The United States is expected to generate $1.2 trillion in B2B internet sales by 2021. You may be wondering how to capitalize on this economic potential by utilizing an open source B2B eCommerce platform. Well, it’s critical to understand the fundamentals, but it’s not easy. This comprehensive guide will tell you all you need to know about the operation from start to finish.
Open Source B2B e-commerce platform and its Features
It is vital to comprehend an open-source B2B e-commerce platform, why you would desire one, and how it varies from rivals.
Because open-source software (OSS) is distributed with its source code, users and publishers can study, update, and upgrade it to meet their requirements. In contrast to closed source software, open-source software allows programmers to update or alter the code to develop their perfect B2B platform.
What exactly does “open-source code” imply?
The term “source code” refers to the core code that programmers may edit to change how a program (or application) functions in computer programming. They do not need to consult the program’s supplier to make enhancements, add features, or address faults.
During a pandemic, you’ll need more customers to shop.
So much personalization
Using open-source technologies, you may customize a B2B e-commerce platform. Use the source code in whatever method works best for your application. Put another way, the only constraints you face are those you place on yourself, such as time, abilities, and resources.
Further, because everything is open source, you can share your customized version of the e-commerce platform with other users for free or for a fee.
In addition, crowdsourcing is used to create open-source software. The code is produced and maintained by volunteers and community members. Anyone can use, modify, and contribute to it for any reason. Because of these advantages, open-source software is popular: inexpensive pricing and an extensive range of customization options. For a good reason, open-source software has surged in popularity in the commercial sector.
Outside of any organization, no one is aware of the issues with proprietary closed-source software. When a flaw is detected, it may take weeks or months for a company to fix its product. “Security by obscurity” is a common justification for expensive proprietary software.
There may be more “found defects” in open source software, but these problems are typically detected before they do significant harm and are rapidly rectified. However, suppose a new issue is identified in a substantial release of the proprietary application. In that case, it may take substantially longer to install a fix—meanwhile, thanks to everyone who is working hard to keep it operating.
There are several benefits to keeping a close check on your B2B platform’s behavior interactions. However, this implies that your OSS must perform analytics independently or seamlessly connect to other analytics systems.
When you acquire proprietary software, you’re trapped with it. Software that is open source and adaptable. It is totally up to you to use and modify it. There’s no need to spend extra money or put up with software that doesn’t work. As a result, Drupal has been widely embraced in the public sector, including cities, organizations, and even the White House.
Companies that offer proprietary software want to maintain you as a customer. Windows and Office from Microsoft are two examples. They are limited to use within the Microsoft environment and do not allow third-party integration.
Because open-source software is free of the software vendor’s vision, requirements, demands, pricing, priorities, and deadlines, your organization can do anything with the software it pays for.
As a result, open-source software is created by a community of experts and enthusiasts. They care about the value of liberty and want their products to be simple to use and understand. As a result, every major open-source project has documentation, email lists, forums, wikis, newsgroups, and live chats.
The open-source community is unrivaled in scale, passion, knowledge, and ambition.
Because the individuals who develop open-source software are frequently the same people who will use it in the future, it is more likely to meet the demands of the end-user. It is not about what suppliers believe their customers desire regarding open source. Contributions from users and developers help enhance software that is important to them. Many organizations prefer open source solutions due to their technological advantages.
Businesses should use open-source software for this reason alone. Paying for proprietary software can be done in various ways, such as a one-time fee or an ongoing subscription. You may be unaware of how much money you’re squandering due to your accrued expenses. Decide whether or not to go for it. Unplug the cable. You’re in good hands with open-source software.
When selecting an open-source B2B e-commerce system, keep the following points.
Because there are so many options, deciding on the most refined open-source B2B e-commerce platform may be challenging.
Every successful piece of open-source software has a vibrant development community and a high level of vendor support. Before choosing an OSS, ensure that it offers the finest and most responsive forum and support for the community’s mailing lists and internal ads. You’ll have a higher chance of obtaining assistance with any system issues if you do this.
However, the OSS documentation must provide all vital information about the development process, such as the history of issues and their remedies, version upgrades, new features, extensions, etc. Therefore, before making a final selection, conduct research and extensively review the OSS documentation.
This is a no-brainer in B2B e-commerce, and it’s much more crucial. First, examine whether your OSS is compatible with other critical software for your business, such as ERPs, CRMs, and PIMs. A solid platform requires a current and robust set of APIs, and simple integration will pay dividends in the long term.
As your business grows, your software will need to interact and collaborate with various external systems. You won’t have to employ a programmer to do extensive integration work every time you connect another piece of software to your OSS.
What good is the world’s finest e-commerce site if no one knows about it? First, you’ll need a platform to segment your audience and target the right people.
Consider Popular open source e-commerce platforms
We’ve done the legwork and narrowed the field down to just a few open-source B2B e-commerce solutions for your convenience.
OroCommerce: If you’re in the online business sector, you’ve undoubtedly heard about Magento. OroCommerce was built and fostered by the same folks that invented and cultivated Magento. OroCommerce, a newcomer to the market, isn’t as well-known as Magento yet, but it’s gaining pace. In the IDC MarketScape for B2B Digital Platforms in 2020, Orocommerce was identified as a prominent participant.
Let’s go right to the point. OroCommerce, a B2B e-commerce platform, is used by manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers to sell their products in B2B, B2C, e-commerce platforms, and multi-channel selling scenarios. OroCommerce has several pre-installed B2B features and a variety of customization options that may be used to meet the demands of specific enterprises.
OroCommerce includes an open-source platform and a marketplace for extensions and plugins. You will also be provided with APIs that may be utilized for many integrations. In addition, OroCommerce is far lighter than competing systems and may be used in various settings, including hybrid environments, on-premises, public and private cloud.
Woocommerce: This is a well-known WordPress plugin for B2B companies. Over 38 percent of online shops use the platform, with over 15 million downloads. This plugin was created primarily to help WordPress users transform their blogs into practical e-commerce stores that both businesses and consumers can use.
WooCommerce is a popular choice among businesses since it is easy to use and offers many beneficial features. In addition, this tool may promote a wide range of services and goods.
Here are a few of Woocommerce’s standout features:
- Offers a variety of payment choices.
- Availability of high-quality SEO services.
- Advanced plugins.
- Open-source and adaptable personalization.
- Intended for usage in a commercial context.
- There are several options for integration.
- Enhanced security.
Drupal: Drupal has the advantage of interacting with a wide range of third-party apps quickly. Although it is a popular option for small and medium-sized enterprises, it may also help giant corporations with comprehensive content marketing strategies and web developers.
Drupal offers the following capabilities:
- A customizable default theme is provided, but you are free to alter it as you see appropriate.
- Up to 40 modules.
- Allows for the creation of page aliases automatically.
- Its connectivity options include Google Analytics, anti-bot protection, and a slew of other features.
Opencart: According to Alexa’s top million algorithms, there are 580k users and 900 open-cart sites. Even if you’ve never used Opencart before, it features a user-friendly design and a thriving community. Aside from that, consumers may choose from more than 20 payment methods and eight delivery options.
- Free support program
- A plethora of themes and plugins to select from,
- Effective stock management
- Optimization for search engines.
- Subdomains are easy to set up.
- Track transactions easily.
- Incorporate the wholesale market.