Just this month BigCommerce announced the launch of “B2B Edition,” its enterprise version that incorporates features from B2B app provider “Bundle B2B.” This is an important announcement for BigCommerce and a great opportunity for e-commerce integrators (like Accorin) to provide another great option for mid-market B2B merchants.
With the ease and convenience of managing SaaS e-commerce infrastructure, B2B e-commerce merchants can now offer their customers core B2B functionality. B2B merchants often struggle to balance the investment of the more expensive and robust B2B e-commerce stacks, and the need to provide customers with a B2C-like user experience. At Accorin, we believe BigCommerce now offers a very viable B2B solution for SMB and mid-market B2B merchants.
B2B Edition Gives BigCommerce a New Dimension
Prior to this announcement, BigCommerce was a stepping stone platform competing with Shopify, but with a superior app (plugin) called “Bundle B2B,” developed and maintained by a separate developer. This meant that customers needed to login separately and manage the app functionality separately from BigCommerce. But not anymore! Bundle B2B has now been completely integrated with the core BigCommerce platform – rebranded to “B2B Edition.”
As a BigCommerce Solution Partner, we’ve gotten to know the product intimately, and we like what we are seeing. It doesn’t have as extensive of a B2B feature set compared to Adobe Commerce. However it offers a core set of B2B features that will work for many B2B merchants, especially manufacturers and distributors.
The Key Benefits of B2B Edition
BigCommerce is marketing the B2B Edition to B2B merchants and brands that want to sell wholesale. This means potentially helping brands that are selling B2B for the first time or helping brands that want to ramp up from “occasional wholesale purchasing activity” to becoming true wholesalers. BigCommerce believes the key benefits include:
1. Empower Sales Teams
Speed up deals with the ability for sales reps to create custom quotes and discounts, as well as log in, shop and purchase on behalf of customers.
2. Reduce Friction in the Path to Purchase
Attract new buyers and make life easier for loyal customers. Advanced payment options, shared shopping lists and buy-again capabilities allow customers to buy their way.
3. Tailor the Customer Experience
Define custom account hierarchies and price lists to show each customer exactly what they need to see — all on a responsive, mobile-friendly site
We believe B2B Edition also provides a clear path for business expansion by enabling brands with a B2C2B model (and vice-versa). Mid market brands and merchants must be nimble and that means being able to sell retail and wholesale; BigCommerce B2B Edition now enables both these quite nicely and it does so while still offering all of its legacy value proposition: dependable, high-performance infrastructure, the unique Stencil-based front end for designing and enabling great UX, and a boat load of apps that can extend functionality.
Key Features of B2B Edition
The key features of the BigCommerce B2B Edition include:
- Price quote management, which lets sales reps develop custom price quotes and discounts;
- Managing multiple customer purchasing roles and permissions, providing customers the pricing and other information that need to access;
- Client address books;
- Multiple payment methods;
- Buy again or reorder feature;
- Quick-order pad;
- Customer account management by sales agents and supervisors, who can make approved purchases on behalf of customers.
Compared to Shopify
Shopify merchants can get some B2B functionality using integrated apps and plugins. The challenge would be that if a merchant integrates 5 or 6 apps to get the basic B2B functionality they need, the cost is going to increase and the complexity of managing all of those apps is going to be a burden on some manager somewhere.
We love Shopify, but it is not our first choice for B2B merchants with any scale. B2B Edition from Big Commerce fills an important void and allows merchants to get the ease of use and provide their customers with a B2C experience with the core features needed in B2B transactions.
Compared to Magento
B2B Edition doesn’t have as much of the core B2B functionality that Adobe Commerce Cloud does, and given the open nature of Magento (it’s not SaaS) it can’t be customized anyway you want. But obviously there’s a price for that and for SMB and Mid-Market B2B merchants we believe B2B Edition will be a great fit.
The Bottom Line
We’re excited about BigCommerce B2B Edition. We’re also excited that true multi-store architecture is on the roadmap for BigCommerce this year. This means that BigCommerce is approaching the capability of providing truly “Unified Commerce” in one instance: B2C, B2B and multiple locales / storefronts (such as is required for a global company doing business in several or many countries).
We always talk about the platform selection process starting with your unique business goals and requirements, and that remains true. But as BigCommerce continues to develop their B2B capabilities, they open up more possibilities to compete beyond the SaaS platform space as a truly viable B2B solution.
Let us know if you’d like to take closer look. Get in touch to schedule a demo.