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Top 7 eCommerce Integrations for Your B2B eCommerce Website

In the field of B2B eCommerce, customer preferences and expectations are constantly changing in accordance with the latest digitalization trends. Nowadays, B2B customers expect the same levels of service that B2C businesses are able to offer. Particularly with high value wholesale orders, B2B buyers expect a more streamlined and frictionless eCommerce experience. 

In order to fulfill the needs of their customers, B2B companies need to streamline their processes by utilizing advanced eCommerce integrations such as CRM, ERP and many more. Effective eCommerce integrations help in seamless synchronization of data, decreasing data redundancy as well as errors, and streamlining the multi-step business processes. 

In this blog, we are going to discuss some of the key features related to eCommerce integrations, based on our experience of building B2B platforms:

1) ERP integration:

As a business grows in scale and begins to work on multiple data systems and processes in silos, it becomes common to experience various operational inefficiencies. In such cases, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is a very common solution. All the business activities like purchasing, order and inventory management, invoicing, warehouse and stock management, etc., are handled by the ERP system. 

If you already have an ERP, integration of your B2B eCommerce portal with ERP is a must. Integrating with ERP will make sure that your online orders are processed in the same manner as your offline orders and your operation teams would not have to make too many changes. This will not just increase efficiency of the system, it will also reduce data redundancy, errors, and make the adaption of your B2B portal very smooth and fast for your customers as well as your teams.

2) Shipping partner integrations:

In B2B eCommerce generally the order is of larger size or of bulky items. So in most cases normal courier services will not work.  Also, there will be multiple shipping partners for different types of loads. Each one of them will have different sets of rules, pricing methods and criteria. This makes the shipping process complicated. In case the shipping logic is not integrated with the ERP, you have to add it to your B2B portal directly so that you can add appropriate shipping charges to the customer and the operations team can also ship the products seamlessly through the right partner.

3) CRM integration:

Customer relationship management (CRM) software collects customer data and helps develop a better approach to sales, marketing, and customer services. This software holds user information like transaction history, contact details, shipping information, service-support history and more. When all this information is synced with CRM, companies can better understand their customers’ needs. About 91 percent of companies with 11 or more staff members use CRM systems.

If you have a CRM system in place integrating your B2B portal with it will make sure that the data in CRM is not partial. Your sales and marketing teams can see the whole journey of your customer interaction either offline or online through the B2B portal. This will help them in personalizing the interaction with the customer and will improve conversion. 

In fact, your sales team should push users to order through the online portal, this way they will not have to enter all the data into the system manually and will also enhance customer experience, which includes seeing order history, tracking of orders, payment history, invoices etc. 

4) WMS integration:

To ease the supply chain complexity and streamline inventory storage for B2B companies, warehouse management system (WMS) is a must. WMS integration helps manage day-to-day operations of warehouses and optimizes picking as well as shipping of orders.

If you have a WMS and it is not integrated to ERP or you do not have ERP, integrating your B2B portal with WMS is very important. It will reduce the manual intervention while processing the order. Whenever the order comes to the B2B portal, it will automatically reach the warehouse with all the instructions and the warehouse team will not have to handle the online and offline orders differently. This will increase efficiency of warehouses and will also reduce errors.

5) Payment gateway integrations:

As per BigCommerce, most eCommerce businesses are still offering old fashioned payment methods, such as purchase orders (50%), trade credit (52%), and even paper checks (50%). However, the B2B buyer is now changing, with expectations leaning towards more streamlined purchasing. 

Providing flexible digital payment options has now become a necessity for B2B sellers. Therefore, effective authorization of digital payments and choosing the right payment gateway integration becomes crucial.

Different payment options like Amazon Pay, Apple Pay etc apart from Credit Card and Bank Transfers are becoming popular now. Payment gateways also have an option of “Pay Later” which provides credit to the buyer but you will get the full payment. Implementing such options will increase conversion as customers will be able to get credit instantly and you do not have to worry about their credit worthiness.

6) POS integration:

A large number of B2B businesses have both online and offline presence, which makes the entire sales process complex. All the tasks ranging from transaction processing to maintaining data – everything has to be done individually for both. Without automation, the chances of errors increase, which ultimately leads to customer dissatisfaction. However, if both the points of sales are integrated together, slip-ups, communication errors and loopholes will be reduced significantly. 

In such cases both the POS and online portal should be integrated with the ERP. Incase ERP is not there then they should be integrated with each other. There are multiple benefits of the same apart from the smooth functioning and reducing error, such as

  • Allow you to give options like Pick up from the store
  • Allow to give an option of get it delivered via shipping in the stores 
  • Allow you to add another payment option of pay at store
  • Allow you to take order of products available at different store

7) Taxation integrations:

A B2B eCommerce website must be able to handle complex tax calculations, tax exemption, different taxes for different categories, cross border taxations etc. Tax exemption itself is a complex process. Since some special types of businesses are tax exempt, they should be given the benefit of the same. They should be able to provide this information to the B2B portal and the system should be equipped to handle their orders differently. 

Integrating with your existing taxation software will take care of the calculation, but the integration has to be real time, as we need to show the user tax before placing the order. Also, integrating with taxation software will help in providing tax certificates to the buyers. This will also help in filing taxation as all the sales are properly maintained in the taxation software and you do not have to worry about handling online orders separately.

All in all, the aforementioned integrations are vital to cater to the needs of your B2B customers and provide them with a seamless customer experience. In the modern B2B landscape, success hinges on a business model that allows you to be where your customers are, provide them with flexibility throughout the shopping journey, and offer them high level customer service they expect. Therefore, these advanced integrations must be included in your B2B eCommerce strategy. 

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