Tucked into a back-of-the-exhibit-floor booth, several exhibits away from the much larger displays of other B2B e-commerce software vendors such as the Magento unit of eBay Enterprise, Oro Inc. showed off at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition this month an unassuming if brimming-with-potential billboard about its newest product: OroCommerce.
“OroCommerce will disrupt B2B online commerce,” the product’s tagline says.
OroCommerce might be somewhat less notable if it weren’t for the people behind it: the same team that founded Magento several years ago and quickly made it a star of mostly retail e-commerce—with a customer base that Magento says now numbers more than 200,000—launched Oro in 2012. That was a year after eBay Inc. acquired Magento and made it the centerpiece of its eBay Enterprise e-commerce technology unit.
Although Oro hasn’t said when it will launch OroCommerce—its web site says it’s “coming soon”—it arrives at a time of growing demand for B2B e-commerce technology. Forrester Research said earlier this month that investment in B2B e-commerce technology is on pace to surpass investment in retail e-commerce. By 2019, manufacturers and wholesalers will account for a combined 30% of spending on e-commerce technology, up from 20% in 2013, compared with a 28% share of 2019 spending by online retailers, down from 41% in 2013, Forrester analysts Peter Sheldon and Andy Hoar said at IRCE.
In addition, several vendors of e-commerce technology exhibiting at IRCE said they were seeing significant traffic from B2B companies. “40% of our booth traffic was from B2B companies,” said Ken Burke, CEO of MarketLive Inc., a provider of retail e-commerce software that introduced a B2B version last year. Other technology vendors including GoECart, hybris Software, NetSuite Inc., eBay Enterprise and nChannel, which provides technology for managing product data across selling channels, also said they received strong traffic from B2B companies.
Insite Software Inc., which specializes in providing e-commerce software to manufacturers and distributors, said it also talked with many B2B companies at IRCE that were looking to take their e-commerce sites to a higher level of performance. One way Insite is striving to meet this demand, Insite says, is by introducing next month version 4.0 of Insite Commerce software, which has been re-architected to provide for easier upgrades and customized selling tools. The upgraded technology provides, for example, more flexibility for building a web interface to enable buyers to place orders on a B2B e-commerce site, such as by quickly replenishing previously purchased goods and researching and buying among displays of products and prices tied to a client company’s contract terms.
NetSuite also has been expanding its offerings in B2B e-commerce, including a new e-procurement system designed to have a user interface similar to that of a retail e-commerce site. It also offers e-commerce software applications designed specifically for manufacturers and specifically for distributors.
Oro says OroCommerce will “focus on being an open source best-in-class commerce platform, with tools specifically for the B2B online sales market.” Oro’s first product, OroCRM, is an open-source customer relationship management system. OroCommerce was designed to tightly integrate with OroCRM as well as other business software applications such as product information management, and inventory and financial management software that are often modules within enterprise resource planning, or ERP, systems.
Oro says OroCommerce will come with built-in “B2B-specific” tools designed to feature online multiple price lists, a “simple yet customizable” quote-to-order process, quick order forms, and online corporate customer account management. “We combine these B2B-centric features with personalization, localization to multiple countries, currencies and languages,” Oro says.
Oro is headed by Yoav Kutner, co-founder and CEO, who was the chief technology officer and co-founder of Magento. Joining Kutner on the senior management team are Jary Carter, co-founder and chief revenue officer, who was vice president of worldwide sales for Magento; and Dima Soroka, co-founder and chief technology officer, who was lead architect for Magento, where he was responsible for planning and developing all of Magento’s products.
Acting as an advisor to Oro’s senior management is Roy Rubin, the co-founder and former CEO of Magento, who, following the acquisition by eBay, served as a vice president at eBay until last year.
Sign up for a free subscription to B2BecNews, a weekly newsletter that covers technology and business trends in the growing B2B e-commerce industry. B2BecNews is published by Vertical Web Media LLC, which also publishes the monthly business magazine Internet Retailer. Follow B2BecNews editor Paul Demery on Twitter @pdemery.Favorite