When April comes around, it means only one thing for ecommerce – the Magento Imagine Conference. The 2017 event was bigger than ever, with over 2,700 people attending in Las Vegas. And, without a doubt, one of the biggest developments was the B2B (business-to-business) Commerce Cloud. Keep reading to see what it is, how it works, and how it will benefit B2B ecommerce stores worldwide.

The B2B market

Magento is a hugely popular ecommerce platform for business-to-customer (B2C) sales. But, so far, it hasn’t capitalised on the B2B market. The market is out there though. In fact, Magento’s Senior Vice President of Product and Technology, Jason Woosley, says that as much as 60 percent of Magento clients are already participating in some level of B2B sales.

But using a B2C platform, there’s only so far you can go. Magento’s new B2B Commerce Cloud aims to give B2B users the speed and simplicity of the B2C experience with new features to optimise it for corporate commerce.

How will they do it?

The new B2B platform will equip merchants with a set of core features to make B2B trade quicker, easier and more efficient:

  • Quotes – With an in-built quote workflow, businesses will be able to request quotes for orders and negotiate prices with ease
  • Corporate account management – different levels of permissions and roles for corporate customers will make it easier to manage clients
  • Customisation – As part of the account management, customised catalogues and price lists can be assigned to specific customers or groups of customers
  • Payment on credit – A payment on credit option has been added to make it easier for businesses to form long-term partnerships
  • Multiple channels – Businesses with multiple brands, or selling to both customers and businesses, can manage multiples sites from the same platform.
  • Quick ordering – Corporate customers will be able to make large orders without the hassle by uploading lists of SKUs and importing requisition lists
  • Recurring purchases – An updated order interface allows businesses to set up recurring purchases and copy previous orders.

A bespoke B2B platform

It’s clear the new platform has been designed with business-to-business commerce in mind. The range of features will make it easier for merchants and buyers across the board. “We strongly believe that commerce has to be reinvented. That’s not just a Magento perspective; it’s broader than that,” explains Jason Woosley. “We’re trying to raise the bar for B2B so businesses are experiencing commerce in the same friendly, delightful way as B2C.”

Other announcements at Imagine 2017

As well as introducing the new B2B interface, Imagine 2017 saw some other key announcements by Magento. They will continue to develop their flagship Magento Commerce Cloud, with improvements to payments, analytics and new content management. Their Social Commerce development is also set to bridge the gap between social media and ecommerce sites, allowing merchants to easily synchronise the two.

The other big announcement was their new Magento Shipping service. Providing merchants with access to a range of leading carriers, the new system aims to make it quicker, easier and cheaper to ship products anywhere in the world. It’s a big step in allowing merchants to expand with ease.

Unparalleled ecommerce expertise

To maximise your sales online, your Magento site needs to work to its full potential. Whether you’re looking to boost B2C, B2B or both, Fluid Digital’s award-winning team of Magento web developers can help. We create top-rate Magento websites that get attention and generate sales. With our experience, creativity and know-how, we can give you a site that will help propel your ecommerce business forward. For more information, contact us today.