A Discussion of B2B ecommerce Platforms
Stock-outs can be a major problem for consumer ecommerce sites so most companies targeting consumers plan to have adequate stock and often display stock status on their online stores. However, many businesses – especially distributors who drop-ship from their suppliers or make to order manufacturers wait until they receive an order before they buy or make their product. As such, many business to business eCommerce platforms either do not display stocking quantities or they choose alternative stock status messages such as “Low Stock” or “In Stock” and simply account for the procurement or manufacturing lead time in their order details.
B2B Order Creation
Very few consumer ecommerce platforms integrate with a business’ accounting or enterprise resources planning (ERP) business system. Orders are typically generated through the ecommerce platforms with a summary of the days’ orders provided to the company which can be manually entered into their system. In some cases, the company may receive an Excel file containing the order details for the day or the week. These files can then be manually imported into the business accounting system.
B2B ecommerce platforms require deep integration with the back-office accounting or ERP business system for order creation. B2B shopping cart orders can’t wait for someone to manually import them into the system and this process is prone to human error and costs the business time and money that affect product prices due to increased labor costs. A lean business will eliminate these inefficiencies streamlining the process so that all online B2B shopping cart orders are automatically created in the accounting system so that it can be picked and shipped to the customer or added to the production schedule for manufacturing.