Whether your online business is now a B2C or a B2B focus, sit down and draw a plan for Magento 2 unified B2C and B2B from now on. Think big and you will gain big.
Online B2C & B2B Are Two Sides of The Same Coin
Years ago, we knew B2B and B2C as two separate models. They adopted different marketing tactics and targeted different customer groups. However, the unstoppable trend of eCommerce B2B is blurring the gap.
Pros and Cons of eCommerce B2B business
A noticeable part of the B2B landscape is going online. Forrester even forecasted in The B2B eCommerce Playbook For 2019 that US B2B eCommerce will have accounted for 17% of the total B2B sales by 2023, equivalent to $1.8 trillion.
This growth makes sense for many reasons
- Cut cost and time thanks to the self-service
As B2B ecommerce becomes more and more popular, the self-service term comes after. Naturally, it is your B2B buyer who searches and adds products to cart on their own instead of waiting in lines to be responded by sales representatives.
The customer self-service is a win-win concept.
Customers find it quick to access and proceed their purchases according to their tasty buffet, whereas you cut a significant cost on labors to follow up the customers.
- Acquire new customers and increase sales opportunities
A B2B ecommerce website will bring new customers knocking your door for sales.
Exciting enough, B2B buyers get younger and younger over time. They are tech-savvy and spend many times surfing on the Internet. They are quick decision-makers, we might add. nline B2B boosts the conversion rate dramatically.
- Leverage the database to know B2B customers better
Data is essential for every business, whether the B2B or B2C focus. Fortunately, having an online website opens a bunch of ways to leverage your database.
Almost all B2B ecommerce platforms now connect to a CMS. It means you can be updated on customer purchases and other information on the fly.
- Fasten the payment process
In B2B, payment plays a pivotal role to streamline the business. Though customers can pay by debit, B2B merchants still want to fasten the process as much as possible. This is where online payment methods show their advantages.
With an online website integrated with electronic payment gateways, both you and your customers feel safe and comfortable to complete the payment.
There still remains some disadvantages
We will overcome them soon, thanks to the outbreak of technology.
- Require a complex buying journey
It is no secret that B2B ecommerce expands the sales opportunities significantly. However, many merchants are still not really to make a move. The customer shopping journey is far more complicated than B2C business and offline B2B.
To be exact, B2B products often require customized quotes, multiple configurations. And, information must be visual so that customers can make informed decisions.
For example, the product image must change in real-time and according to the customers’ choices.
- Face up to a fierce competitiveness
To tell the truth, it is now easier to start your online business than ever. However, bear in mind that you have to do all the way to survive against an increasing competition before you can get the first order.
You must invest in SEO optimization and tailor the valuable content for your targeted customers. It is all about ranking your Magento 2 website on the first page of SERPs.
- Lack the timely customer services
Though it is recommended for a B2B business to give customers the freedom from discovery to conversion, it does not mean eliminating the involvement of sales representatives.
Without timely customer support, customers might feel confused and hard to come to a decision.
Unfortunately, many B2B websites do not give less care to this part than offline B2B business.
Pros and Cons of eCommerce B2C business
So far, eCommerce B2C has been the most successful online business model since the ecommerce boom.
Compared to the B2B business, B2C is more easy to start.
Advantages of having a B2C website:
- Reach a large number of customers globally
- Convert visitors to consumers more easily
- Set up all configurations easily, especially when you use platforms like Shopify, Magento, Wix, etc.
- Recommend for small to medium merchants since the B2C is easy to set up and market
Disadvantages on the other side:
- Struggle to even-harsh competitiveness
- Handle with a bunch of small orders at a time
- Get low-profit margin since the separate order value often low
- Invest much on marketing tactics to get repeated customers
A Unified Website – Where B2C and B2B Meet
Building a B2B website from scratch is costly. Running and optimizing it to pop up in the ecommerce world take time and effort. However, if you have already a B2C website, then the expansion toward B2B is much more comfortable.
Universal management improves the efficiency
Online B2B and B2C are not different, like chalk and cheese. They share common characteristics of an ecommerce website. Hence, you can manage the two under one unified database rather than multiple directories.
- One catalog and inventory management
- Reduced technical tweaks since all codes and themes are within one site
- SEO optimization for the whole website
- Concentrated brand promotion
Unified B2C and B2B appeals to more customers and sales
Being B2B merchants mean you have to sacrifice price for the large order volume. However, you can target big customers who are likely to return for frequent purchases. It is beneficial in the long term.
Whereas, as B2C merchants, you can cut the broker cost and maximize the price by selling directly to the end customers. Although the average order value is much less, you can reach a considerable number of customers.
A unified B2C and B2B website makes it possible to target both and maximize your sales opportunities.
A business-to-many model leverages customer experiences
A unified B2C and B2B website is considered a B2M (Take this new concept of “Business-to-many” to your dictionary.) It adopts the characteristics of both B2B and B2C businesses. But most importantly, it is customer-focused. In other words, all shoppable steps are designed to improve customer experiences.
Treat your B2B buyers like consumers rather than a whole business.
They look for quick and customizable purchasing options, which you can steal or borrow from your experiences with B2C customers. Moreover, B2B buyers want the price to be affordable and personalized.
Magento 2 Is Favorable for Your First Unified B2C and B2B Store
Magento 2 used to build with B2C experiences in mind. However, the platform is envolved to adapt to the changes in eCommerce B2B trends.
A huge catalog capacity
Rich catalog features make Magento 2 overpassed other ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Wix, or Big Commerce, especially when it comes to building and managing over a unified B2C and B2B website.
To be specific, Magento 2 supports 6 product types, each of which is built with a bunch of dynamic attributes so that you can easily control categories, inventory, price, content, and more.
Multiple inventory sources
No doubt, Multi-source inventory (MSI) was one of the most noticeable advances of the Magento 2.3 version.
Accordingly, merchants can:
- Create unlimited sources based on the inventory strategies and demand
- Group multiple sources into virtual stocks to fit sale channels
- Assign product quantity to specific sources at will
- Keep track of multiple inventories quickly and conveniently
If you are planning a unified B2C and B2B website, this MSI feature will help split the B2B and B2C inventory sources so that you can manage the catalog more professionally.
Flexible customer segmentation
Segmentation lies at the heart of customer insight so that you can understand your target across the modern business. Then, it is successful in delivering the right information to the right people, at the right time and convert them into repeat customers.
The concept of Magento 2 customer segmentation is straightforward, about how to divide your customers into different groups having some common characteristics.
Put customer segmentation into practices of a unified B2C and B2C website:
- Geographic: country, climate, population, etc.
- Behavioral: Benefits sought (e.g., prestige, quality, or price), page view, order history, preferred payment/shipping methods, etc.
- Demographic: Age, education level, job title, income, etc.
- Lifestyle: Social values, community, cultural practices, etc.
Once you already segment customers into groups, say, Wholesale and Retail, the next step is to display content and promotions dynamically.
Personalized price rules
Pricing is the critical difference between the B2B and B2C business. Having a Unified B2C and B2B website means you know exactly whom to display the price straightforward and whom to offer personalized price.
You know who is who, right?
Magento 2 B2B Package Fits All Context
Magento 2 default functions are outstanding. However, to start your first unified B2C and B2B website, you must invest in some advanced features.
We have bundled all in one package, called Magento 2 B2B Package. Besides the well-coded features, the favorable price is what you can’t refuse.