B2B E-Commerce DevelopmentOrder fulfillment is more complex for B2B than B2C because it involves more people and more control over what they can do. Pronogitated agreements can add many requirements to the buying process, and delivering them within the e-commerce solution offers services that frequently beats the competition.
Facilitating Corporate BuyersThe business world is rapidly moving toward a client-centric view. For B2B e-commerce, that means making clients prefer your offering because it makes their life easier. What exactly that means varies among organizations, but there are common themes.
Allowing the buyer to avoid an approval process goes a long way toward making their life easier. Having accounts payable enter credit card data once for all purchases supports their financial controls. Then adding rate limits on spending mitigates financial risks. Hard coding the shipping address goes further by removing shipping fraud.
SecurityCorporations have a much higher risk of fraud than individuals due to the larger size of transactions and the large number of people involved.
Managing user accounts and resetting passwords can be one of the most time-consuming administrative tasks. Offloading user authentication to 3rd party services like the client email account eliminates that workload. Dominate email services, including Microsoft Outlook and Google Gmail, have the capability. It means the client does not need to remember their password, the login is automatic, and there is no risk to the merchant of a security breach resulting in their loss.
A corporate client often have different departments for accounts payable and purchasing. Accounts payable has access to the credit card and sets policies on spending limits. They also respond to errors in the payment processing. On the other hand, a buyer select what to purchase and manages inventory levels. Separating these accounts into user roles ensures both need to agree to make a purchase before it happens. That reflects the internal control structure of the companies. Each role can have more than one person assigned to ensure there is backup for day-today operations.
Payment ProcessingPayment gateways for corporate clients have many capabilities that are uncommon or non existent with consumer processing.
A corporate credit card support level 2 and 3 processing. That allows the buyer to add data at the invoice and line item detail. The resulting credit card statements include those details. That allows them to reconcile statement automatically and to provide a quick reference back their systems using purchase order numbers and other details.
AccountingAccounting should mitigate monitory risks. That is especially true if the solution stores the credit card on file and allows the buying to make ad-hoc purchases. Setting to refine internal policies include:
- Rate limits on the amount purchased.
- Restrictions on the location of the client IP address.
- Manual override to change the shipping address.
- Limiting access to credit card data.
SecurityAll e-commerce solutions need to follow the Payment Card Industry - Data Security Standard. That applies to the deployment and management of the technical solution. It is a robust and detailed set of standards designed to mitigate the risk of cyberattack.
Payment gateways typically include a number of anti-fraud technologies. These are less effective or not available when using corporate credit cards. Merchants may want to protect themselves from chargebacks with a negotiated agreement. They can protect themselves from shipping fraud by hardcoding acceptable addresses into the agreement and specifying the client needs to pay for items shipped to those locations.
Each account needs purchase limit with agreed to steps to raise the amount. The protects the client from errors and internal theft.
Sales ManagementA B2B e-commence solution makes the sales process more efficient through automation.
When customers find what they want, they can click the buy button. The pre-entry of the credit card and shipping address makes it very easy. Since the user has their account, the system picks up that information too. Adding a confirmation window reduces the need to unwind accidental purchases.
A guest mode purchase allows anyone online to purchase using a non-negotiated agreement. From the client's perspective, the workflow is B2C. However, it can still notify account reps about the purchase, even selecting the agent based on addresses. The B2C mode allows new customers to get comfortable with your products before negotiating a long-term agreement.
B2B Commerce for AccountingInternal accounting oversees cash flow through the e-commerce solution.
Reconciling purchases typically involve a data feed from the e-commerce solution. The sophistication of the overall process typically depends on the transaction volume and the risk attached to them. A simple approach is extracting a spreadsheet and manually reconciling it. An automated reconsolidation is more efficient but takes more time to set up.
System IntegrationsSystem Integrations link the e-commerce website with other internal applications to increase the speed and accuracy of data sharing. Common integrations are:
- Reporting on Key Performance Indicators
- Merchant Banks
- Customer Relation Management (CRM)
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERM)