B2B eCommerce Integration Platform: What to look out for
Choosing the right B2B eCommerce platform can be a complicated and sometimes daunting task, with many different platforms, features and integrations to consider, to ensure your business needs are adequately accommodated for. One does not want to leave any manual processes in the ordering process as this will become difficult to manage over time as your order volumes increase
We’ll cover the following main points regarding choosing the right B2B platform:
- Does my B2B eCommerce platform need to integrate with my accounting software?
- Does my B2B eCommerce platform cater for multiple pricelists?
- Does customer data sync from my accounting software to my B2B eCommerce platform?
- Does stock integrate from my accounting system to B2B platform?
- Are there the right stock, price and checkout fields to cater for my B2B eCommerce needs?
1 - Does my B2B eCommerce platform need to integrate with my accounting software?
One of the critical components of choosing an online B2B eCommerce platform when starting your search is “does this platform integrate with my accounting software”, like Sage Accounting.
If your B2B eCommerce platform does not integrate with your Sage Accounting software, you’re going to need lots of human resource hours to keep the system running and up to date.
B2B eCommerce is aimed at providing an easy to use and accurate interface for your customers to place orders, manage their stock requirements and plan their operations better. If your stock or price is incorrect, the customer will lose faith in your B2B eCommerce system fairly quickly, and may source a competitor who has an accurate integrated B2B eCommerce system that truly offers convenience.
B2B eCommerce systems like WooCommerce’s B2B platform do not have any integrations and will have to be coded manually – this is incredibly expensive, time consuming and a fraught process.
Storehub.io B2B eCommerce does integrate with your accounting software for price, stock and customer information and also caters for B2B with multiple warehouses too.
2 - Does my B2B eCommerce platform cater for multiple pricelists?
B2B eCommerce can often be characterised as “customers with specific pricing” which more often than not requires your B2B platform to cater for multiple pricelists.
Beware of B2B eCommerce platforms offering “B2B” while only offering a single pricelist with discount tiers based on that one pricelist. In order to offer the appropriate flexibility, you’ll need more than just one pricelist with customer groups.
With Storehub.io B2B Commerce, multiple pricelists sync through to your B2B platform and even customer-specific discounts that pull through from their master file on record.
3 - Does customer data sync from my accounting software to my B2B eCommerce platform?
This point can often easily be overlooked when choosing a B2B Commerce platform as the focus can be on price or stock management or other features a B2B Commerce platform offers.
If the platform you’re looking at does not import customer data (think delivery address, customer email, contact details, linked pricelist, tax/VAT rates and more), you’ll need to manually import all this information into your B2B Commerce platform every time a new customer is added. If the customer changes any of this key information, your B2B Commerce orders may get sent to the incorrect address, or the B2B store will simply no longer be as useful to you or your clients due to the data inaccuracies.
4 - Does stock integrate from my accounting system to the B2B Commerce platform?
If your business manufactures on demand or can source product on request, it may not be pertinent to sync stock to your B2B Commerce platform.
The vast majority of B2B commerce stores out there would be rendered useless to your customers if you were unable to sync stock and pricing to your B2B Commerce store.
Customers rely on your stock display accuracy heavily to plan their stock holding or other business requirements. If an item they desperately need to complete a large project or order is marked as “out of stock”, when you in fact received stock that week, may prompt customers to look elsewhere for a more reliable supplier.
As and when stock comes in or out of stock (or exact units shown to customers), it’s important that your store updates within minutes on your B2B eCommerce platform.
5 - Does my B2B Commerce platform cater for the fields on checkout that I need?
B2B eCommerce often requires certain information at the point of checkout, like a customers’ address or even a Purchase Order number.
If your B2B Commerce platform allows for a customer to enter in their own delivery address, you need to be wary of the options for opening up fraud (in that an employee at the company could enter in a bogus delivery address and hijack the goods). This is possible as B2B eCommerce stores typically transact “On Account”, meaning the customer has 30-day terms or similar to settle.
Storehub.io integrated B2B Commerce has an optional delivery address setting, whereby you can allow a customer to input their own custom delivery address OR force the customer to use the delivery address that’s on record in your Sage Accounting software.
A Purchase Order number is often required at the point of checkout as well for B2B Commerce customers, and Storehub.io has a setting that caters perfectly for this: have PO as optional, required or hidden.
If you’re looking to set up a B2B Commerce platform from scratch, or even add a B2B Commerce platform to your existing WooCommerce store or similar, we suggest taking a look at Storehub.io as it caters for 90% of all B2B Trade eCommerce needs right out the box, and can be set up in minutes to start transacting. Tight integration with major accounting systems like Sage Business Cloud, Sage 50 and Sage 200 make the Storehub.io B2B Commerce a powerful tool to increase your bottom line.