February 28, 2019 by Momo Rosner

Five B2B eCommerce myths debunked

“It’s too expensive.”

“It’s going to take too long.”

No.

We’re not talking about Boeing’s $2M jetpack competition (check out the mind-blowing promo video at the end of this blog).

Or the people of New York in 1927 commenting on the construction of the George Washington Bridge (which took six years and cost $1 billion dollars).

These are common B2B myths.

And we’re here to debunk them.

So let’s get to debunking…

1. “I don’t sell to consumers, so I don’t need an online store.”

We’ve heard this plenty of times. Why bother with an online store when you’re conducting business with other companies – and you’re not selling to end-users? There’s no growth in B2B eCommerce, right?

Wrong.

B2B eCommerce conducted using a supplier’s website reached $954 billion in 2018 and is expected to breach the $1 trillion mark in 2019 and beyond.

The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of B2B eCommerce was 7.9% in 2018.

Yes, B2B eCommerce is still not bringing in as much revenue, compared to PO systems and invoice networks, and ERP/order management platforms.

But it’s growing quickly.

According to Forrester Research, B2B eCommerce in the US is expected to be double the size of the B2C market by 2021.

By providing your B2B customers with more options for purchasing your products, you can take advantage of this growth in B2B eCommerce.

2. B2B customers don’t care about fancy website designs.

Since B2B customers don’t care about design and are only interested in functionality, you can build a B2B eCommerce website on the cheap, right?

Wrong again.

While it’s true that, for the most part, B2B users are not interested in being dazzled by custom website themes and cutting-edge design, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to use a functional, easy-to-use website.

A B2B consumer is still a consumer. And 48% of consumers say that web design is the #1 determiner of the credibility of a business.

If you make the effort to build a B2B website, you should also invest in a functional, attractive, and intuitive layout. Simply building a website that works isn’t enough. You need more than that.

In a 2017 Forrester/Internet Retailer online survey of 183 B2B buyers, 38% said they wanted the flexibility to place orders 24×7 and 22% stated they want a faster process.

Your customers need to be able to order from you quickly and easily and enjoy using your website. Providing a smooth customer experience – from beginning to end – should always be your top priority.

With an easy-to-use, robust B2B eCommerce platform, you’re can deliver your B2B customers exactly what they demand: an eCommerce experience as personalized and efficient as those they enjoy on consumer sites.

3. A B2B website takes years to complete.

This may have been true in the past – when there were no eCommerce platforms that could be used for B2B purposes. But today, we have platforms like Magento, which offer native, out-of-the-box compatibility for B2B websites.

Using a platform like Magento, which includes the basic software and web architecture you need to build a highly-effective eCommerce website, you can deploy a completely-customized, robust, and effective website in as little as three months.

Of course, this depends on the things that you need from your website.

You can expect your project to take a longer time if you require:

  • Custom features or functionality
  • Integrations with a home-grown ERP or CRM software
  • Multiple sites

In this case, from the time of development starts to launch may take between 6-9 months. However, this is on the far end to the spectrum. In our experience, most B2B projects are completed within 4-6 months.

With today’s modern eCommerce and B2B tools on the Magento platform, it’s easier than ever to build a robust, extensible, and flexible B2B eCommerce website, which is sure to last you for years to come.

4. B2B website development is sooooo expensive.

If we were having this conversation 10 years ago, I would agree with you.

Creating a B2B website required heavy custom customization and web development costs added up quickly.

But that’s no longer the case.

Magento Commerce for examples includes a powerful B2B eCommerce platform with its latest version natively. At no extra cost.

It includes many out-of-the-box features you need for a robust B2B experience:

  • Create custom pricing & catalogs
  • Sell on terms and with credit limits
  • Your customers can add new users and assign specific roles and permissions.
  • Share and edit cart with other buyers in the company.
  • Fast ordering by SKU or CSV upload
  • Streamlined quote management and price negotiation

In fact, B2B website development is on par with traditional B2C web development projects. It all depends on the complexity of your site, product configuration, and any unique functionality.

It’s difficult to provide a reasonable price estimate without an initial conversation.

If you’re interested in a more informed quote, please contact us. We’d love to learn about your business and discuss the best B2B solution.

5. Implementing B2B eCommerce will force me to restructure my business

Nope.

The Magento B2B suite is designed to fit your business structure and work in parallel with other sales sources for B2B products and services, such as:

  • SaaS e-procurement systems
  • d-procurement software programs
  • Purchase order/invoice networks
  • EDI networks, integrated with ERP platforms and supplier order management platforms

It’s important for you to realize that B2B eCommerce doesn’t have to be the primary focus of your company. Lview it as another useful channel through which you can bring in new customers – and please existing customers, who would prefer to use a B2B eCommerce website, rather than one of the other procurement services listed above.

Don’t fall for these eCommerce myths.

If you’re thinking about investing in a B2B eCommerce store, don’t fall for these eCommerce myths. Today, it’s easier than ever to get started – and build a powerful, flexible, and easy-to-use eCommerce platform to sell to your business partners.

An if you’re still interested in Boeing’s $2M jetpack competition, here’s their awesome promo video to whet your appetite:

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