Fabric, a startup vendor of headless commerce technology used by such brands as Restoration Hardware and nutritional supplements supplier GNC, launched this week a technology offering for B2B commerce.
Faisal Masud, CEO of fabric, says his company’s technology is designed to help businesses configure customized ecommerce sites and applications geared to handle the complexities of B2B transactions. “Buyers want to shop online; however, too many B2B companies still rely on manual, in-person sales operations, and lack modern commerce technology,” says Masud, a veteran digital technology and commerce executive who has held senior positions at such companies as Alphabet Inc. and Staples Inc. “Fabric is helping these companies grow with our modern, API-driven headless commerce platform and deep operating experience.” Headless commerce technology is designed with an extensive use of application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable automatic data transfer between disparate software applications, a configuration that supports customization of customer-serving interfaces and/or back-end business software without also having to modify the core ecommerce engine.
Fabric, however, has also landed client companies that are already leaders in B2B ecommerce, including MSC Industrial Supply Co., which does more than half of its more than $3 billion in annual sales via ecommerce.
“MSC saw an opportunity to grow our industrial equipment distribution business by modernizing the customer experience through e-commerce,” Mark Pickett, MSC’s vice president of cross-channel growth, says in a fabric press release. “When we were exploring technology vendors, we looked for someone we could partner with who understood our business and could help us get our digital commerce channels up and running quickly. The fabric platform helped us achieve this by providing our business with the flexibility to add loyalty and mobile commerce capabilities without having to re-platform, allowing for a better online shopping experience.” MSC wasn’t immediately available for additional comment.
Another client, medical supplies distributor bttn (pronounced button), chose fabric for the flexibility it offers in customizing the bttn ecommerce site at bbtnusa.com. “They appreciate what we are building and are helping us achieve the future of medical supply with headless commerce,” says Jack Miller, chief operating officer and co-founder of bttn.
Fabric says its B2B commerce platform comes with such B2B-specific features as bulk ordering and re-ordering, contract-specific catalogs and pricing, shared shopping carts among B2B buyers, online access control according to buyer authorization, and pre-built integrations with enterprise resource plan (ERP) suites including Oracle NetSuite, BlueYonder and Microsoft Dynamics.
Earlier this year, fabric raised $100 million from investors and said it planned to use the funds to expand its marketing and engineering efforts.
Industry analysts say fabric is part of a broad move toward headless commerce technology yet differentiated by its packaged software suite.
“B2B eCommerce is attracting massive investment today and hence several new vendors,” says Andy Hoar, CEO of consulting firm Paradigm B2B.” Fabric is a new entrant in the B2B space that is architecturally headless but comes packaged with native PIM and OMS functionality. Fabric’s solution is targeted at B2B sellers who want to go headless but start with key parts of the commerce suite ecosystem already in place.”
Jordan Jewell, research director and analyst for digital commerce at technology research and advisory firm IDC, adds, “I’ve been pretty impressed with how fast fabric has built up their suite of commerce APIs and apps. I think they are actively part of the headless commerce/composable commerce bandwagon, but at the same time they have differentiated themselves by offering tools outside of the commerce core (PIM, web content management, experience management, subscriptions, etc.), which is something most other vendors in the space have not done.”
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