It doesn’t just feel as though every year in the world of B2B online trade is accelerated—it is and 2023 is proof to that. GE Renewable Energy launched a B2B marketplace, Shopify invested in wholesale platform Faire, Walmart Business launched a B2B ecommerce site, Amazon Business hit $35 billion in annualized gross sales, and the list goes on.
In speaking to hundreds of businesses exploring how to ramp up their online channels, it’s clear that the laser focus on digital commerce is not just reserved for the headlines. Compared to 2022, we had many more conversations about B2B ecommerce as a real business strategy, rather than a distant 10-year plan struggling to secure buy-in.
As businesses continue to invest in digital, there is a lot less fear around the tools and technology that can help them do business better. Thanks to Generative AI, especially ChatGPT, interest is booming, and not just in AI but in tech overall. ChatGPT showed the world how useful and easy it is to adopt technology when it’s built to be the way. But it wasn’t AI alone that piqued the interest of growth-oriented companies and business leaders this year.
While in previous years the conversation around B2B payments tended to be around adding a payment option or two at checkout, Balance saw a major shift in the readiness for distributors and B2B brands to adopt digital payments as a key strategy for their business.
2023: A new focus on growth
This past year alone, Balance has had countless discussions with the biggest brands in the U.S around how they can do more than offer a credit card online. Around how they can finally make e-commerce a winning channel. Around how they can see an ROI with digital.
Undoubtedly, achieving this often means taking a hundred-year-old business, with hundred-year-old processes, and starting to introduce change and optimize for growth. This requires nothing short of massive innovation. Yet, in 2023, that’s exactly what we saw become the norm. Businesses turned to us with one simple question: how can Balance help me grow?
And with a transaction network made up of over 100,000 unique business buyers and over 13,000 vendors, we’ve seen it all. Our checkout volume went up 10x this year as more business buyers turned to digital for their most critical purchasing needs, including trade credit. But even a dedicated checkout cannot overcome the complex hurdles hindering digital commerce adoption, as transactions involve pre- and post-purchase steps, demanding a comprehensive solution. Each payment stage, from initiation to reconciliation, significantly impacts margins and adds overhead for B2B merchants.
That’s why today we’re excited to announce our new product suites.
A moment for B2B
At Balance, our mission is to bring global trade online. We want our technology to enable businesses to grow without limitations, empowered by efficient payment and financial processes. Our belief is that in order to tackle this mission, you have to look at the entire B2B transaction.
The financial relationship with the B2B customer begins long before their initial payment—during onboarding and continues through subsequent transactions. These interactions ideally culminate in a retained and loyal customer.
This is why it’s important to have an end-to-end payment platform, where every aspect of the transaction is solved cohesively, and all features collectively optimize the entire experience.
Over the last three years, we made significant progress toward developing end-to-end capabilities, by investing in extensive market research and product. But most notably, in the past year alone, we introduced over 40 new features and products, spanning from payment acceptance to payment collection. All played a major role in what we’re officially announcing today—four new product suites, with a new website and brand to go with it.
Balance’s suite launch addresses the full range of challenges that businesses selling online face today, from underwriting SMBs for net terms to globally and instantly paying out suppliers.
Solving the full transaction lifecycle
As of today, Balance customers can take full advantage of the following product suites:
- Digital Trade Credit - Encompasses products dedicated to enable swift buyer approval for terms, an integrated checkout application, easy invoice payments and more.
- B2B Payments - Offers a variety of payment methods that support omnichannel and global transactions.
- Accounts Receivable Management - Provides dedicated products such as Accounts Payable tools for buyers, automated reconciliation, dashboard reporting and more.
- Marketplace OS - Equips marketplaces with comprehensive tools for scaling GMV, covering everything from payouts to financing.
These products follow over a year of market advancements, from a global financing partnership with Hokodo to the launch of the Dunning Suite and Buyer Portal. These additions make up Balance's most comprehensive product offering to date.
And customers are seeing the impact already. Michael Eichinger, the COO of Bay Fastening Systems, a leading wholesale-distributor using Balance to power their digital marketplace, said, "We were able to grow our digital channel in ways we didn’t know were possible. Balance’s true uniqueness is in its product flexibility and ability to work with our existing business processes."
At Balance, we’re proud to not only provide robust solutions but ones that are a result of listening to the market. Merchants need flexibility – solutions that align with their business and processes, not ones they have to retrofit into their operations.
Beyond the launch itself, we have a new website and brand. One that reflects the advancements and market-leading capabilities that we have added over the last year. We continue to serve a customer base that includes the likes of the fastest growing B2B tech startups and simultaneously, some of the largest enterprises in the world.
As a result of working with Balance, customers are able to double AOVs, see an average 50% reduction in DSOs, and experience overall improved economic efficiency, contributing to growth in both top and bottom lines. We have new content on the website—testimonials, guides, and case studies that cover it all.
This launch represents the next step in our evolution, addressing the challenge of B2B payments with a holistic and adaptable transaction cycle solution for leading B2B brands, distributors, and marketplaces.
But we are nowhere near done building or innovating. 2024 will be a big year for us and we have even bigger plans ahead.
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