your target local markets.

Offer a flexible and scalable process

Going global means you have to gather a new team and process for the individual local market. In that case, aligning systems, organizational structures, and processors is such a daunting task – but required!

To reduce the silos and headache, it is suggested using a professional information management system, like the BI we mentioned above.

Download Guide published by Magento experts.

Inventory Multiple Sources

Magento-Multi-Source-Inventory

To help B2B merchants with global expansion, Magento enhances its inventor management in Magento 2 B2B Enterprise with multiple sources and sales channels, plus with advanced algorithms.

Accordingly, you can track the inventory salable across global, multiple sources, and products.  Then, you can connect single warehouses to complicated shipping networks with warehouses, distribution centers, stores, drop shippers.

With the support of Multiple Inventory Source (MIS) for Magento 2 B2B features, you will have:

  • Intelligence sourcing engine
  • Multi-source inventory dashboard
  • Inventory aggregation with channel segmentation
  • Real-time updates on in-flight orders and notifies
  • Safety stock calculations to maintain the accuracy

Save for later digestion: Magento 2 Multi-Source Inventory: All-in-one Explanation

LinkedIn Strategies

LinkedIn-Marketing-B2B

If you enter “B2B LinkedIn Marketing” in Google’s search box, there are nearly 200 million results in a blink.

You’ve just tried, haven’t you? (LOL)

Anyway, this is a hot topic because of the efficiency brought by this social medium.

How to make LinkedIn work for your Magento 2 B2B strategies?

  • Build B2B relationships and online communities
  • Establish reputation and leadership
  • Generate potential leads
  • Gain market insights and researches

Steal a detailed plan here: 5+ Successful B2B Strategies for Marketing on LinkedIn!

Marketing for B2B

b2b-marketing

Now we reveal other practices for B2B marketing, besides the LinkedIn channel.

We all agree: The traditional B2B marketing did not use to be invested much because the sellers pay more attention to competitive-price advantages and to long-term relationships with loyal customers.

However, the breakout of ecommerce B2B has changed the landscape.

To be specific, B2B marketing adopts many strategies and tactics from B2C marketing. Nonetheless, it still features unique characteristics:

Any wholesale-involved decision is meant to result in a long-term relationship, and for mutual benefits. Thus, B2B owners must apply various personalized content, product structures, pricing models, and advanced configurable search to address different stages of the buying cycle.

Bonus: All about B2B Marketing, in Brief, & Comprehensive!

Omnichannel Strategy

b2b-bussiness

It is hard to deliver a shoppable omnichannel experience for B2C customers, let alone for B2B customers. However, if your business can do so, you will stay far ahead from your competitors.

Accordingly, a survey by Accenture revealed that 75% of B2B customers were willing to re-purchase from a specific supplier who provided excellent omnichannel capabilities.

Thus, it is worth investing!

What does a decent omnichannel experience look like?

  • Mobile: It is more professional if B2B customers can access your brand at their convenience and via mobile app.
  • Relevant touchpoints: Make sure potential customers can find what they require no matter where they are: in-store, online, or via social media. Here we mention what content you provide in each channel.
  • Personalized experience: Recently, experts keep emphasizing that B2B customers are more personalized. It makes sense! Although you are selling to a company, there is still a specific person on the other side, right? Then, like B2C customers, he desires a fast, relevant, and personalized experience.
  • Transparency: We do not mean the price or product list, but the ordering process, shipments, and returns. To do so, customers must have B2B accounts.
  • Responsive support: Be a B2B seller, be professional! Whenever customers request support via any channel, please be responsive and helpful.
  • Flexible shipping and payment: You should provide customers with many options for delivery, shipping, and payment.

We have discussed this issue before: Is Omnichannel Overused Or Is It Your Next Investment?

Order Management

order-management

In Magento 2 B2B, order management is closely related to multiple store views, brands, warehouses, and more importantly – a cross-channel experience. This creates incredible challenges that require dedicated support from software or platforms.

You can choose the built-in order management solution by Magento or extension vendors. Whatever you choose, the solution should:

  • Unite multiple channels in terms of sales and inventory sources
  • Powerful and customizable enough for future growth and expansion
  • Empower the front-line staff to deliver a helpful customer service

Read later: How to Improve Magento 2 Order Management?

Progressive Web Apps & Mobile Experiences

PWA-b2b-extension-magento-2

Magento sneaked 5 experts weigh-in to transform B2B customers experience, in which they believed that “Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are the future of eCommerce, and while we’ve mostly seen adoption in B2C, PWAs are well-suited to B2B, and we’re going to see a lot more adoption over the next couple of years.

Our experts also share this point: 2020 – PWA on the move

So, how PWA helps to leverage your B2B business?

  • Loading large catalogs more rapidly
  • Displaying push notifications when it comes to restock or order notification
  • Accessing product information even offline

Supportive as PWA is, no need to rush. Magento and Adobe have introduced what they call PWA studio since 2019. This project will be completed soon – we believe. Then, you can expect many advanced PWA features to be available at your fingertips.

Pricing in Magento 2 B2B

Pricing-strategy

McKinsey&Company has published a dedicated guide on B2B dynamic pricing. Download now.

Pricing in B2B is “dynamic.” Accordingly, the price for wholesale orders is often systematically set and then modified based on customer factors and shifting market.

Such dynamic strategies help:

  • Create a flexible strategy to adapt to a specific buying scenario
  • Drive and speed up the process of a decision-making
  • Help with self-reinforcing by testing and feeding information to the system

However, it creates incredible challenges:

  • Require business resources to plan, implement, and evaluate related strategies
  • Need to get insights into customers and competitors in the market
  • Hard to manage the pricing and predict sales/profits

Fortunately, Magento helps create and keep in track with B2B dynamic pricing very well:

  • A dashboard for shared catalog pricing and structure
  • Different price types from normal to advanced pricing (special price, group price, tier price, minimum advertised price, and custom price)
  • A user-friendly quote workflow for personalized pricing
  • An additional Business Intelligence tool to help with data

[Important] An Basic Knowledge of Magento 2 Pricing or request a Magento 2 B2B demo to try all by yourself.

Quote Process in Magento 2 B2B eCommerce

In relation to B2B pricing, the quote functionality is essential.

Then, what is an ideal quote process for both B2B customers and sellers?

B2B-QUOTE-FLOW

The quote workflow often has four easy steps:

Step 1: Buyer submits a quote request

Instead of adding products to the cart and checkout, now B2B buyers can add products to quote carts to ask for the best prices as possible.

The requests are saved in My Quotes dashboard of the company account and can be accessed by the sales representative or whoever has permission.

Step 2: Seller reviews the request and replies it

In the Quotes grid in the backend, there is also a “New/Pending” quote request created.

The admin, then, can update the status of the quote to “Accept” or “Reject.” Moreover, the admin is also able to change prices, products, and add comments/notes to the quote.

Step 3: Buyer receives the response

Any change of the admin will be updated in both the Quote grid and My Quote dashboard. Besides, an email notification was sent to the buyer/sales representative accordingly.

The customer can access the quote request and make changes if any.

Step 4: Buyer converts the quote to the cart

The buyer can accept the quote and move all items with quoted prices and quantities to the cart and checkout. Otherwise, they can reject the quote. Additional discounts cannot be added to the negotiated quote.

Also, they can update and resend the quote for further negotiation.

Try Magento 2 B2B demo of Quote here.

Self-service Experience

customer-self-service

Self-service is a new common in the B2B eCommerce in the past years.

Simply put, the buyers now can update their company account, update on product information, shop through the website, check the status of orders, and even reorder from their accounts with less interaction with salespeople.

That way, a B2B transaction will be fastened significantly.

In Magento 2, there are various self-service tools to empower B2B shopping experiences. For instance:

  • Account Dashboard
  • Company Corporate Account
  • Buyers’ Roles and Permissions
  • Payment on Account
  • Negotiated Quotes and Quote Trackings
  • Order History

Check the details of these tools here and request a Magento 2 B2B demo to try all by yourself.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO-optimization-magento-2-b2b

SEO is old, but gold – for both B2C and B2B business.

In fact, efforts to optimize the search engines for the B2B website are not very different from those for B2C. Take notes some best practices, and you will find your website on the very first page of search engines:

  • Optimize URLs of product page – Keep them short
  • Improve loading speed – Be faster, be better
  • Tailor images for search – Tag images with information filenames
  • Optimize metadata for SEO – Click or Non-click is mainly based on your meta description
  • Avoid content duplication – Being unique is our recommendation
  • Check more SEO tips here.

Trends in 2020 and Even After

b2b-trend-2020

Do not ignore B2B trends. They reflect the demands of your customers clearly.

In 2020, the particular Magento 2 B2B platform and wholesale ecommerce websites, in general, must pay attention to these trends.

Thanks, Corevist, for gathering useful information for us.

  • Transparency: 41% of B2B buyers requested self-service functionality, while 44% of them wanted to check pricing online rather than contact salespeople.
  • Unique content: It is required on Amazon that B2B players must own their own product content such as product images, videos, descriptions, intelligent product search, functionality comparison, and related products.
  • 3PLs’ participation: B2B ecommerce should engage with third-party logistics providers to improve the fulfillment process and leverage customer experiences.
  • Complex user roles/permissions: B2B owners should invest in real-time integration to SAP ERP system to help with tiered user permissions.
  • Self-service invoice: Once the order is sealed, customers do not want to call Customer Service and wait forever for invoices to be paid down. Hence, it is critical to allow paying down invoices at the point of the self-service order placement.

Wrapping Up

There are a lot of things to consider when you start a B2B business. However, the chance of profits and market share are also significantly promising. And, thank goodness, Magento 2 for B2B platform, and features help to reduce your work.

We will continually update this A-to-Z dictionary of Magento 2 B2B business with useful information and conceptualizations. Hence, mark-book this blog to read later.

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