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Last Thursday, we held an insightful webinar with a distinguished group of panelists. The ‘State of B2B Commerce’ webinar featured Forrester’s Vice President and Principal Analyst, Andy Hoar; CEO and co-founder of Oro, Inc. and former CTO of Magento, Yoav Kutner; and Magento Board of Directors member and Advisor to Oro, Inc., Roy Rubin.

These industry experts spoke about their many insights, perceived trends, and real-life experiences with merchants looking to take their B2B store online.

Read the webinar review below for more details.

Andy Hoar on key B2B market trends and must-have capabilities for a B2B eCommerce platform

Andy started off by discussing the current size and projected growth of B2B eCommerce market. As forecasted by Forrester, B2B eCommerce market in the US alone is expected to hit  $1.2 trillion in 2021 accounting for 13.1% of global B2B online sales. Even though the B2B eCommerce market is twice that of B2C, many businesses are still hesitant about digitizing their B2B operations.

Andy then broke down the major trends and capabilities needed in B2B eCommerce platforms. Those capabilities include personalized pricing, custom catalog management, workflow management, approval processes, and support for multiple seller and buyer accounts. Another distinctive B2B feature Andy mentions is assisted selling, where sales reps can facilitate a purchase with a client through the eCommerce site. In the context of B2B market trends, Andy touched on the benefits of cloud-based applications that typically have a shorter time to market and scalability.

The ability to support a ‘full-spectrum’ B2B sale is one key capability of a B2B eCommerce platform according to Andy. Business buyers expect to seamlessly move between multiple stages during their complex buyer journey. Buyers might need to research a product online, contact a call center for further clarifications, discuss bulk discounts, and submit a request for quote. This means an eCommerce platform and infrastructure in place that allow sellers to support complex customer purchase paths.

Andy also discussed the convergence of CRM and eCommerce. He mentioned the integration of both technologies offer a compelling proposition for businesses migrating between full service and self-service selling.

Yoav Kutner presents customer case of Arc International adopting OroCommerce

Yoav spoke about his past experiences of customizing a Magento platform for B2B needs. The process was difficult, tedious, and required creating a fork of the solution. As more and more businesses started requesting B2B functionality like creating orders and quotes, customizing price lists and catalogs, and managing corporate accounts, the Oro founders had come up with the idea of building a dedicated B2B eCommerce platform.

Yoav then described typical B2B use cases such as the self-serve model, buyer-seller interaction, and B2B marketplace. He explained how OroCommerce addresses all of the use-cases further showing the flexiblitiy of the B2B platform. In this regard, he also mentioned that OroCommerce offered a new emerging business-to-enterprise (B2E, or businesses looking to serve their employees through eCommerce) use-case that customers have requested.

He also touched upon the crucial features that B2B businesses should look for in an enterprise eCommerce solution. Those are corporate accounts, multiple websites, personalized catalogs, configurable workflows for customers at the frontend and sales teams at the backend, and multiple price books.

Next, Yoav shared a case study of how Arc International, one of the world’s largest glassware manufacturer who deployed OroCommerce to establish their online presence. Grégory Tocut, the CTO of Digital at Arc International explained why OroCommerce is a perfect fit:

“We evaluated other solutions like Magento and Hybris but selected OroCommerce because of its great flexibility, comprehensive out-of-the-box B2B feature set, the strong technology stack, and the team behind it. Moreover, its unique deep integration with OroCRM will help us understand the customer at the center of our B2B eCommerce strategy.”

Roy Rubin reveals what led him to become an advisor on Oro’s board

In the spring of 2015, Roy joined Oro as an advisor. When asked what led him to becoming an advisor on Oro’s board, Roy mentioned that it’s rare to find a team of proven industry professionals so passionate about delivering an amazing product experience to B2B merchants. This passion coupled with a track record of proven experience is what ultimately led Roy to joining the Oro team.

Roy also forecasted some major trends in B2B eCommerce. While it’s known B2B buyers are adopting the expectations of B2C consumers, it’s critical for platforms to have a personalized customer experience, faster business flows and checkout times, and overall efficient, consumer-oriented environment. When discussing the expectations of the B2B buyer, Roy also mentioned the need to have responsive and mobile optimized site design. 

Lastly, Roy discussed how important an ecosystem of extensions and technology partners is when selecting a platform.

We hope you found the ‘State of B2B Commerce’ webinar recap useful. Check out the Events category in our blog to make sure you never miss an upcoming webinar or event.