eCommerce has completely transformed how the end consumer shops today. Due to the development of technology and advancing globalization, location is no longer important. These days, it’s easier for aspiring entrepreneurs to turn their creative ideas into reality because they can reach customers from anywhere in the world.

Despite changes in the buying/shopping process, rules have stayed the same – if you want to build a successful business, you will need to satisfy the needs of your potential customers. If you are on the fence about adopting a B2B eCommerce model, you will be overwhelmed by the number of benefits it can offer you and your business.

We have decided to create a solution that speeds up B2B eCommerce development with the above in mind.


Quick jump


How can B2B eCommerce differentiate itself from a B2C eCommerce?

B2C – Business to consumer

B2C companies sell products directly to end consumers. As a consumer, all the goods you buy from an online store are part of the B2C transaction. Buying a smartphone from an online store or purchasing a designer bag from their official websites are a few examples of B2C businesses.

B2B – Business to business

In a B2B business model, one company sells its products or services to another company. For example, a medical software development company provides healthcare solutions to many hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare organizations.

B2B sales have different shopping paths, including having multiple brands or selling on various channels. So, each has unique requirements and buying processes. As a result, B2B eCommerce has the potential to revolutionize the economy entirely, and many huge brands all across the globe are taking full advantage of it.

What are the needs of the B2B eCommerce market today?

While working with our clients from various industries countries or serving on multiple channels, we noticed some common points, which can be defined as the needs of the B2B eCommerce market:

  • B2B requires different customer registration processes:
    • Distinguishing between B2B and B2C customers – often, the entire store appears only after registration
    • One organization can have users with different permissions
  • More individual approach to customer service:
    • Dedicated Customer Success Manager
    • Differences in margins and sales volume
    • Offering multiple pricing, discounts per organization (hence the general hiding of prices and showing them per organization)
    • Many ways to place an order and its repeatability e.g. reordering, shopping by SKUs
    • Taking care of the B2B customer loyalty e.g. special offers, loyalty system
  • The ability to analyze detailed data and the need for optimization and automation
  • Offering specialized products
  • Implementation of advanced configurators
  • More technical descriptions
  • Accessibility of big product catalogs
  • Analytics of customer behaviors which business can react to

A proper B2B eCommerce system should cover these and many more needs. What is also important is flexibility so that the system can be extended at any time.

What is the Sylius B2B Kit and why was it created?

With the needs mentioned above, we decided to create a Sylius B2B eCommerce Kit – repeatable functions extending the basic version of Sylius. It is our product, offered at the beginning of the implementation – so, it is free for our customers. It consists of features from open-source and our private repositories.

It is not a plug&play solution – the choice of functions and their configuration depends on the customer’s needs, but in general, the B2B Kit significantly reduces implementation time (and lowers the costs).

What is inside the B2B eCommerce Kit?

Sylius doesn’t yet offer a dedicated B2B product. Still, as the leaders in this industry (Sylius Leading Partner), we will provide a stable base for the successful operation of your projects.

You may think about what is included in our set. It covers the essential needs of the B2B model, and we are still expanding it. At this moment, it consists of the following:

Corporate Account Management

Client’s problem: A B2B client account is sometimes characterized by numerous users having different roles and purchasing rights, differentiation in price lists, and margin.

  • Organization’ Account Management
  • Managing addresses within the organization
  • Assign a maintainer
  • Price lists for organizations
  • The history of orders
  • Analytics for the organization
  • Impersonation – the ability to log in as a specific user
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Roles Management (ACL)

Client’s problem: Store users should be divided into groups and have the necessary permissions for efficient operation.

  • Creating, editing, and deleting groups and roles
  • Assigning users to specific groups and roles

Integrations

Client’s problem: B2B company may use numerous applications to support everyday tasks and different product data sources (ERP, PIM). It is vital to use accurate data and real-time updates to increase efficiency and save time. Adding integrations into any eCommerce system, whether CRM, ERP, PIM, or any combination, becomes a milestone for an organization.

  • Complete architecture for data import/export
  • Infrastructure that will allow any type of data (JSON, XML, CSV) to be represented in connection with Sylius
  • Communication methods – API (REST, SOAP, GraphQL), AMQP (RabbitMQ, Apache Kafka)

Orders management

Client’s problem: Orders can be made using various methods. Some customers like to browse a specific product individually; others want to contact the support staff.

  • Simplifying the work – creating a new selling channel, enabling the customers to buy in the most preferred way
  • Order management
  • Editing the order after its submission

Product information management

Client’s problem: B2B businesses require a quick and accurate overview of products and services while keeping the accuracy and completeness of product data.

Sylius has a native PIM, which could be extended with our Sylius CMS Plugin. Adding external PIM systems is easy with our import/expand module.

  • Built-in CMS
  • Product bundles
  • Possibility to assign attribute groups to a product
  • Bulk taxonomies updates

Efficient search engine

Client’s problem: The (advanced) search function plays a significant role within the eCommerce application interface, especially when the company has complicated products descriptions a large number of products.

  • Elasticsearch-based integration, extended with B2B cases
  • All the essential search functions are extended by the following: autocomplete, search by name, dimensions, markings, advanced filters
  • We may implement every type of filter or functionality
Example of advanced search engine implementation in eCommerce (case study Albeco)

Payments

Client’s problem: B2B clients looking for efficient order-making by providing invoices in proforma and the correct documents and allowing fast and easy payment via the intuitive online banking system.

  • Depending on the country, currency, and sales volume, we can offer tailored integration
  • Official partnership with Adyen and Mollie
  • For affordable payment choices, there are various PSP integration options available:
    • Mollie
    • Adyen
    • Amazon Pay
    • Braintree
    • Coinbase
    • Datatrans
    • Mercanet BNP Paribas
    • PayU
    • MultiSafepay
    • Przelewy 24
    • QuadPay

Wishlist

Client’s problem: Before buying products, the user often browses categories and saves the products that caught their interest to see their details later.

This solution lets the customer add products to the list and later – directly to their baskets – specifying their number and variant.

  • Multiple wishlist configurations
  • Tailored to B2B – longer time-to-live
  • Moving between wishlists
  • Export to CSV
  • Wishlist analytics

Quick shopping

Client’s problem: B2B customers sometimes look for placing orders quickly by entering SKU codes into the table (or the name of the assortment), then specifying a quantity and putting everything back in the basket with only a single click.

  • Adding products to the cart via SKU
  • Advanced search engine – supported by autocompleting

Loyalty system

Client’s problem: Retaining B2B customers and encouraging them for a second (and following) purchases, building mutual relationships.

  • Advanced promotion module (by default with the following options: Cart quantity, Customer group, Nth order, Shipping country, Has at least one from taxons, Total price of items from taxon, Contains product, Item total)
  • Loyalty points based on different conditions

Shipping

Client’s problem: B2B eCommerce needs may differ – from offering shipping from different sources to splitting shipments.

  • Export of orders’ data, download package labels
  • For affordable shipping choices, there are various integrations available:
    • DHL
    • Byrd
    • DPD
    • InPost
    • Poczta Polska

One Page Checkout

Client’s problem: Reducing the complexity, streamlining/accelerating the purchasing process, and limiting it to a single step.

  • The checkout process on one page
  • Automatic refreshing → filling in address data on one page, number of products, shipping method, payments with dynamic conversion

Is it compatible with Sylius Plus?

The whole product is compatible with Sylius Plus – the commercial version of Sylius, which extends it with functionalities like:

  • Advanced Multi-Store – managing many brands and many contractors
  • Returns management (RMA) and partial order fulfillment – advanced logistics service
  • Multi-source inventory – support for multiple warehouses from the eCommerce level
  • Advanced user permissions – Our Access Control Layer is part of Sylius Plus
  • Admins per channel

How much does the B2B eCommerce Kit cost? What is the licensing model?

We offer this package for free to all our clients who decide to implement the project with us. So even if the function is based on a paid plugin, it is free of charge with this Kit. An additional cost that is possible is the cost of the Sylius Plus license.

When it comes to licensing model, we allow using the kit for the Sylius instance we worked on with the client. We don’t allow replicating or open-sourcing any part of the kit if not agreed otherwise while collaborating.

An example of a commercial project based on Sylius B2B Kit

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How much can I save by using the B2B Kit to do everything from scratch?

You may save from 30% to 50% depending on the complexity of the project.

It has taken more than 2,000 hours to build this kit on our side so far. We are constantly expanding it based on different implementations for our clients (migrations from Magento 1, Magento 2, projects that could not be implemented using other popular platforms/vendors).

Sylius B2B Kit may help you boost sales, increase revenue, and add value to the customer’s experience. In addition, as it shortens B2B eCommerce implementation, you will also save your money. Concurrent B2B solutions are much more expensive and usually less flexible. As our main business domain remains to provide implementation services for tailor-made eCommerce experiences, we feel it is fair to offer the product to our clients for free as an added value.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you consider implementing B2B eCommerce on top of Sylius.