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).
We’re excited to announce a new partnership with Akeneo, a leading provider of product information management (PIM) software.
Akeneo is a fast-growing software company that offers an open source PIM (Product Information Management) solution that dramatically simplifies catalog management processes. Akeneo PIM makes it is easy for B2B and B2C retailers and brands in any market to collect data from any source, enrich and control the quality of product information, and distribute it to multiple channels such as e-commerce, mobile, print, and points of sale. As Redstage’s latest industry partner, the two companies plan to strategically align initiatives to maximize value for online merchants.
While many eCommerce companies start out managing their product information with spreadsheets, they soon find out this method is unsustainable, but only when it’s too late. When trying to scale, companies find it difficult to properly manage an ocean of spreadsheets across sites, brands and more. This inevitably leads to a perpetuating, toxic cycle of improper product information being shown to customers, leading to a boatload of issues.
Unlike spreadsheets, the Akeneo PIM is custom built for managing product info across websites, eCommerce platforms, print catalogs, points of sale, mobile apps and more. As a result, the companies that switch from spreadsheets to the Akeneo PIM report a 50% increase in productivity, 30% increase in data quality, four times as many conversions, a faster time to market and lastly, lower return rates.
A Strategic Partnership
As a technology-forward eCommerce company, the Redstage team is on a constant search for the latest and best tech to simplify and streamline our clients’ processes. We look forward to working with the Akeneo team and sharing the incredible advantages of their platform with our clients.
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.
Magento just took everything to a whole new level with Magento 2.0. Magento 2 offers a superior feature set compared to nearly any other ecommerce platforms but you may ask yourself… What are the real benefits of Magento 2?
Originally, we thought that Magento 2 would simply be a major upgrade from Magento 1, but it’s actually much, much more than that. The file structure, admin panel organization and themeing system are all highly upgraded from the original Magento branch. What we would like to discuss are the major benefits of Magento 2.X and why you should embrace these changes and all of the opportunities for improvement that an upgrade will bring your business. As long time members of the Magento Community, we compiled a list of all the features and changes we love in an attempt to familiarize you with the improvements.
Let’s get started with the basics.
Intuitive Dashboard for User Admin:
The new Magento Admin is intuitive, easy to use, fully mobile responsive and accessible on any device. This update allows you to effortlessly configure your administrative workspace to manage products, process orders, and analyze customer data. You now have the ability to turn on or off any column in your view and drag it into the position of your choosing which allows you to quickly access the information you need when you need it. You can save the specific view and return to it in the future. Multiple admin users can create and edit products without fear of data conflicts. Menu grouping by function- system or e-commerce all modules are more logically organized and user friendly.
Real Time notifications of Updates
Data Grid & Keyword Search:
Combine your use of full text searches with keyword searches and SEO for greater customer satisfaction and greater exposure of your products. Omnichannel capabilities allow you to connect your site to other sites such as Ebay in order to increase the exposure of your products and their sales.
You can reduce optimization time with the drag and drop tool and the new automated sorting tool.
Reporting & Analytics
Built in reporting and support for google analytics and google tag manager.
More Opportunities for Magento Customization & New Speeds
Magento 2 provides more opportunities for customization without changing core site functionality. It organizes everything under the app structure and allows every module to have its very own directory where you can access all Magento templates, layouts, etc. Setting up new products is a breeze with a guided process that allows you to easily configure your product values such as size, color, and price. The new Magento Attributes give you an opportunity to recreate and better your site and gives you the motivation you need to reevaluate your Magento Performance to make it a better experience for your customers.
Other Magento ecommerce features include its partnership with Varnish Cache, a leading http accelerator technology for fast page loads and server loads which are making Magento sites work much faster than in previous versions. The efficient updates have improved query performance and speed dramatically.
Magento 2 has a robust a migration tool to help with the data migration between platforms. This assists with store setup, products, customers, orders, and promo rules, but theme and code customizations which includes 3rd party extensions will not be transferable. This is a very interesting tool that we’re excited to see grow into an even more powerful system.
At Redstage, we always treat new Magento versions with caution and wait patiently while the new version is tested by the real world and the outstanding Magento community of partners and merchants. Magento 2.0 was released in November of 2015 and it’s truly ready to be your ecommerce platform!