We hear a great deal about the use of Magento as a B2C ecommerce platform, but over the last few months the developers of Magento have put a lot of effort into targeting a whole new sector. The way in which B2B purchasers operate is changing, and companies that operate in the B2B space will need to adapt if they want to remain competitive.
Today, buyers don’t want to be forced to talk to a salesperson. Yes, it’s nice to have that option for those times when you need expert advice, but for the most part they want to know that they can do their own research, and then make a purchase at their leisure. No pressure, no sales pitch, and no time wasted in meetings. B2B businesses that cannot do this will lose out to those that offer their prospective customers greater freedom.
The Magento B2B Programme
That’s why Magento has launched the B2B programme. Mark Lavelle, Magento CEO, notes that distributors and manufacturers both favour Magento because of the way in which it allows them to curate the experiences that they offer. And yet at the same time it allows them the control they need to shape the experience to match their unique requirements. The time to market is low, and the platform is generally easy to use, too.
Even before the programme launched, there were hundreds of B2B companies using Magento Enterprise Edition, and many more using the consumer edition. This puts the company in a strong position to grow and to tailor its software to business owners.
Since it originally launched as a B2C platform, Magento is facing a learning curve but it is working with a number of companies including Alpine Consulting, eWave, netz98, and X2i, in a bid to improve the experience that it offer to business users.
The existing Magento API has been praised by B2B users, and the platform is easy to customise. But there is still quite a bit that could be done to offer a better experience out of the box. However, the basics including account management, negotiated pricing terms, ERP connectors, inventory management, and mobile-friendly design are all there.
Now that Magento is its own entity, free from the influence of eBay’s other projects, it will have the time and the resources to focus on building an even more impressive and powerful Magento B2B and B2C platform.