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Whether their current eCommerce platform is no longer sufficient for their needs, or they’re just beginning to research building their eCommerce presence, B2B retailers are always asking: What are the feature differences between Adobe Commerce and BigCommerce, and which one will work best for me?

According to FireBearStudio.com, 93% of B2B buyers prefer online purchases and the very profile of B2B buyers is changing. According to a Gartner survey, digital native Millennials and Generation Z will make up nearly 64% of the global workforce by 2025. This means businesses that used to sell their products solely salesperson-to-buyer over the phone or via paper RFQs and invoices must now have and maintain the most up-to-date and robust eCommerce presence possible. According to WPForms.com, there are an estimated 12-24 million eCommerce sites across the entire globe, with more and more being created each and every day. With that level of competition, every B2B retailer needs to be online and there’s no room for getting it wrong.

And as each business is unique, so too is each eCommerce platform. With options galore, including Shopify, WooCommerce, Squarespace, Adobe Commerce, BigCommerce, Salesforce, and beyond, even the savviest B2B business owner could easily find themselves overwhelmed and in need of guidance from a seasoned strategic partner to navigate the hunt for what will meet their needs within a budget they are comfortable with.

How Is the B2B eCommerce Space Unique?

B2B businesses sell directly to other businesses as opposed to consumers, ordering in larger volumes on items that don’t always have set pricing and typically require a quote before purchasing in order to negotiate. B2B customers typically require more product information before making their educated purchases, as well, due to budget constraints and the many people involved in the approval process.

Surveys from McKinsey show that nearly all B2B businesses have had to adopt a digital commerce presence. The same survey reveals 70-80% of B2B decision-makers prefer remote human interactions or digital self-service instead of in-person interactions. Additionally, B2B buyers are willing to make big purchases online with 60% saying they are willing to spend $50K or more. Buyers are also increasing the frequency of their online purchasing with 77% saying that they purchase twice a month or more. This solidifies that B2B businesses do indeed have to have a robust, comprehensive, and competitive eCommerce presence.

Let’s Talk About Adobe Commerce Powered by Magento

What is Adobe Commerce?

Adobe Commerce is an open-source, hosted (or self-hosted), multi-channel eCommerce platform designed to allow the addition of new capabilities, functionality, and scalability to any digital commerce website. Adobe defines its Commerce platform as “completely scalable and extensible, with a modular core and headless capabilities that allow you to quickly incorporate new technologies — even ones yet to be invented — so you can reach customers across an ever-expanding network of touchpoints.”

What Are the B2B Feature Highlights of Adobe Commerce?

Adobe Commerce offers a myriad of tools that allow B2B business owners to confidently launch, manage, and scale their business, including the ability to manage all of their stores with layered organizational structures all on one platform, even if they’re selling to people in different languages — on different continents.

Adobe Commerce also allows the creation of requisition lists of frequently purchased items within a customized catalog for the ease and navigability of any specific buyer. It also allows for the creation of quote requests as well as a setting for the minimum amount for said quotes. This ensures that leads are qualified and that consumers are aware of volume minimums right out of the gate. 

With Adobe Commerce, B2B businesses can sell to their clients on credit and buyers are able to track available credit within the platform, allowing decision-makers to continually make informed decisions on whether or not to approve purchases. Order statuses can be tracked and full purchase history is always available. 

Adobe offers excellent options for the B2B buyer in that they can create their own self-management dashboard. In this dashboard, business owners can designate tiered functionality of their purchasing team (i.e. this one can purchase products above this price without approval, this one cannot, etc.). Quote tracking is an excellent feature that offers a clear status on quote negotiations. Adobe is even able to get so detailed as to create catalogs specifically crafted for the customer - offering the uploading of SKU lists, and frequently ordered product forms.

In Which Industries Does Adobe Commerce Functionality Shine?

Every digital commerce platform shines in different areas but one significant differentiator is Adobe Commerce offers excellence in helping business owners in regulated industries sell their products with ease. Regulated Industries sell goods that come with certain rules governing how a company may market-specific products and product categories online. 

These regulations determine how, where, and to whom products are marketed. Among others, these industries can include Firearms, Alcohol, CBD and THC, Vitamins, Pharmaceuticals, temperature-controlled Food and Beverage, and Tobacco. Regulations governing eCommerce are propagated by several governing bodies and agencies throughout international, federal, state, and local levels of government.

In a landscape of ever-changing laws with special interest groups, lobbyists, and corporations dictating how these industries do business, companies have to keep a constant eye on regulations to ensure they’re still doing business legally. Also, as an open platform, Adobe Commerce supports total customization to accommodate specific or complex business processes such as those in regulated verticals.

To read more on the B2B experience in Regulated Industries, check out our blog.

Why Isn’t Adobe Commerce for Everyone?

One of the biggest concerns for digital retailers utilizing Adobe Commerce for their eCommerce needs is pricing. According to Magestore, the only iteration of Adobe Commerce free of charge is Open Source. Adobe Commerce and Adobe Commerce Cloud offer exclusive built-in features delivered on an optimized code base. Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) and Average Order Value (AOV) will determine the Adobe Commerce and Adobe Commerce Cloud pricing policy, as noted in the table below.

Screen Shot 2022-05-17 at 2.46.50 PMStatistics on Adobe Commerce and Adobe Commerce Cloud pricing scale are provided by HevoData in 2022. For the most accurate pricing, contact an Adobe Commerce account executive.

Adobe Commerce's digital commerce platform is enterprise-scale eCommerce and typically makes the most sense for businesses earning at least one million dollars in annual revenue, with more complex business requirements and back-end systems integrations. But with high-end cost comes high-end functionality. From customization to optimization, Adobe Commerce presents itself as a clear contender in the digital commerce space.

Let’s Talk About BigCommerce

What is BigCommerce?

According to G2, “BigCommerce is a leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) eCommerce platform that empowers merchants of all sizes to build, innovate, and grow their businesses online. As a leading open SaaS solution, BigCommerce provides merchants sophisticated enterprise-grade functionality, customization, and performance with simplicity and ease of use.”

What Are the B2B Feature Highlights of BigCommerce?

As a SaaS platform, the software is licensed which ensures business owners that their software is consistently up to date with new features or security patches, which are implemented automatically. BigCommerce also offers several simple and essential features such as multi-storefront setup in any country and language, custom checkout options, related product recommendations, and more.

BigCommerce offers multi-storefront functionality, sales in multiple currencies, related product recommendations, the creation of customer wishlists, and to cater specifically to the B2B space, they’ve implemented minimum and maximum order amounts and the ability to request a price before purchase, in integral functionality for the wholesale consumer. Real-time shipping quotes are a consumer favorite, as well as the abandoned cart saver.

One of the biggest selling points of BigCommerce is its affordable pricing plans. Entry-level business owners can make their digital commerce price point work for them AND there are enterprise-level options.

Screen Shot 2022-05-17 at 2.47.21 PM
*Starting at $299.95/mo for less than $400k in online sales, +$150/mo for each additional $200k in online sales.
Pricing provided by BigCommerce. For the most up-to-date pricing, contact a BigCommerce account executive.

In Which Industries Does BigCommerce Functionality Shine?

BigCommerce is an eCommerce platform for any industry but truly excels in servicing businesses that have a higher annual online revenue. The platform also shines in the realm of regulated industries such as firearms and CBD. Their limitations on business owners are minimal compared to platforms such as Shopify or WooCommerce.

Why Isn’t BigCommerce for Everyone?

According to Style Factory, some of the limitations of BigCommerce or “cons” are limitations being placed on online sales whereas a business owner can only make up to a certain amount of revenue before having to upgrade their account, the free themes are in many cases too similar to each other, running the risk of your store looking somewhat similar to a competitor’s, and editing free templates comes with limited functionality. 

Overall, the platform offers comprehensive pricing for a wide variety of options. But the functionality may not be the favorite of, say, a business that’s interested in implementing behind-the-scenes customizations for a more unique visual brand and user experience.

When Should B2B Businesses Use an eCommerce Agency to Build Their Platform?

Whether an online retailer is building its eCommerce presence for the first time or redefining it, it’s also important to ensure they’re taking advantage of all of the tools available to them. Some businesses have an in-house development team with experience and insight that will keep their team up to date and on track with the most appropriate digital commerce platform for them. When that is not the case, it’s time to call on the services of an experienced eCommerce strategic partner agency.

Employing the resources and expertise of an agency can help if an online retailer doesn’t quite know where to begin when selecting the best digital commerce platform for their business. When an agency knows a business’s requirements and goals, it can help make a recommendation on the most appropriate eCommerce platform that’s in line with a business’s short and long-term goals and objectives. 

Starting on a platform that will not support larger growth goals could mean an entire replatform as an online business grows and scales. It’s important to think downstream and a seasoned agency can and should help define the answers to those questions to implement the most cost-effective and efficient solution. This will save time and money, and ensure smooth sailing with growth because a smart eCommerce solution was recommended and implemented from the start.

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