For many years eCommerce has been highly focused on B2C marketplaces. However, things have changed significantly in recent years and B2B trading is gaining traction massively. According to one research study, the value of the B2B eCommerce market was USD 12.2 trillion in 2019. This figure was more than six times the value of the B2C eCommerce market.
With the astounding growth rate of B2B eCommerce, the big question for business people is how they can get a foothold into this lucrative marketplace and make the most of the opportunity/ The most obvious answer is to use the right tools and deploy the right technology.
One of the critical tools any entrepreneur already in or wishing to join the B2B eCommerce marketplace should consider having is the right eCommerce software or platform. The chosen B2B platform means everything—no matter the kind of business of online business you are running because it determines the customers’ experience, allows a smooth check-out process for purchases, and even offers marketing and analytic tools. This is where the use of an open-source B2B eCommerce platform comes in.
Understanding an open-source B2B eCommerce Platform
So, what is an eCommerce platform? It is simply a software package or application suite that allows the buyer and the seller to interact as they buy and sell over the internet. Entrepreneurs have a choice between open-source and closed-source platforms when setting up their online stores.
Closed-source platforms do not make their source code freely available, but open-source platforms do. The beauty of choosing an open-source B2B eCommerce platform is that they allow you to do as little or as much customization as your online business requires.
In addition, open-source B2B eCommerce platforms come with advanced core features, tons of instructional resources, extension libraries, and huge and active communities for support. Also, they provide options for so many plug-ins, be they API-based or third-party ones.
B2B stores or companies should consider using open-source B2B eCommerce platforms because they allow for the delivery of an excellent customer experience thanks to their flexibility, scalability, and security features.
Crucial features of the top open-source B2B eCommerce platforms
When you are looking for the best open-source B2B eCommerce platforms, there are some standard features that you should expect to find in them. Here are some of the critical ones:
A key feature of an open-source B2B eCommerce platform is that it will allow the business to expand from a startup to a big business, commanding a blue-chip status without having to go through the trouble of rewriting and repurposing code. The reason for this is that the platform has the code readily available and the licenses grant the rights to modify it as the users may need. As a result, entrepreneurs can cut software development costs significantly.
· Database management
The eCommerce sector is the most hacked, registering about a third of global hacking incidents. eCommerce even surpasses the banking sector which suffers 25% of global attacks. Given the risk of criminal infiltration, B2B eCommerce software should offer the highest possible level of security to safeguard its users and their customers against possible hacking.
The good news is that open-source B2B eCommerce platforms such as Virto Commerce make it possible for entrepreneurs in the B2B sector to enjoy the necessary security to be protected from hackers. The platforms allow “multiple eyes” to continually monitor the source code so that any security flaws in the platforms are detected and addressed, efficiently and in good time.
The many eyes monitoring open-source platforms are a great advantage over closed-source platforms. Companies using closed-source solutions must count on the provider’s goodwill to treat security threats with the seriousness they deserve.
There are no worries for companies using open-source B2B eCommerce platforms that the developers may suddenly abandon the projects or allow them to slip into disuse. This is because the source code is publicly available. As such, users can rely on these platforms for long-term projects, including B2B stores. Moreover, these platforms allow integration with future systems thanks to the open APIs.
With open-source B2B eCommerce platforms, online stores enjoy great flexibility because these platforms work with a wide variety of databases and operating systems, and can be tailored to whatever needs a business has. The platforms also provide an excellent shopping experience because companies can modify the source code to create powerful features customizing the platform to their specific needs.
· Technical support
No matter the usability, the majority of open-source software is created to meet developers’ needs. Therefore, there is a need for extensive technical skills to modify open-source code to give access to non-technical users. Also, the platforms need technical support but most companies overlook this needed feature to maintain a successful ecosystem and focus on fixing bugs and including new features. However, technical support is vital as it takes care of all technical barriers that stand in the way of end-users optimizing their software’s benefits.
Reasons for choosing Virto Commerce as your open-source B2B eCommerce platform
In a market full of many choices for open-source B2B eCommerce platforms, B2B companies face a dilemma about which platform to choose. However, Virto Commerce stands out as one of the best open-source B2B eCommerce platforms. It is an asp net eCommerce open-source platform, and like Magento, offers a free open-source version.
Here are some reasons to choose Virto Commerce:
- Excellent features
The platform is a great option for both medium and large-sized companies thanks to its superior eCommerce features that can be tailored to suit a company’s needs. Some of these features include custom-made CMS, inventory systems, order management systems, complex catalogs, and others. Moreover, like a headless API-driven platform for eCommerce, it easily integrates with third-party systems and supports several sales channels.
- Great customer support and constant updates
Virto offers unmatched customer support to companies using it for their web-based businesses and releases updates as frequently as twice or once per month because it focuses on continuous improvement to stay ahead of other platforms in the market.
Companies looking to venture into the B2B eCommerce marketplace need to consider open source B2B eCommerce platforms because they have immense benefits for the users, buyers, and sellers. It is worth investing in superior platforms and even if the open-source solutions need technical support to work well, the benefits far outweigh the costs.
About the Author
Solomon Njoroge is a freelance writer with broad experience writing about Technology, Ecommerce, International Business, and other niches for various websites and publications. He is passionate about researching and writing content that enlightens readers, especially about creating wealth and business matters, to enhance success in entrepreneurship.