Often in the process of negotiations with manufacturers, distributors, and just wholesale companies, we are faced with the fact that these representatives of the B2B business:
- do not know what a b2b portal is in general and why it is needed;
- even if you have heard of this, they do not know how it differs from a simple retail b2c online store.
Despite the fact that 2021 is already in the yard, the topic of b2b portals has long existed on the Internet, but developers and business representatives working in the field of b2b who have implemented this in their company, all call them differently. We have compiled for you a list of the most common synonyms used by B2B portals that we have met:
- on-line (online) ordering system
- personal account dealer-portal
- internet warehouse
- Internet portal
- order processing system
- B2B ordering system
- electronic manager
- wholesale online store
- online ordering program
If you look in general, then all these names fit the definition of what a b2b portal is, and in fairness, we must say that every supplier who has such development has the right to call it whatever he wants, the main thing is that it works.))) But how to be for that part of suppliers who are only planning or thinking about automating their business processes, and in particular to simplify their interaction with the buyer – and do not know what they need to look for and where to order such a development. Check more about b2b development on the AGORA website.
We decided to take a chance and give our own definition of what a b2b portal is so that in the future it would be easier for b2b business representatives to understand what they really need and what it is.
A B2B portal is an electronic platform for interaction between a supplier and his partners, buyers, where the former, in turn, puts up his goods for sale, and the latter buys them, and all this happens on the Internet. Very often this site resembles an online store, so there is a second definition – it is a closed online store for wholesale buyers.
It would seem that everything is very simple, this is the usual online store that we use every day when we buy goods for our own needs. But this is not entirely true, it has features, going a little ahead, we will say that the B2B portal, in addition to the ordering procedure itself, also has a post-sales service, and this is a whole piece of web development, which is just not in those online stores we are used to.
The main functions in the b2b portal:
- Provides round-the-clock access to the current balances in the supplier’s warehouse, i.e. the buyer always sees how much of what is in the warehouse or warehouses (a complete map of balances for all branches) and can plan his purchases.
- It makes it possible to buy goods at your own personal prices, with the use of all special discounts, etc. In the b2b sphere, buyers work on a contractual basis, therefore, contracts can prescribe special conditions for a brand, for a particular product/nomenclature group, for a certain purchased volume, etc., and this is far from a retail price.
- All orders made from the site are immediately placed in a unified management accounting system, usually 1C and immediately reserved for the buyer, i.e. the buyer will always know that if he made an order in the system, then this product will definitely be booked for him, because at the time of ordering the site checks (validates) for changes in the price and quantity of the goods, otherwise if the check is not performed, this is not a b2b portal because the information will no longer be relevant.
And now the functions of the after-sales service, which we talked about above:
- Provides access to the order history, which displays the status of the order and its payment, it is important for the partner to understand at what stage his order is now and where it is now. An additional feature is that the buyer does not always have the opportunity to place an order from the site, but they are displayed in the history, regardless of how it was done.
- Provides the opportunity to receive the entire package of documents for the order, and this is an invoice for payment, an invoice, sometimes a return invoice and there is also an act of mutual settlements. And all this in printed form can be obtained independently in your personal account, with the function of downloading everything in an archive;
- Check your settlements under the agreement. On the site, you can see the Income, Expense, and the entire list of subordinate documents affecting the balance. Documents for which there is an overdue debt are highlighted in red. Believe me, it is very important for a partner to have access to such information when you work with your supplier almost every day.
Perhaps these are the main functions that should be formed among suppliers who plan to automate the sales process in their enterprise in the future, in order to understand that a b2b portal is far from just an online store, but a full-fledged web environment for a partner, where he can get and do everything necessary – on one’s own.
Finally, I would like to note that every day you communicate with your partners (dealers) through the communication channels already developed over the years, and this is a telephone, e-mail. mail messengers, etc. Yes, we understand that these channels are working one way or another – but they are already outdated, a new and effective communication channel is a B2B portal.