Magento for B2B eCommerce: strong performer according last Forrester’s report

B2B ecommerce is booming industry with year-to-year growth of 12.7% expected for 2015 and estimated size of $1,132B dollars in United States alone. In the latest report Forrester Research identified key trends and players on this enormous market.  In this post we’ll review key finding of this research, especially those that are related with Magento Enterprise as B2B eCommerce platform performance.

B2B eCommerce, 2015 key trends

Source: Marketing Charts

  • B2B eCommerce buyers are expecting from B2B stores similar level of functionality with B2C online store, so customer expectations are getting higher and higher – they are not happy to use ugly and clunky systems originated from the last century
  • B2B companies understand that they are lagging in terms of customer experience they provide: just 17% believes that it is better than on Amazon
  • The market of B2B eCommerce solutions is getting more and more competitive with increased number of players
  • PIM (product information management) capabilities and agility are increasingly important factors of B2B eCommerce platform selection
  • There is a clear business case – industrial buyers are ready to buy online and moving offline only customers to B2B eCommerce helps both reduce costs and increase spending

B2B eCommerce platforms

  • Forrester identified 5 leaders of B2b eCommerce: Oracle. IBM, Insite Software, Intershop and Hybris
  • Magento, NetSuite and Cloud Craze are placed to ‘strong performers’ wave
  • Other platform hasn’t qualified to be presented at all, Forrester has quite harsh selection criteria in terms of functionality, maturity, vendor revenue and track records

Magento Enterprise as B2B eCommerce platform

Strong points of Magento for B2B eCommerce

  • Market presence and penetration (around 1,000 Magento Enterprise clients use it for B2B eCommerce)
  • Flexibility (Magento Enterprise is open-source, so can be customised completely to suit business requirements)
  • Ecosystem (network of implementation partners, abundance of extensions for B2B use, availability of Magento developers on the market)
  • Low cost of ownership (licence)

Areas for improvements and points that clients need to be aware

  • Product vision and roadmap of future enhancements;
  • Change of ownership: eBay Enterprise (including Magento) has been recently sold to consortium of private equity firms
  • Product line changes: Magento is launching version 2 of the platform (currently merchant beta is available).

Last two points aren’t something really bad in my opinion and most probably bring positive rather than negative impact, but definitely something to note,

In one sentence Magento Enterprise is a good choice for mid-market B2B businesses that value flexibility and low cost of ownership.

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