Account management in B2B eCommerce is one of the main pain points that cause many businesses to go digital. It is tricky, as the type of account management capabilities a B2B business needs are often unique from B2C. Moreover, they can vary significantly among different B2B brands. For the most part out of the box eCommerce solutions can be inadequate for B2B brands for this reason. In some cases, they do not provide brands with the type of flexibility they need with assigning users, roles and a variety of other things DigiCommerce clients are asking for.
Many have struggled to find eCommerce solutions that support these their requirements. In a recent Forrester Research study, 89% believe that implementing eCommerce for their B2B business increased annual company revenue by an average of 55%. Brands want the ability to view outstanding and available balances, deposits, credit memos, invoices and paying them. They also need to streamline the account management features enabling customers to be more efficient and allows them to get on with their business.
What are the features B2B Brands are looking for?
B2B brands are asking for some key features from their B2B solutions. First of all and primarily important for some is the ability to authenticate users. This gives buyers and sellers the capability to manage access and ensure security of their digital environment. Consequently, they have the ability to effectively shape the role of buyers. This enables buyers to create and manage accounts and assign them a range of rights, roles, and permissions. They can also define what buyers can purchase what products. Furthermore brands can take advantage of account based price lists. This makes sure brands and buyers have accurate pricing based on account-specific pricing, volume tiers and group pricing. Account based price lists improve efficiency and effectiveness of the account management system.
On the other hand, on the buyer’s side account management must give B2B brands the ability to design an account structure that mirrors the buyer’s organizational hierarchies, divisions, and regions. Furthermore, this allows them to effectively manage their procurement and accounting processes. Additionally, a B2B system at its core should enable collaboration between brands and customers. The digital infrastructure should allow Buyers and sellers to work together to create and manage orders. This ensures they are accurate, timely, and priced correctly.
In conclusion, DigiCommerce partner Elastic Path has previously highlighted some of the key benefits of account management. First of all, account management simplifies the buying process, Brands have the capability of custom B2B buying experience at all levels of the organization. Secondly, it encourages collaborative selling as buyers can order anytime, anywhere. Sales reps are also equipped with the tools to assist when needed. Additionally, brands have better control of their eCommerce systems and the overall B2B buying process as unauthorized spending becomes less of an issue.
Lastly, and very crucially, it makes the system less complex. Self service purchases become more seamless, quicker and easier for all involved including call center reps and field sales. They can instead focus on building relationships with customers. Elastic Path and DigiCommerce has co-developed the Elastic Path Pre-Composed Solution for B2B Commerce. It provides brands with tools to rapidly launch fully integrated B2B experiences for sellers & buyers.