Magento for B2B ecommerce has become a popular option for merchants. From highly customizable options to a broad range of features and integrations, there are a plenty of attractive reasons Magento is a great platform to address the complex needs of B2B.
But merchants have a million tasks on their plate that should come before researching Magento B2B payment platform integrations. So, we’ve got good news for you. In this blog, we’ll cover why merchants need an easier way to scale B2B ecommerce payments, what the different use cases are, and the results you can expect to see.
B2B ecommerce payments: the challenge
Until recently, time had been on the B2B industry’s side, but all of that is changing. And the reason why is simple: Digital natives are here. Today, 73% of millennials are currently participating in the B2B purchasing process. With this new generation of buyers overwhelmingly favoring digital options—time-to-value in B2B ecommerce is no longer a factor that businesses can ignore.
However, the reality is that B2B commerce requirements are complex and not every platform comes with the functionally needed natively built-in. This is especially true for payments. On the B2C side, card-based payments made up more than 85% of the digital transaction value in 2020 and will remain above 84% through 2023. But credit card processing alone for B2B will no longer cut it. Not only is the B2B space still dominated by more traditional payment methods, but B2B customers expect to be able to pay the same ways they are used to offline.
Offering them the option to use PayPal or credit card couldn’t be farther away from that. And if the checkout experience doesn’t match the options they can get by contacting their sales rep over the phone, then the option to buy online starts to become a lot less attractive. With 83% of B2B buyers wanting to order or pay through digital commerce, failing to meet that preference leaves a significant portion of buyer needs unmet.
So why don’t more Magento merchants offer net terms as a payment method? Well, building and integrating instant and online net terms is no small task. But that’s where integrations can set merchants up for success.
"Having a smooth, easy, and low-touch payment solution for a business using Magento means a faster implementation and the opportunity to get to market faster than creating a custom solution. Plus, you get the enhanced functionality that focuses on B2B needs, and payment options focused on B2B customers,” says David Rodriguez, Technical Project Program Manager at Guidance.
“Payments and the checkout experience are critical to the eCommerce experience. Balance’s integration with Magento highlights the importance of reducing friction and enhancing the checkout flow to improve the customer’s experience and conversion rate.” David Rodriguez, Technical Project Program Manager at Guidance.
Rather than businesses having to go through the cumbersome, and quite risky process of building an in-house payments and credit team, Balance gives you the ability to set up a robust checkout and financing offering in just a matter of days. This means that merchants can go from 0 to 100 in the kind of value they can provide for every online transaction.
Your online store deserves a better checkout: here’s why
At Balance, we’ve spent a lot of time learning inside and out how merchants are accepting online payments today. We went through hundreds of Magento B2B checkouts and here’s a short summary of what we found:
1. The most common payment methods offered were credit cards and PayPal
2. Purchase order payments were sometimes available but only for existing customers
3. About 20-30% of checkouts could only be accessed if you had a customer account
Perhaps our biggest takeaway was how similar every checkout was from one to the other. Overwhelming, far too few merchants had B2B payment methods like wire, ACH, check, and net terms—available to their customers.
And yet, net terms are a standard in B2B purchasing. Once customers stumble at payment, merchants can lose everything they’ve gained in the transaction thus far.
The impact? Our data shows that not having the preferred payment methods at checkout is the top reason enterprise buyers would switch to another ecommerce site. And this can be true even for loyal, repeat customers. Consider the fact that buyers might not always want to pay the same way, every time. Let’s say for example a customer typically pays via credit card. But this particular month they want to pay via net 60 terms because they have greater cash flow constraints. The entire checkout flow built to only accept credit cards now falls short.
Something else to consider is that when you start selling online you’re not only creating a new sales channel, you’re also creating a mine of data. So if after rolling out net terms you see a lift in both conversions and average order size—you can leverage this offering across sales and marketing. Website banners and ads around available credit options at checkout can not only be a lever for growth, they can be a great way to encourage more buyers to complete their purchase.
Magento for B2B payments: How Balance helps enhance the payment journey
With today’s digital expectations, merchants need to enable the ease and one-click nature of ecommerce, which has yet to be the standard in B2B. If businesses can digitally provide that preference, they have a lot to gain. For starters, they can enable self-service purchasing without losing important functionality intrinsic to B2B buying.
The goal of any digital experience in B2B should be to translate complex offline requirements into a seamless, online one. Why? Buyers have had their tried and true ways of how they purchase. Changing that all at once, while making it hard or unintuitive to do so, will only keep business payments stuck in the past.
That’s why we built the most powerful integration possible for Magento, with built-in net terms, multi-payment method support, automatic reconciliation on every transaction, and total customization control.
With Balance, you can decide to pre-qualify buyers or extend credit to new buyers at checkout. Customers will have access to the financing they need while getting a consumer-grade checkout experience. Providing that kind of value is a critical way to not only stand out from your competitors, but grow your online business and build trust with your online customers—in an age where you can still be one of the brands to get in on this trend early.
Balance’s Magento extension is already trusted by marketplaces and merchants that are taking advantage of the B2B industry’s digital adoption to scale their online payments. Check out our API docs or head over to the Magento Marketplace to learn more about the Magento plugin for Balance.
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