The provider of cloud-based ecommerce software this week launched its B2B Edition, which adds B2B-specific features like price-quoting and managing the spending levels of multiple tiers of buyers to Big Commerce Enterprise software. The software vendor developed B2B Edition with its technology partner BundleB2B.

BigCommerce, a provider of cloud-based ecommerce software for B2B and retail companies, is expanding the feature set of its B2B enterprise software to appeal more to larger online organizations.

“We are advancing B2B ecommerce through enterprise functionality, platform openness and flexibility to enable a modernized ecommerce experience that our B2B merchants could pass along to their customers,” says MaryAnn Bekkedahl, senior vice president of business development.

BigCommerce globally launched yesterday its B2B Edition, which it developed in conjunction with technology partner BundleB2B. Until now, BigCommerce offered some B2B features through its BigCommerce Enterprise software, which clients can integrate with point-of-sale and enterprise resource planning systems.

B2B Edition adds several B2B-specific features, including:

  • Price quote management, which lets sales rep develop custom price quotes and discounts;
  • Managing multiple customer purchasing roles and permissions, providing customers the pricing and other information that need to access;
  • Client address books;
  • Multiple payment methods;
  • Buy again or reorder feature;
  • Quick-order pad;
  • Customer account management by sales agents and supervisors, who can make approved purchases on behalf of customers.

“B2B companies with complex operations can now add new channels quickly, create B2C-level experiences and run operations for B2B and B2C audiences on a single platform,” BigCommerce says.

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Several BigCommerce clients have started using B2B Edition and have commented on it in case studies BigCommerce is featuring on its website. One of them is United Aqua Group, a supplier to pool and spa businesses.

ScottFerguson-UnitedAquaGroup

Scott Ferguson, vice president, United Aqua Group

“United Aqua Group has a unique membership-based business model for pool and spa business owners, which creates a complex set of requirements for our ecommerce back-end,” says Scott Ferguson, vice president at United Aqua Group. “Through the full suite of capabilities provided by BigCommerce B2B Edition, we are able to provide our members all the B2B functionality necessary for their business-specific purchasing while offering the visual, content-focused experience that gives the feel of a B2C site. We’re confident knowing we now have a flexible and customizable platform that addresses all of our business needs.”

Technology analysts say BigCommerce is on the right track to better meeting the needs of B2B ecommerce practitioners but may need to further develop its software to address the requirements of the most complex B2B operations.

“It’s a step forward for them, but they still have a long way to go to support advanced B2B digital commerce use cases, such as sophisticated workflows and approvals, product configurations, and complex quotes,” says Jordan Jewell, head of digital commerce research at technology research and advisory firm IDC, adding: “The new module should help BigCommerce get additional traction with B2B customers as they add functionality.” Jewell also said it was worth noting that Bundle B2B is an exclusive partner to BigCommerce.

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Andy Hoar, CEO of consulting firm Paradigm B2B, adds that B2B Edition provides BigCommerce a base in the competitive B2B enterprise market. “The integration with BundleB2B helps BigCommerce begin to plant a flag in enterprise B2B, but the company will need to continue to invest heavily in the space over several years if it hopes to steal significant share,” he says. “This move brings them into competition with many well-established B2B-focused players that have more fully-featured offerings and more complex channel enablement technologies tailored specifically to the enterprise space.”

He adds that to aggressively expand into the enterprise space, it will be important for BigCommerce to build more relationships with “enterprise-savvy” systems integrators and digital agencies.

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