We’ve just posted the list of top e-commerce trends 2018 and described how to follow them by installing the best Magento 2 modules. But since the B2B market always has its requirements, here is our vision of B2B e-commerce trends 2018 and recommendations on how to follow them with Magento 2.
Table of contents
- 1 B2B E-Commerce Trends 2018: Multichannel Integrations
- 2 B2B E-Commerce Trends 2018: Data-Driven Decisions
- 3 B2B E-Commerce Trends 2018: Price Flexibility
- 4 B2B E-Commerce Trends 2018: Fast Order
- 5 B2B E-Commerce Trends 2018: Advanced Order Management
- 6 B2B E-Commerce Trends 2018: M-Commerce
- 7 B2B E-Commerce Trends 2018: Secure Payments
- 8 B2B E-Commerce Trends 2018: Self-Service Portal
- 9 B2B E-Commerce Trends 2018: Personalized Catalogs
- 10 B2B E-Commerce Trends 2018: Cryptocurrency
- 11 B2B E-Commerce Trends 2018: Conclusion
B2B E-Commerce Trends 2018: Multichannel Integrations
Sometimes it seems that such things as multichannel integrations are apparent when we talk about B2B e-commerce. In fact, many merchants still don’t use all the benefits of the latest software solutions. Furthermore, when it comes to the Magento ecosystem, there are still more stores based on the first version of the platform. It’s a huge problem, but continuous updates draw merchants’ interest so that more and more businesses jump from Magento 1 to Magento 2. As you might have guessed, the situation with multichannel integrations is the same: while everyone knows that there is various software that combines all parts of your business, only a limited number of entrepreneurs get the benefit. Therefore, we hope that multichannel integrations will be one of the key B2B e-commerce trends 2018. And here is how to follow it with Magento 2.
Many B2B e-commerce stores rely on multiple warehouses due to the multichannel nature. If your shop is not an exception or you just want to join the trend, pay attention to the Magento 2 Multi Warehouse Inventory extension by Amasty.the module allows splitting inventory into several sections each of which represent a different warehouse. Use priority, location, and other parameters to manage your inventory routine most efficiently. Furthermore, warehouses can be assigned to store views with different languages or to a specific customer group.
Other features include advanced inventory management with unlimited warehouses, offline shops inventory tracking, custom stock locations, dropshipping, etc. Besides, you get the ability to split an order into several shipments and calculate costs separately by each warehouse location. Full stock control with per warehouse updates and three stock levels are also among the prominent features of the extension. Smart warehouse selection is also worth mentioning. It is an entirely customizable algorithm based on warehouse priority and location, store view, and assigned customer groups. These and other features are described here:
Alternatively, you may try Aitoc Multi Warehouse Inventory Magento 2 Extension.
And of course, following the multichannel integrations B2B e-commerce trend 2018 is impossible without connecting your Magento 2 store to various third-party platforms and services. And the ecosystem provides tons of all possible tools designed to simplify integration.
For instance, there is the Fooman Connect Magento 2 extension that enables integration with Xero – a cloud-based accounting software with the SaaS model (it means that you need to purchase the subscription to establish the connection).
You can even connect your Magento 2 website to Walmart, but it is not a B2B feature, so we are not going to describe it here.
And multichannel integrations lead to the usage of various enterprise resource planning systems. We will describe top solutions later, but now you can check our digest of the best Magento 2 ERP extensions.
B2B E-Commerce Trends 2018: Data-Driven Decisions
One of the significant differences between B2B and B2C is the nature of customer decisions. In case of B2C, they are driven mostly by emotions. As for B2B, customers rely on logic (which may also be driven by emotions). To make your business more profitable and suitable for both customer groups, you should make data-driven decisions which are based on logic.
Thus, you should always explore how your customers interact with your B2B Magento 2 website. To get as much information as possible, try the following reporting solutions:
We like this Magento 2 reporting extension for its user-friendly interface and colorful diagrams. The module provides 12 reports that cover all critical aspects of the Magento 2 website. You can find more information about the extension here:
Besides, there is always a Google Analytics account at your disposal. To get more precise data, you may split your wholesale customers into various segments. While Magento 2 doesn’t allow this by default, you can get the missing functionality with the help of Customer Segmentation Suite by Mirasvit or Customer Segmentation by Amasty.
What other data collecting tools would you recommend? Share your favorite ones in comments.
B2B E-Commerce Trends 2018: Price Flexibility
The Magento 2 ecosystem provides many tools designed to implement this B2B e-commerce trend. First of all, several reliable modules offer individual prices. Besides, you may also like to leverage tier prices. And it is necessary to pay a separate attention to Magento 2 price quote modules
With the help of this Magento 2 extension, you enable individual product pricing on your B2B store. The module provides six pricing schemes, allows hiding prices from guest customers, and supports tier pricing per customer. You can find more information about the module here:
Alternatively, you can check this tool: Price Per Customer by MageDelight.
If you want to leverage tier prices (as well as implement an individual approach to pricing), choose the Price System extension by AIRBYTES. Currently, this is one of the most robust solutions of its kind. The extension offers the following features:
- Customer-specific prices and tier prices;
- Category-specific and customer groups prices;
- Customizable price types;
- Multiple discount types;
- Customizable price lists;
- Support for multiple store views.
To explore the module more deeply, follow this link:
Cart2Quote introduces the easiest way to implement quote requests on the basis of Magento 2. It is one of the most popular and community-proven solutions. Usually, it is used in combination with Not2Order which allows hiding prices and “Add to Cart.” Thus, your B2B customers can only request quotes, while you provide an individual approach to pricing.
For further information, follow this link:
With all these Magento 2 modules, you will quickly achieve the highest possible price flexibility following one of the critical B2B e-commerce trends 2018 for 100%.
B2B E-Commerce Trends 2018: Fast Order
There are several ways to improve the default shopping experience of your B2B customers by implementing various fast order techniques. We sincerely hope that it will be a wide-spread B2B trend of 2018 since many wholesale websites still don’t do anything in this direction.
This plugin helps wholesale customers add a large number of items to cart simultaneously. Customers click to Fast Order shortcut, and a Fast Order CMS page is displayed to search and order in bulk. Just take a look at the following image, isn’t it much more comfortable than the default order process?
For further information, follow this link:
Alternatively, you can use the Ecomwise B2B Orderlist Magento 2 Extension.
We also have a tool that provides the ability to follow the B2B e-commerce trends in 2018. Meet the Improved Configurable Product extension. Among its features, there is one that substantially simplifies the ordering process. With the help of the matrix view grid, your customers can add multiple child products to the cart simultaneously, skipping product selection steps and increasing shopping speed. It works as follows:
For further information, go here:
And this is the alternative solution – Ecomwise Matrix Ordering.
B2B E-Commerce Trends 2018: Advanced Order Management
It is also a good idea to enhance the default order management workflow in 2018. To follow this B2B e-commerce trend, the Magento 2 ecosystem provides several entirely different tools. The basic improvement is introduced by the following Magento 2 extension:
Install the module, and you will add multiple new actions to the default order grid. The actions may be applied to multiple products simultaneously so that you will save lots of time with this plugin. For any further information, go here:
Another similar solution is Order Manager by Fooman. If you are looking for something more complicated, check these tools:
The Magento 2 order management extension by Mageworx allows modifying any order without canceling it. Besides, you can edit any shipping info and remove products available in the order. Selecting a new item for the order is no longer a problem. All these and others features are available via the backend section and described here:
A reliable enterprise resource planning system that includes all aspects of order management and at the same time allows controlling stocks and suppliers is Embedded ERP by Boost my Shop.
Providing services to enterprise clients is beneficial but not an easy task due to a large amount of info involved and the complexity of company client hierarchy. With our functionality, B2B feature management becomes almost effortless. Processing of shared catalogs, requisition lists, quotes and negotiable quotes arranges comfortable flow for order placements from both admin and client sides. Look at the features our software provides:
- Transfers of companies, company roles, quotes and negotiable quotes, requisition lists, shared catalogs;
- Import and export via REST and SOAP API, from FTP/SFTP, Google Sheets, Dropbox, URL, file upload;
- CSV, XML, Excel XLSX, ODS, Json, ZIP and TAR file support;
- Data mapping;
- Automatic database updates with cron.
B2B E-Commerce Trends 2018: Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality
And this is the most promising B2B e-commerce trend of 2018. While you won’t find many modules related to it, we couldn’t ignore the idea. Yes, there is our favorite chatbot called Woxy, but it is more a B2C tool (you can fully leverage it on your B2B website as well).
As for AR and VR, both can be leveraged to demonstrate goods you provide. Of course, it requires lots of resources to implement the trend, but the final result must be stunning. Imagine that you visit an online store that offers not only images, videos, and descriptions, but provides the ability to interact with the desired item in the virtual reality. While this seems like a B2C feature that causes lots of emotions and drives sales, it may become a robust part of a B2B website. It is not a secret that neither image nor video display all product details. But in case of a 3D model in the virtual reality, a customer can quickly view all nuances. Would the first B2B e-commerce website with the VR/AR support appear in 2018?
B2B E-Commerce Trends 2018: M-Commerce
Although mobile shopping is associated with B2C customers more often than with B2B, it doesn’t mean that your Magento 2 store shouldn’t be optimized. We recommend you to use the following extension.
Chances are, someone is looking for your B2B products on a smartphone screen; therefore, you should not only make your store fully responsive but also optimize its mobile performance. To achieve this goal, install the Magento 2 Accelerated Mobile Pages Extension by Plumrocket. The module provides the ability to integrate your Magento 2 store with the AMP project, creating Google AMP-optimized store. The extension supports Home, Product, Category, and CMS pages and allows editing their appearance right in the backend. Rich snippets and Google Analytics integration are also included. For further information, follow this link:
And if you are looking for a tool that allows creating a mobile application for your B2B Magento 2 website, choose MageDelight M2Native. It provides 100% native apps for both Android and iOS. Besides, you will get such features as mobile PayPal payment, push notifications, support for multiple languages and currencies, a scanner for barcodes, QR codes, and NFC, etc. For further information, follow this link:
B2B E-Commerce Trends 2018: Secure Payments
We always write about the importance of Magento 2 security, and it’s time to draw your attention to this problem once again. Meet another B2B e-commerce trend 2018 – secure payments. More and more malefactors are trying to steal payment credentials stored on your e-commerce website, but you can easily prevent the crime by implementing additional security measures. Although there are lots of various tools that increase the level of Magento safety, we recommend you to pay attention to MageDelight solutions, since they are aimed at secure payments. The following tools turn every B2B store into a fortress:
- CyberSource Secure Acceptance – a secure payment gateway for Magento 2;
- Cybersource Tokenization – an additional security level for credit card usage.
If you also want to increase the security level of your backend, check these Magento 2 modules: Magento 2 Admin Security Extensions.
B2B E-Commerce Trends 2018: Self-Service Portal
It is impossible to imagine a B2B storefront without managers who interact with clients, but there is a new B2B e-commerce trend for 2018: a B2B store as a self-service portal. B2B buyers become more independent, so you need to provide the appropriate shopping experience to keep the lights on.
To simplify the default shopping experience provided by Magento 2 and turn your e-commerce website into a self-service portal, we recommend you to implement the system of subscriptions and recurring payments. Of course, it is suitable for a limited range of businesses, but you can effortlessly leverage it for customers, who always return to your store to purchase the same items. By implementing subscriptions and recurring payments, you allow your clients to buy goods on your shop automatically on the basis of subscriptions. For further information about the feature and the best Magento 2 modules, check this post: Subscriptions and Recurring Payments Magento 2 Extensions.
Besides, you can implement the zero-step checkout. Since you already work with lots of returning customers, simplify their shopping experience by providing the ability to eliminate the checkout process. The feature is introduced as a part of the Magento 2.2.2 update, but there is also an alternative solution – Firebear Stripe Express Checkout for Magento 2. With this extension, your customers can complete the order not only on a product page but also in a cart for multiple products simultaneously. For any further information, follow this link:
B2B E-Commerce Trends 2018: Personalized Catalogs
We’ve just described several features related to personalization, but there is one more B2B e-commerce trend 2018 – personalized catalogs. At least, you should provide different catalogs for different groups of customers, and Amasty knows how to achieve that goal. With the Customer Group Catalog extension, you will effortlessly perform the following actions on the basis of a customer group:
- Hide product price and Hide ‘Add to cart’ button;
- Disable links to product pages and access to product categories;
- Provide customers with direct links to products hidden from category pages;
- Replace price with a custom CMS-block;
- Redirect users without access.
Thus, only B2B clients will be able to see your catalog. Implement the aforementioned personal product price strategy to milk the trend to all it’s worth.
B2B E-Commerce Trends 2018: Cryptocurrency
Of course, we cannot ignore cryptocurrencies. Although it is an entirely B2C trend, you don’t have to be a financial analyst to understand that altcoins will be used in B2B transactions as well. To prepare for the usage of crypto, we recommend you to choose one of the following modules:
This tool connects your B2B store to the CoinPayments cryptocurrency payment gateway that provides customers with the ability to use BitCoin, Ethereum, and 75+ altcoins. The extension allows accepting more than seventy altcoins, provides a wallet, offers PayPal integration, and enables fiat and direct bank deposit withdrawals. You can view a history of your transactions and provide customers with a fast and secure checkout. You can find more interesting facts about the module here:
The ShapeShift module is a free alternative solution, but it requires a third-party cryptocurrency wallet to be used. The extension allows accepting all possible altcoins with no login or registration. And no transaction fees are charged. For further information, follow this link:
B2B E-Commerce Trends 2018: Conclusion
That was our prediction on B2B e-commerce trends for 2018. Of course, there are lots of other modules designed to follow them, but we selected only our favorite time-proven solutions. If you know any better options; please, inform other readers via comments below and tell us why you think so.