BigCommerce For B2B Companies

How can we help companies realize the benefit of B2B eCommerce who have less than $75,000 to invest in their B2B eCommerce solution? 

This was a question we have been asking ourselves at Brilliance Business Solutions. In 2017, we set about investigating SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platforms on the market and found that, while many were unable to meet the needs our clients had, BigCommerce did a good job filling the gap. They are growing their B2B customer base and prioritizing their needs. “More than 25 percent of all new Enterprise customers in 2017 were either exclusively B2B or B2B+B2C brands,” shared John Yarbough, Director of Communications at BigCommerce.

We became a BigCommerce partner in 2017.

It is a SaaS platform with monthly costs ranging from $29.95/month to thousands of dollars per month depending on your needs. There are labor costs to get you set up on the platform, but because BigCommerce comes with quite a bit of functionality out-of-the-box, your labor costs are less than other platforms we work with.

BigCommerce offers a number of valuable B2B features, and they are in the process of adding and improving features in this area. Here are four such features that might make BigCommerce a good option for your B2B company:

Mobile Ordering for Sales Reps (Sales Rep Enablement)

Through a new integration that BigCommerce has announced with Handshake, sales reps can now place orders for customers while they are out in the field on their mobile tablet or phone. The integration enables you to streamline your initial development and your ongoing technical support. Sales reps can place their orders efficiently, minimizing the number of touches required to place an order, which reduces mistakes and lost time. No more faxing or paper orders!  This can also mean that orders ship out faster, leading to greater customer satisfaction.

Customer Specific Pricing

BigCommerce recently improved their customer specific pricing functionality. They call this their “price list” functionality where every SKU can have a different price for every customer. While BigCommerce had this capability before, it was difficult for store administrators to manage. Recent improvements make this simpler to maintain the store admin login. It is also easier to integrate your ERP software to BigCommerce to update the price lists via their API. This is great news because this is a common need for most B2B storeowners. This functionality is in beta as of February 2018 and will be launched by the end of March 2018.

Draft Orders

A customer service person can set up a draft order (like a quote) and send it to the customer for approval and payment online. Once the draft order is set up, BigCommerce provides a link that can be emailed to a customer. When the customer clicks on the link their cart is pre-populated with the items you set up for them and they can walk through checkout to finalize their order. This functionality is available today in BigCommerce and, depending on your order workflow, can add efficiency to your processes.

Credit Card on File

B2B customers want to place orders quickly and easily. Some customers want to save their credit card information so they don’t have to enter it every time. There are a lot of security hoops you need to jump through to handle stored credit card data correctly. Your best path is to not store it yourself but have a 3rd party processor store it for you that has PCI compliant processes. As of March 2018, BigCommerce will offer fast repeat purchasing with a vaulted card. At launch, this will work with Braintree, Authorize.Net, and Cybersource. Additional providers will follow in the weeks after.

Who is BigCommerce good for?

The features listed above are just a few of many that BigCommerce offers. There are pros and cons to every eCommerce platform. The biggest downside of BigCommerce is its lack of a content management system. I believe that integrated content and commerce solutions are stronger and will compete better against Amazon, but that may not be what your company can financially justify right now.

In addition, depending on your requirements and growth plans, the platform may have limits that won’t support where you want to go. There may be custom requirements that the platform doesn’t support, so you need to be clear on your requirements and make sure it is a fit.

The benefit of SaaS solutions is that you can get into them less expensively than other platforms, have your hosting and environment taken care of, and always stay up-to-date on the latest software.

BigCommerce could be a good option for your B2B company if you are testing the waters of eCommerce in order to be able to demonstrate the value it could represent your business. It can be a stepping stone to prove out the potential growth before making a bigger financial investment. It can also be a good solution for a company that doesn’t need integrated commerce and content. Although this is not ideal, you may end up putting it next to a separate content site.

Find out if BigCommerce Meets Your Needs

Are you looking to get started with B2B eCommerce? Are you looking at different platforms and trying to determine if BigCommerce will meet your needs?  B2B eCommerce is our focus, and we have a process for helping you find the right solution. Book a time to talk with us and we can help!

Lori McDonald

President & CEO

About

Lori McDonald

Lori graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer-Electrical Engineering and leads Brilliance Business Solutions with over 20 years of computer engineering and software development experience.  She is an Episerver EMVP, a Microsoft Certified Professional and a regular contributor on Practical eCommerce. Her status as a recognized industry expert has resulted in regular speaking engagements at business conferences.

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