A Growing Market

Forester predicts that by 2020 B2B eCommerce will be twice the size of B2C eCommerce. This segment of the market has drawn significant attention from technology providers, digital marketing agencies and payment providers. Technology platforms like Big Commerce, Shopify and Salesforce Commerce Cloud(formerly Demandware) all have targeted B2B ecommerce campaigns. Payment processors have acquired companies that specifically focus on B2B payments,  Vantiv has purchase Paymetric was a great acquisition that accelerated their foothold in the space.

Working with ERPs

Some ERP’s offer their own eCommerce functionality like Netsuites CloudSuite Commerce and others leverage true eCommerce platforms and shopping carts like Fishbowl who works with Magento, Volusion and Big Commerce. If an ERP is in place, working with a platform and processor that can communicate with that ERP is critical to streamlining workflow and reconciliation.

Unplanned Expenses

Wholesalers, distributors and manufactures all have specific payment needs requiring the appropriate support from the shopping cart, ERP platform and payment processor. Interestingly enough Shopify does not support Level II and Level III transaction processing(according to their support section). If you combine that lack of functionality with the 1% surcharge Shopify charges to enable a third-party processor that does support B2B and B2G transactions, it could cost the merchant an additional 1% per transaction to accept a credit card payment.

Choosing the Right Partners

Big Commerce and Salesforce offer a vast array of integration options including Level II and Level III support, ACH and some ERP plugins. Integrating to provide the proper data fields can save a merchant .50%- .80% per transaction based on Visa and MasterCard Interchange rates. Choosing knowledgeable partners can help navigate the complex course of B2B eCommerce.