Understanding How One of the Biggest Players Can Help YouSome of the most undersold feature sets of many of the major eCommerce platforms are the sets which are geared towards business-to-business eCommerce. B2B eCommerce is an enormous part of the eCommerce industry that often shies from the limelight simply because there is so much to be said about consumer-facing eCommerce, especially with the meteoric rise of mobile as a shopping option for everyday consumers. However, despite it rarely garnering the attention of consumer-facing eCommerce, B2B eCommerce is a massive subset of the industry, and each of the major platforms offers different, customized B2B options to merchants doing business with other businesses. With BigCommerce being one of the most popular options for eCommerce merchants of all stripes, we decided that a profile of the platform specifically focused on B2B eCommerce would be a valuable venture for our own education and the education of our readers. The world of B2B sales online is thriving more than ever, and it’s high time it gets the spotlight it deserves.
A New Features Structure Designed for B2B ECommerceIn profiling BigCommerce’s business-to-business features, one clear focus stood out: flexibility. Many of the features BigCommerce has developed to entice B2B clients to its platform are structured around facilitating pre-existing B2B tools, whether by offering direct integration or simple transition. The list of partnerships and direct integrations that BigCommerce has been able to secure is rather impressive, running the gamut from CRM solutions to shipping and order fulfillment applications. BigCommerce now boasts partnerships with CRM solutions like SalesForce, tax applications like Avalara AvaTax, QuickBooks, and Intuit, and shipping apps like Ordoro. This massive library of plugins is supplemented by a well-documented API that allows BigCommerce clients and companies hoping to sell to BigCommerce clients to easily design new tools and interfaces. In addition to direct integration features, BigCommerce for B2B also includes a number of features meant to smooth transitions from other platforms and from brick-and-mortar business alike. Possibly the most fundamental of these feature sets is the expanded B2B payment options that BigCommerce includes for B2B eCommerce clients. In addition to building partnerships with nearly every major payment processor, BigCommerce built solid frameworks for integrating purchase orders and company cards. Company card and PO features include the ability to set special roles for employees of business clients, cost limits, and much more. BigCommerce also put a structure in place that allows B2B merchants to quickly and easily generate detailed, customized quotes, again hinting at a focus on flexibility and ease-of-transition. Together, these feature sets can prove to pave the way for businesses looking to break into eCommerce, especially if they are already established and have clients on a different platform or through offline dealings.
A Platform for Entrepreneurs by EntrepreneursWhat becomes immediately apparent in the exploration of BigCommerce as a B2B solution is the attention to detail an nuance that is captured in the feature sets. BigCommerce designed their B2B solutions having listened to the needs of entrepreneurs, and, being a company whose business model is, in-and-of-itself, business-to-business, they were able to approach the creation of a B2B tool with first-hand experience. While no single platform is the champion of the industry, BigCommerce certainly has a lot of success under their collective belt. This is seen in their understanding of how to blend traditionally vital eCommerce features with the needs of B2B eCommerce brands. Market segmentation, for example, is a core part of the basic BigCommerce B2B platform. Likewise, BigCommerce was able to swing its already accomplished collection of website templates directly into the business-to-business market, simply adding new options for companies in this subsection of eCommerce. BigCommerce’s theme and template library is industry-renowned and having access to that as a B2B merchant is invaluable.
How Does BigCommerce Compare to the CompetitionWhile comparisons are always difficult to make in the current, highly-competitive frontier of eCommerce, some features stand out against the other major platforms while others lag behind. Magento, for example, is one of BigCommerce’s biggest competitors in the B2B spheres, though it offers considerably less integration with popular tools. Magento’s internal platform offerings are robust, including having a great API system in place for companies that prefer custom solutions. In addition, Magento’s market recognition is almost unmatched, with major clients like Burger King granting credence to the platform. While BigCommerce does not offer quite as powerful name-recognition or internal features, it excels over the rest of the industry in toolset integration. In comparison to Shopify, BigCommerce seems like a clear winner. At first glance, Shopify’s B2B offerings seem slim; however, upon deeper inspection, Shopify’s redeeming strength can be found: automation. Where BigCommerce easily outmaneuvers both Magento and Shopify in partnerships and tool integration, Shopify outperforms the other two platforms in raw automation features. Any company considering a move to BigCommerce will certainly not be making a mistake. BigCommerce is no doubt one of the most sterling solutions available to B2B merchants currently. However, if your company is looking to optimize, fill in gaps in an already existing structure, or target specific areas of business for improvement, you may wish to consider multiple options. A company with a solid eCommerce structure already in place that needs to be automated, for example, may benefit more from a switch to Shopify than to BigCommerce. All in all, BigCommerce is likely to be most attractive to companies coming from the world of brick-and-mortar who may not yet have eCommerce solutions for the necessities of business. Many of the companies that traditionally ruled the brick-and-mortar section of retail business administration have now made partnerships with BigCommerce, meaning that established companies operating in that sphere will have a much easier time expanding into eCommerce with BigCommerce than with other platforms. If you’re interested in learning more about B2B eCommerce platform options, our team can help. We’ve focused our entire company on providing services to eCommerce entrepreneurs like you, and we want to help your company succeed in the world of business-to-business commerce online. Reach out to us today at [email protected] to see what we can do for you!
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