How to Meet B2B eCommerce Marketplace Challenges with Magento
As discussed in my previous posts on the consumerization of B2B eCommerce and choosing a B2B eCommerce platform, today’s eCommerce climate presents a fast paced and rapidly changing marketplace where only the most agile thrive. It is critical to not only recognize and understand changes to the B2B eCommerce environment, but to also be capable of appropriately responding to them quickly enough to meet customer expectations. Companies who miss this mark risk failure to acquire new customers and can even experience a loss in their existing customer base.
Common B2B Planning Challenges
There are a few challenges to keep in mind when planning your approach to B2B eCommerce:
- Accurate prediction of marketplace changes, such as growth and process changes
- Timely response to these changes
- Appropriate allocation of resources to address changes
Failing to respond correctly and quickly to these marketplace challenges can have negative consequences ranging from wasted resources and loss of profit to catastrophic loss of business. Responding to business challenges requires the selection of a platform that is flexible, capable of rapid deployment, and sensitive to the businesses resource needs.
Rapid and Flexible Response
With a modular framework based on an MVC (Model, View, Controller), Magento provides an excellent approach to meet today’s rapidly changing environment. Magento modularity allows for existing functionality to be easily extended and even new functionality to be introduced into the existing system without the requirement of altering core code. This enables you to build a broad range of customizations while still supporting an up-gradable base platform.
Modular systems are not new, and certainly are not unique to Magento. Magento, however, also features a code base built on PHP, an interpreted language, and one which when coupled with a MVC framework, is designed to support rapid deployment systems. Moreover, the open source nature of Magento makes it compatible with a wealth of third-party extensions which can be leveraged as supplemental functionality or as a start to a specific customized feature. Added together along with the broad base of core functionality supplied, Magento represents a solid and agile response to the rapidly shifting requirements of the B2B arena.
Traditional scalable systems require solid architecture based on a sure forecast of a company’s near- and mid-term future; but in a rapidly changing environment, uncertainty presents severe challenges to accurate prediction. Open architecture and rapid deployment platforms like Magento provide strong tools to support uncertain forecasting. Magento’s open architecture allows easy extension and customization of the core code, while its open source structure presents a wide range of ready-made customized extensions from which to choose. The wide appeal of Magento also enables you to easily hire experienced development resources on an as-needed contract basis, presenting potentially huge savings in ongoing resource costs.
Cost Efficient Application
Besides presenting cost savings on development resources, Magento’s flexible customization options translate directly into lower costs and quicker to deploy custom functionality. This means specialized enterprise applications reach the user marketplace within much tighter timelines than other comparable platforms. Significant availability of experienced development resources represents savings in both staffing and training. Additionally, Magento’s flexible and low cost point licensing serves the high and low demands of enterprise scalability.
With its flexibility, scalability, and cost efficiency, Magento certainly is a competitive choice for your B2B marketplace. Want to learn more? Contact us!
Charles Kain is a Technical Architect on the LYONSCG eCommerce Implementation team. He leads discovery and refinement processes for client requirements, develops scalable enterprise solutions to fit client needs, and acts as a primary technical lead for projects. Charles is a Magento Certified Developer and has several patents in the knife industry for products he has invented.