So, it finally happened. The South Dakota state government can now charge eCommerce sales tax for online businesses.
This morning the US Supreme Court announced the 5-4 ruling, overturning a 1992 decision (Quill Corp v. North Dakota) that barred states from collecting sales tax from businesses with “no physical presence” in their state. The high court ruled against Wayfair, Overstock.com, and Newegg, sending their stock price into a fall (along with that of Amazon, Etsy, Ebay and more). As a result of the ruling, many fear the gates have been opened for all 45 states that collect sales tax to use the Wayfair decision to charge Internet sales tax. When this happens, online shops will likely begin charging customers at the checkout, driving up eCommerce prices for customers.
However… Consumers are already required to report their online purchases and pay the applicable taxes. According to CNN, “Last year, states could have collected as much as $13.4 billion in additional online sales taxes, according to the General Accountability Office. Although buyers are technically supposed to add up their purchases and pay all the applicable taxes along with their regular filing, few do.” As a result, some argue this decision is fair, especially when one considers eCommerce’s massive impact on the U.S. economy.
In the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, “The Internet’s prevalence and power have changed the dynamics of the national economy.” He also mentioned the need for states to collect the tax as digital retail continues to explode, saying, “The expansion of e-commerce has also increased the revenue shortfall faced by States seeking to collect their sales and use taxes.” With eCommerce poised to make up 17% of US retail sales by 2022, the ruling makes sense now more than ever.
The likely winners in this scenario will be states who can now collect the online sales tax (many more to come), and Amazon, who has been paying state sales taxes for years. While the decision will hurt smaller, non-monolithic eCommerce businesses, Amazon’s competition will now likely face the same tax requirements, keeping Amazon even still again, ahead of the curve.
For now, in South Dakota, the law will only apply to eCommerce sites with more than $100,000.00 in sales revenue from commerce within the state. The state now stands to gain an additional 50 million dollars in revenue annually from the tax. Lastly, as CNBC reports, “[the] states that are likely to see the biggest percentage increase in revenue are Louisiana, Tennessee, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Alabama, according to the Barclays research.”
This week, Eric Dye of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network interviewed Redstage CEO Adam Morris on the coming B2B eCommerce revolution. In this episode, the pair discuss the latest trends, market news, and strategies for companies who “NEED” to adapt to the new standards of digital commerce. Click play above to listen now or follow the link at the bottom to download the podcast. Happy listening!
Insights included in this entrepreneur interview:
1. “What does the B2B eCommerce market look like and why is B2B super hot right now?”
2.“How is B2B eCommerce different from traditional online retail?”
3.“What are the main roadblocks for companies going digital?”
As a digital entrepreneur, Adam Morris has been working alongside Anthony Latona (Redstage’s CMO) since their university days. The duo co-founded several businesses together over the years, most recently Redstage, which started in 2008. As Morris recalls, “All of our businesses revolved around online commerce, and we’ve had a knack for being ahead of the Internet business curve. Redstage is an eCommerce agency that specializes in web design, development, strategy and support for B2B and B2C clients all over the world. As part of the Fulcrum Family of companies, we have over 700 employees on 5 continents. For the past 10 years we’ve been transforming companies through eCommerce, now focusing primarily on Magento and Shopify. With B2B eCommerce set to explode before the end of the decade, we’re ready to take on the biggest challenges facing the world’s largest companies – especially when it comes to tackling the transition to digital, something we’re quite good at.”
If you enjoyed this podcast, check out this post on MagePlaza about our developers’ biggest “B2B Pet Peeves” (the top 4 signs that a B2B site needs to upgrade).
Whether your product is bottles of lemonade or festive bikinis for the summer; if you’re new to B2B e-commerce, it’s important to have a plan when selecting the best platform for your business.
The explosion of online shopping popularity projects ecommerce transactions to out-pace in-store sales in the next few years. Nielsen confirms this with research and offers up some of the browse to buy rates for goods & services. Recent trends show B2B customers seeking more of the e-commerce experience as opposed to shopping offline. So who exactly are these customers?
B2B ecommerce has several types of customers, each with their individual requirements for how they define their success. These customer types include B2B consumers (the company plans to resell the product or service to them). Other customer types include wholesalers/distributors who will sell your products and services to other B2B companies and dealers who sometimes resell the company’s product for them.
Knowing your customers, here’s a few things to consider when selecting the best e-commerce platform for your online store.
1. What are your company’s objectives for your B2B e-commerce store?
It is important to know what you want to achieve when you’re building an e-commerce store. Choosing the platform with the best deployment method for your store will ensure your business needs and your brand objectives are supported.
2. Is the platform best for B2B e-commerce?
The platform you choose should have documented successful experience meeting the demands of e-commerce online stores. Conduct your own research to see what similar online stores are using and if the platforms of their choice have sufficient experience to meet the demands of an e- commerce store such as a high traffic volume, search engine optimization and mobile friendliness. B2B stores operate best on an open source platform such as Magento. The demands of an online B2B store are much greater than that of a B2C. Magento software caters to this need with such benefits as bulk order management and inventory tracking across multiple warehouse locations.
3. Is the platform customizable?
For companies like Zoetis, it was important to have an online B2B store that provides a B2C experience for their customers. Catering to the needs of veterinary professionals in over 50 countries 24/7, they needed an e-commerce platform that provided world class customer experience, met the needs of their complex business rules, featured promotions and included 40+ database feeds. The best option for them was to use the Magento Enterprise Edition to implement their online store.
4. Can you integrate any existing software into your new platform?
Integration is very important to the success of your online store. Large businesses that are typical users of B2B e-commerce platforms understand that integration of pre-existing software such as your CRM to your back office is critical. Building an IT environment that improves company efficiency is vitally important; if your existing software does not integrate with the new e-commerce platform it will negatively impact your overall result.
5. Does the platform provide the best user experience for your customers?
Today’s customers expect and demand a user experience that is second to none when they visit e-commerce stores. The platform chosen for your store should provide streamlined features like one click purchasing for both software and professional training, providing an easier buyer experience. Staying up to date on how buyers utilize the internet in non B2B environments will enhance your store’s B2B experience. According to Magento, “93 percent of business-to-business buyers prefer to purchase online, with self-serve information, direct from vendors,” so an intuitive experience is key. Learn more about Magento’s B2B module here.
When choosing a B2B e-commerce platform choose a platform with a proven success rate of developing B2B e-commerce stores and can adapt to the changing needs of your company.
Here at Redstage, as a Shopify Plus Partner and Magento Enterprise Partner, we believe one of these great platforms may be the right fit for your B2B store and personally vouch for their abilities. Give us a call anytime for a free consultation on options, features and considerations for each to find the perfect platform for your business.