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Covering OroCommerce topics, B2B eCommerce trends, community updates and company announcements.

The Only True B2B eCommerce Platform Has Arrived – OroCommerce 1.0 Release Is Now Available

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orocommerce release 1.0 ga

The Oro team is proud to announce the 1.0 release of OroCommerce, the only true B2B eCommerce platform! OroCommerce has been built from the ground up to solve the specific needs of B2B eCommerce and is here to revolutionize commerce.

Disrupting the B2B eCommerce Market

The B2B eCommerce market has exploded – with global sales volumes expected to hit $6.7 trillion USD by 2020.  The eCommerce platform market has been unprepared for this tidal wave with no real applications tailored for the B2B space.

Because B2B customers are vastly different than B2C, our flexible platform looks to address complex use cases such as:

  1. Self-Serve Model – A company or business buyer looks to purchase goods and/or services online, much like buyers would on Amazon Business or Costco.com.
  2. Buyer-Seller Interaction – The interactions between buyer and seller – like placing orders, sharing pricing information, requesting quotes, and submitting proposals – are managed through online digital processes. This allows employees to work on other critical tasks resulting in increased productivity and efficiency.
  3. B2B Marketplace – This can be defined as a web site where goods and services can be bought from a wide range of suppliers. Multiple buyers and sellers request multiple offers and bids across various goods and services.

OroCommerce’s current release addresses self-service and buyer-seller interaction scenarios  with marketplace features already in development. We are excited to revolutionize Commerce with a flexible platform built from the ground up with B2B-specific features.

Built From the Ground Up for B2B

Our platform includes the most comprehensive set of B2B features that come out-of-the-box. Customers can leverage native features such as:

  • Corporate accounts with multiple users, roles and permissions
  • Robust workflow engine supporting B2B eCommerce business processes
  • Multiple shopping lists management
  • Multiple and customizable price lists and personalized catalogues
  • Configurable products in webshops
  • Seamless management of buyer-seller interaction
  • Optimized store front-end for B2B buying experience
  • Seamless integration into OroCRM’s customer relationship management solution
  • And more

Choose the Offering That Best Fits Your Business

OroCommerce 1.0 is immediately available in two versions, Community Edition (CE) for small emerging businesses and Enterprise Edition (EE) for medium to large enterprises. Compared to Community Edition, Enterprise Edition offers superior product support, enhanced performance and scalability, and access to features required by large, growing organizations. Customers can choose to deploy the Enterprise Edition via on-premise or through the OroCloud.

Learn more about the differences between CE and EE by viewing our Editions page and blog post.

Download OroCommerce

Interested in the Enterprise Edition of OroCommerce 1.0? Contact us to speak with an Oro consultant.

If you’re interested in the free community version, click to download OroCommerce 1.0 CE.

Remember that you can always access our free demo with sample data to get a feel of the product.

KPIs to Track B2B Success Part III: Lead Funnel Performance Indicators

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In our previous posts of the B2B KPIs series, we have already talked about customer retention & churn rates and customer lifetime value, today we are shifting our focus from customers to potential customers. We will talk about the KPIs that help evaluate how smoothly the journey from a lead to a customer flows in businesses’ lead funnels.

Usually for a traditional eCommerce business, the most effective way of measuring the quality of the client base is considered to be an RFM (recency, frequency, monetary value) analysis. But it gets tricky with B2B eCommerce, as the complexity of engaging a new client is much higher and the ordering cadence of a B2B client makes it difficult to correctly identify best clients at early stages. That is why it is important to get more granular in the analysis of the whole new prospects engagement pipeline. So, besides good old RFM analysis, we think it is very important to track classical B2B KPIs like Amount of Leads Generated, MQL to SQL Conversion Rate, Sales Leads to Close Ratio, and the Average Sales Cycle.

Leads: What Is It All About?

In today’s ultra-competitive and crowded marketplace, capturing and nurturing interested prospects, or leads, along the sales funnel has been the biggest challenge for B2B companies. The amount of leads you generate increases the odds of actual sales and revenue growth. However, the fact that you’ve captured a substantial amount of leads is only a prerequisite for successful lead conversions. It’s not solely lead volume that matters, it is rather lead quality that offers the most strategic benefit. As the B2B Lead Generation Report delivers, 68% of B2B experts are well aware of this fact, as they cite increasing the quality (not quantity!) of leads a top priority for their businesses.

Since leads are so promising, tracking them through respective KPIs is essential because it enables you to evaluate whether your targeting proves its worth, to forecast total sales volume, and to compute the ROI of every related marketing or sales campaign.

leads funnel KPIs

Lead conversion funnel. Image credit – Business2community.com  

Let’s take a closer look at a few lead funnel related KPIs that B2B eCommerce companies should track.

Amount of Leads Generated

These days, getting more leads instead of hiring more sales experts proves to be a sales growth prerequisite. As the title of this metric suggests, the Amount of Leads Generated shows the total of new leads that have been created over a certain period of time. Important note here is, however, that when analysed alone as is, this metric provides very basic and crude information your company should not entirely rely on. However, the Amount of Leads Generated KPI is a key to the aggregate picture as it is used to demonstrate the lead traffic sources efficiency, reveal performance level of particular company’s departments, and help to identify potential of certain locations, products or services.

MQL to SQL Conversion Rate

Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) are two coherent stages within your sales funnel. To get a clear view of the sales funnel and spot potential bottlenecks at early stages, you should understand how these distinguish. The MQL is normally the next stage following the initial inquiry. It labels prospects who have expressed interest in company’s products or services by requesting demos, downloading guides and overall reacting to various calls to action. These leads are qualified for further marketing outreach. The SQLs are a logical evolutionary phase of a lead: the prospect has been vetted and a project with an actual purchase decision is identified. Typically the leads get into one’s CRM or database as MQLs and then get converted into SQLs, as a result of lead nurturing campaigns or targeted sales outreach, rarely do they get created straight as the Sales Qualified Leads.

The MQL to SQL Conversion Rate metric displays the ratio of marketing qualified leads actually converted into sales qualified leads. With the help of this KPI, you can evaluate both the quantity and quality of the leads passed from marketing to sales reps offering a more granular view of the sales pipeline.

The formula of MQL to SQL conversion rate calculation is straightforward:

(Amount of the Sales Qualified Leads / Amount of the Marketing Qualified Leads) x 100

Industry average MQL to SQL ratio is considered to be 26%.

Sales Leads to Close Ratio

This metric gauges the amount of leads that turn into actual sales. Thus, this tracks the general effectiveness of your sales team. In addition, the Sales Leads to Close Ratio can serve as a performance indicator for sales individuals you’d like to monitor since it measures the percentage of sales leads converted to actual profit for the business. Besides, analyzing this KPI allows to determine what is more important at the moment: (1) generating new leads or (2) fostering already existing prospects from the pipeline to close.

Use the following formula to calculate the Sales Leads to Close Ratio:

(Amount of Sales Leads over a certain period of time / Amount of Closed Sales over the same time) x 100

Industry average Sales leads to Close ratio is considered to be 22%.

When tracking this KPI, keep in mind that it may be changing over time depending on your typical sales cycle. So be sure to recalculate this ratio for a couple of different time frames and define the one that is more relevant to your business and stick to it in further reports.

Average Sales Cycle Length

The Average Sales Cycle Length allows you to estimate how long it takes to win a deal starting from the very first interaction with a prospect. You should use this KPI to make sales forecasts more plausible, be able to roughly plan your sales based on the number of SQLs, and to get a deeper insight into your customer decision-making motivators and behavior predictability.  

This metric gives you a benchmark to start from and as you improve all the intermediary steps involved in a sales pipeline (i.e. lead nurturing, response time, etc.), your average sales cycle should start lowering and facilitate a faster revenue growth.

On top of that, Average Sales Cycle Length is an important metric for management to track business viability. Longer sales cycles mean that a strong pipeline is required to ensure business viability and cash flow. This is not only a metric for sales but also marketing experts because it takes into consideration the whole sales and marketing funnel.

To calculate the Average Sales Cycle Length, use this formula:

(Number of days from first contact + Customer conversion for all deals) / Number of deals

B2B industry average sales cycle length is known to be 102 days.

Bottomline

Analyzing and tracking leads-related indicators among other KPIs for your company will be of a great help when analyzing the current state of affairs for your business. These metrics help detect bottlenecks within the sales funnel that can be optimized by revisiting marketing and sales strategies. Over time, you can analyze these metrics again to verify whether new strategies have proved successful.

Stay tuned for the final part of our B2B KPI series that will be covering cost per acquisition metrics.

OroCommerce Enterprise and Community Edition

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orocommerce EE vs CE

We’ve recently announced that the long-awaited launch of OroCommerce 1.0 or General Availability release is on its way. Our B2B eCommerce business application will be immediately available as Community Edition (CE) and Enterprise Edition (EE) versions. Both come out of the box with features specifically designed and built for B2B companies selling online and allow businesses to leverage B2B experience without compromising on B2C functionality. As we are about to release OroCommerce into General Availability, this post is meant to clearly communicate the differences between the two editions of our software.

The key differences between CE and EE is the application’s enhanced performance scalability, extended collection of features and support by Oro’s core team’s engineers. Thus, OroCommerce EE provides you with insurance that any question or issue you might have will receive immediate attention from one of our experts.

Let’s take a closer look at the additional capabilities within OroCommerce EE.

Superior Customer Support

OroCommerce Enterprise Edition is the only version that provides users with direct access to our friendly and knowledgeable staff of engineers. Customers are given more support during the on-boarding process to ensure smooth integrations and implementations. Furthermore, our Service Level Agreement (SLA) gives Enterprise customers quick resolutions to any issues that may arise from bug-fixes, how-to questions, and more.

Tech Stack (Increased Performance and Scalability)

Streamlined big data processing with PostgreSQL

Instead of using MySQL, the OroCommerce Enterprise Edition license holders can utilize PostgreSQL, an open source object-relational database system designed for high-volume environments, just like B2B webstores. Due to PostgreSQL, processing large amounts of system data of different types within OroCommerce EE is performed more efficiently and faster.

Streamlined big data search with ElasticSearch

The search functionality within both editions is similar, however, the EE users can take advantage of retrieving much faster and preciser search results due to the ElasticSearch, the search engine facilitating better performance, scalability, and a higher quality search results.

This feature delivers benefits for both business customers looking for items in the frontend and admins operating in the backend, actually for everyone working with huge volumes of system data. This functionality is highly scalable: it can easily handle 1+ million records with no lags in performance.

Handling large amounts of job queues

When system users work with applications that contain thousands and millions of records, a lot of operations and actual data updates happen in the background. The more application users you have, the more queues are being created. Should you have, say, 50,000 users working in the system at once, processing a big volume of job queues might be a challenge. To resolve this issue, OroCommerce EE is integrated with RabbitMQ, a message queueing processing server that allows to handle job queues independently for better system performance and increased responsiveness.

Business Features (Enhancements for B2B eCommerce Routines)

Multiple organizations support

OroCommerce Enterprise Edition allows to create and manage multiple organizations within one OroCommerce  instance. While there can be an infinite number of organizations within one instance, the same user may belong to several organizations. This feature comes in handy when you run several independent business entities where business users or entity employees should not access each other’s data. With the help of multiple organizations support, you can divide your inner organizations and provide data access according to the group the users belong to (except for the users assigned at the level of global organisation able to view the data across all organizations with no restrictions).

Multiple websites support

Your business may run multiple websites presenting different content, product selection, and pricing to target different geographies, groups of customers (e.g. sell to both B2B and B2C clients), or promote different brands. Flexible multi-website management capabilities within OroCommerce EE enable businesses to easily set up multiple independent websites and manage them directly from a single platform admin interface. When creating a new customer account from the admin interface, it’s possible to specify which of your websites this account will have access to.

Multiple currencies support

With OroCommerce EE, it’s possible to set up and display product prices in different currencies. Should your business have international reach, your global business customers will appreciate this option since they will be able to view the prices in their local currency as well.

Support for inventory management across multiple warehouses

Business typically have several warehouses located in different spots or even geographies. In OroCommerce EE, it’s possible to manage inventory across multiple warehouses from a single console and select different warehouses when specifying a location the goods should be shipped from once a customer places their order. This feature allows to precisely calculate shipping costs depending on a warehouse the purchased items are stored in. Alternatively, on your website, you can list the addresses of warehouses with the purchased products in stock upon ordering to facilitate customer pick-ups.

OroCRM Solution and Support

OroCommerce EE is delivered in pair with OroCRM EE meaning you instantly obtain an exclusive multi-functional business application fully equipped for your B2B eCommerce operations and customer relationship management. On top of this, you get direct access to our application experts provided specifically for OroCRM Enterprise Edition users. Of course, you can still integrate the solution with an external CRM system, should you already have a good enough one in place.

The base license cost of OroCommerce depends on the size of your business and starts from $35,000 per year for 10 seats, which is several times lesser than our closest competitors’ annual license fee.

While OroCommerce CE with its essential capabilities is a good choice for small businesses that are establishing their online presence, larger organizations with international customers and multiple offices or companies seeking to expand and scale should opt for Enterprise Edition instead. OroCommerce EE is a full-featured solution designed specifically for the demands of multi-sized B2B eCommerce businesses. It introduces an enhanced performance scalability facilitating quick and precise processing of high volumes of system data, fast search, and a prompt handling of multiple user job queues. OroCommerce EE supports management of multiple organizations, websites, currencies, and warehouses to allow businesses to entirely focus on their activity and streamline their business processes.

Feel free to contact our friendly team with any questions, or play with our free demo instance to get hands-on experience with OroCommerce.

The Perfect Match: B2B eCommerce Platform with a CRM

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crm for b2b ecommerce

Multi-dimensional flexibility with Oro

Oro’s philosophy of flexibility is not limited to building customizable applications in isolation. Our experience in working with countless eCommerce projects has shown us that businesses, especially in the B2B space, often need CRM functionality coupled with an eCommerce platform. This has led us to develop a revolutionary platform focused on CRM and B2B Commerce.

OroCRM and OroCommerce are highly tailored to address the dynamics of the B2B eCommerce space. While both are available as independent products, both applications sit upon a single platform and can be integrated at anytime with each other.

With the General Availability (GA) release of OroCommerce coming soon, it’s possible to get OroCommerce Enterprise Edition (EE) coupled with OroCRM EE at no extra charge.

This will allow businesses to leverage the synergy of two full-featured applications to obtain a holistic 360-degree view of the customer.

Advantages of getting OroCommerce EE bundled with OroCRM EE

OroCRM and OroCommerce can be easily integrated with third-party systems (e.g. you can integrate your OroCommerce solution with any external CRM software). However, all the solutions from the Oro product range have been created to seamlessly match and complement each other. By incorporating OroCommerce EE, business owners get a unique B2B eCommerce platform that serves as foundation for creating and managing both buyer and vendor environment.

By deploying OroCRM Enterprise Edition with OroCommerce, business owners get a single view into all the sales and customer interactions. With both enterprise level applications in place, you gain the competitive edge to scale your business and deliver a perfect customer experience to your clients.

Benefits of OroCRM Enterprise Edition

OroCRM provides a rich set of features ready to fuel any eCommerce business’ sales, marketing, and support departments. Business executives can track the full progression of a website visitor to potential lead and then to a won customer.

Additional capabilities include:

Please note!

You always have the option to get OroCommerce EE as a stand-alone option or you can get it bundled with the Enterprise Edition of our customer relationship management system. Regardless of either scenario, the purchasing price is the same.
To understand whether OroCommerce and OroCRM fit with your business, we suggest you schedule a call with our team representative and discuss your needs in detail.

OroCommerce Partners with E7

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The Business to Consumer or B2C market has comfortably lived online for almost 20 years.  People are accustomed to researching and ordering their purchases online and it’s only natural for this behavior to cross over into Business to Business (B2B). To remain competitive in today’s market, businesses should consider a B2B eCommerce strategy and invest in a robust platform that can improve operational efficiency, expand customer reach, and increase the bottom-line.

We’re proud to announce that OroCommerce, the only eCommerce platform built from the ground up for B2B eCommerce, has partnered with E7 Solutions to deliver a complete solution for B2B businesses looking to go online.

E7 is a complete B2B eCommerce site design, development and deployment firm. They provide complete software solutions for industries from automotive and education to manufacturing and healthcare. “E7 Solutions is a perfect solution partner for OroCommerce, not only because of their focus on B2B clients, but as a full-service software development and consulting agency, they can provide all of the customizations and integrations that OroCommerce clients will need.” said Jary Carter, Chief Revenue Officer at OroCommerce.

The partnership was a natural fit.  E7 is committed to excellence and has strong PHP/Symfony development skills and deep understanding of the B2B eCommerce business owners’ needs.  Their core values of integrity, continuous improvement, and intense focus are perfectly aligned with Oro and OroCommerce.  E7 chose the OroCommerce platform because of their attention to the smallest details: custom pricing scenarios, client logins with multiple privilege levels, access to previous orders with quick reorder capability, support for purchase orders with multiple payment options, product bundling, bulk orders and much more. “The more we work with OroCommerce, the more impressed we are with the robust functionality of the platform,” said Edmond Delude, CEO for E7 Solutions. “OroCommerce makes it possible for any size business to have a feature-rich eCommerce site, and it allows us to spend time on integrations, UI/UX, and—thanks to their open API—we can provide the customizations our clients need.

B2B eCommerce is continuing to expand its rapid growth. For example, research conducted by Frost & Sullivan indicates that B2B online sales will reach $6.7 trillion by 2020.  Crafting your eCommerce strategy today gives your business a competitive edge against competitors without an eCommerce presence. Contact us and see how E7 and OroCommerce can help with your eCommerce needs.