As the world continues to grapple with the effects of COVID-19, the shift to digital in the B2B world has quickly accelerated. In this context, B2B eCommerce is set to continue growing at a fast pace. However, selling companies must be able to understand their customers' expectations and deliver better experiences.
In recent years, Adobe Commerce has emerged as a leading eCommerce platform for businesses worldwide. It is an all-in-one solution. It provides B2B companies with various tools to streamline their operations. These tools include customer management, order processing, inventory tracking, and payment processing.
In this post, we'll look closer at this year’s B2B landscape, why Adobe Commerce stands out as an eCommerce solution, how it stacks up against Magento Open Source, and its top B2B features.
How is the B2B eCommerce landscape projected to evolve in 2023?
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the B2B industry. Back in 2020, companies that didn’t operate online were suddenly faced with the necessity to adopt digital transformation. Nowadays, online buying has become the new normal for B2B —and customers are expecting increasingly better digital experiences.
According to Forrester Research, B2B eCommerce is expected to grow at an annual rate of 10.7% from 2022 to 2027. This fast-paced growth has forced many manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers to reevaluate their strategies and invest in new technology. In fact, 59% of companies list “eCommerce platform and applications” as their main priority for their tech budgets this 2023.
Without a doubt, the shift to digital has transformed the B2B commerce landscape. One thing is clear: clients have quickly adapted to buying online and are choosing brands that deliver seamless digital experiences. Merchants must prioritize understanding their customers' needs and expectations, and adapt their processes accordingly —or risk losing them to the competition.
To stay ahead of competitors, companies are focusing more and more on delivering personalized and custom experiences to their customers.
However, personalization is a greater challenge in B2B than in B2C. Moreover, certain B2B sectors, particularly those new to the online commerce landscape, may still be grappling with adaptation. Why is personalization in B2B such a big obstacle? Let’s see:
- A lot of things can go sideways in B2B commerce: Think strict product specifications, big credit deals, multi-approval from different people at the buying company, and intricate shipping and logistics arrangements. All of these factors require companies to invest time, money and resources in sophisticated eCommerce solutions. It’s only after sorting that first priority that brands can start to focus on their customers’ journeys and personalization.
- Complexity of decision-making: For a purchase to go through in B2C, you generally only need to address the end customer. In other words, there’s only one customer journey to worry about per purchase, only one prospect’s pain points to tackle, and it takes only one person to make the decision.
In B2B, on the other hand, the decision-making process is more complex because typically there are multiple decision-makers involved. This makes it harder to personalize content or experiences to specific individuals, as the needs and pain points of each stakeholder may differ.
- Longer sales cycles: B2B sales cycles tend to be longer than B2C sales cycles, as the decision-making process involves multiple stakeholders and may require a more in-depth evaluation of the product or service. This makes it more difficult to personalize content or experiences to specific individuals, as their needs and preferences may evolve over time.
- Unique business requirements: B2B customers tend to have unique requirements that may be difficult to address through personalization as the more individualized needs of B2C customers. For instance, a B2B customer may be more concerned with the functionality or compatibility of a product or service, rather than the look and feel or emotional appeal.
Overall, personalization in B2B requires a more tailored and strategic approach, with a focus on understanding the specific needs and pain points of each individual stakeholder and decision-maker.
Despite these complexities, brands are determined to focus their efforts on creating better, more seamless customer experiences. In fact, 63% of the companies surveyed by Adobe are investing in new site features and eCommerce solutions that allow them to deliver customized experiences to their clients.
It's a lot to juggle, but with the right digital tools and a sharp strategy, you can overcome these hurdles and come out on top!
What is Adobe Commerce?
Before we dive into the specifics, such as the Adobe Commerce B2B features and the “Adobe Commerce vs. Magento Open Source” debate, let’s take a step back and talk about what is Adobe Commerce in the first place. This Adobe solution is an enterprise-level eCommerce platform that combines powerful tools for content management, product merchandising, order management, and customer experience management. This all-in-one solution makes it easy for businesses to create and manage their online stores.
While it is widely known that Adobe Commerce is a great option for B2C brands, it’s not such a well-known fact that it’s an excellent choice for B2B companies. So, throughout this article, we’ll be focusing on the benefits this platform offers to B2B merchants.
Adobe Commerce vs. Magento Open Source
Adobe Commerce is built on the Magento platform, which was acquired by Adobe back in 2018. Since then, Adobe has invested in enhancing the platform’s capabilities, adding new features and functionalities to help businesses grow and succeed in the digital age. However, both platforms are still active to this day, and businesses are free to choose whichever suits their needs the best.
So, what’s the difference between Adobe Commerce and Magento Open Source? The short answer is that Adobe Commerce is a more advanced, feature-rich version of Magento. Adobe Commerce includes features like advanced search capabilities, content staging and preview, and customer segmentation. It also includes integrations with other Adobe products, like Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target.
On the other hand, Magento Open Source is, as its name suggests, a free, open-source platform. It has basic features that can be customized with third-party extensions. While Magento is a good option for small businesses, it may not have the robust features, security, and integrations that larger B2B businesses need.
If you’re still unsure which of these two platforms might be best for your brand, don’t worry —we've got you covered. So, before we dive into the Adobe Commerce B2B features, let’s explore the differences between Commerce and Magento in more detail.
Adobe Commerce vs. Magento Open Source — main differences.
One of the main differences between Adobe Commerce and Magento Open Source is that Adobe Commerce is a cloud-based platform, while Magento is a self-hosted solution. This means that with Commerce, you don't need to worry about managing servers, security patches, or software updates, as Adobe takes care of all of that for you.
Another key difference is that Adobe Commerce comes with a wide range of additional features and functionalities that aren't available in Magento. These include advanced B2B capabilities such as customer-specific pricing and payment terms, as well as powerful tools for managing customer accounts and orders.
In short, while Magento is a great option for small to mid-sized businesses looking for a flexible, open-source eCommerce platform, Adobe Commerce is the clear choice for larger enterprises with complex needs and high-volume sales.
Adobe Commerce B2B features
One of the main reasons companies choose Adobe Commerce is because of its powerful B2B features. Take a look at some of our favorite ones:
- Flexibility and scalability: One of the standout features of Adobe Commerce is that it can handle the demands of businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large enterprises. Moreover, its flexibility ensures that it can grow and evolve alongside the companies that use it.
- Custom catalogs and pricing: It allows brands to create custom catalogs and pricing structures for each of their customers, based on factors like their purchase history and order volume. In other words, it allows you to personalize the customer journey according to each buyer’s specific interactions with your brand.
- Advanced customer management: Adobe Commerce's advanced customer management features make it easy for businesses to manage multiple customers, including creating customer groups and managing user roles and permissions.
- Streamlined ordering and fulfillment: It streamlines the ordering and fulfillment process, so you can quickly and easily manage your orders from start to finish.
- Robust reporting and analytics: Adobe Commerce has state-of-the-art analytics and reporting capabilities. For instance, it provides companies with valuable insights into their sales performance and customer behavior. This, in turn, allows businesses to make data-driven decisions to optimize their operations.
- Customer hierarchies: B2B businesses often have complex organizational structures with multiple departments and decision-makers. Adobe Commerce allows you to create customer hierarchies so that you can manage these complex relationships.
- Quick order: B2B customers often know exactly what they need, and they don't want to spend an endless time browsing through products. Adobe’s platform has a quick order feature that allows customers to enter SKUs or product names and quickly add items to their cart.
- Quote management: B2B sales often involve negotiations and a whole lot of quotes. Adobe offers a time-saving feature for this through their quote management feature, which allows businesses to easily manage quotes and send them to customers for approval.
Of course, these are just some of the Adobe Commerce B2B features. When it comes to this platform, there’s an ocean of capabilities and benefits to explore.
Adobe Commerce Solution Partners
We know that finding the right Adobe Commerce Solution Partners to collaborate with is not an easy task. It takes time, research, calls, demos, budgeting, and maybe even some in-person meetings. At the same time, picking a partner that perfectly suits your company’s needs is essential for achieving your goals.
As Adobe Commerce Solution Partners, at Conexio helping B2B brands design the best digital experiences for their customers is our bread and butter. In fact, we’re not just regular Adobe Commerce Solution Partners —we are Adobe Silver Partners. This means that we offer our clients a higher level of service and expertise across the different Adobe solutions.
We work with a long-term vision for our clients’ success, collaborating closely with them to develop a roadmap for how they can continue to scale and grow their business. Plus, we also have a deep understanding of our clients' industries and the challenges they face, and we leverage this knowledge to help them anticipate and overcome potential obstacles.
If you’re looking for Adobe Commerce Solution Partners, reach out to us to learn how we can help you reach your goals and unlock business growth.
P.s.: We’ve also put together a list of things you should look for when searching for an Adobe Solutions Partner.