Ecommerce Portals: Business Guide
ScienceSoft is a trusted consulting and implementation partner to businesses starting online sales. In portal development since 2005, we advocate savvy use of technologies to disrupt the way ecommerce business is done.
What is an ecommerce portal?
Ecommerce portals are online platforms where buyer-seller trading transactions are conducted. Manufacturers and distributors launch ecommerce portals to transit their buyers to an online channel. Portals streamline the buying process by facilitating bulk ordering and enabling volume-based pricing. As of 2020, about 10-11% of surveyed manufacturers and distributors revealed that about 80-100% of their revenues was generated through ecommerce portals.
In B2B electronic commerce, portal functions center around effective management and personalization of buying experience.
Pricing and catalog personalization
Corporate account management
Facilitated ordering process
A B2C ecommerce portal demo
In B2C ecommerce portals, customers value personalized and frictionless experience across the digital channels.
A B2B ecommerce portal demo
In B2B ecommerce portals, buyers value convenient self-service tools to place and manage their bulk orders.
- Centralized order management in ERP and no manual data input.
- Frictionless order fulfilment from multiple warehouse locations.
- Extra inventory control with timely detection of supply excess or shortage.
- Data-driven procurement planning.
- No missed orders and payments.
Microsoft Dynamics 365, SAP, Acumatica
Personalize online experience demanding less in-person involvement of your sales team.
Enable simultaneous access of multiple users within one corporate account but guarantee data confidentiality by incorporating user roles and permissions.
Reduce manual data management within the supply chain.
Provide maximum self-service capabilities for buyers.
The solution implementation journey depends on your business strategy maturity and in-house competencies and may include market entry and technology consulting, business analysis, infrastructure setup, platform configuration and customization, integrations, to name just a few big picture parts. Our experience shows that investments of $70-250K is the average for ecommerce portal launch for the middle market (platform license and content cost are not included).
The ROI comes from tangible financial outcomes.
- Deals are successfully made with businesses generally preferring online over offline cooperation growing a customer base.
- Customers buy 24/7 on the website, not dependent on your sales team’s working schedule.
- AI-powered product recommendations help increase conversions from upsells.
Reduced operational costs
- Automated order processing reduces the risk of inconsistencies and missed orders entailing reimbursement issues.
- The efforts of your sales team are rationalized due to the shift from manual work to strategic evolution.
- The sales cycle is often reduced by giving buyers self-service tools and mapping their journey diligently from product discovery to buy.
Best for mid-to-enterprise market
- Leader in digital commerce named by Gartner.
- Magento B2B module is included for free with Magento Commerce Pro plan.
- Multi-store support to create unique storefronts for different product categories, geolocations or affiliates.
- The large market of off-the-shelf integration solutions.
- Endless customization potential coupled, however, with pretty high development costs.
Watsco Inc., a distributor of HVAC and refrigeration equipment to contractors, saw +50% year-to-year revenue growth and a total of $900 million in online sales with Magento Commerce for their ecommerce operations.
Starts at $1,999 a month.
Best for enterprise market
Episerver B2B Commerce Cloud
Best for middle market
With an ecommerce portal on Episerver B2B Commerce Cloud , Jones Healthcare Group, a world-class provider of packaging and medication dispensing solutions, hit their year-one goals for registered accounts and online orders just one week after national launch.
Depends fully on business requirements and requires contacting the vendor directly.
When a custom ecommerce portal is a better choice for you
Though we advocate platform-based portal development as offering an optimal implementation cost, we justify investments into a custom solution when the business logic to design doesn’t nearly fit into the platform’s frames. In this case, writing and maintaining tons of custom code above the source code is not only costly and time-consuming. Down the road, it may cause performance issues and hinder the delivery of new features.
Your decision to go custom must be well-grounded and taken only after a thorough investigation of your business needs and ecommerce software market research.
- A tailored go-to-market strategy.
- A feasibility study of your ecommerce initiative.
- A solution requirements specification with all business objectives and technology functionality documented.
- An IT ecosystem outline for your business workflow automation.
- Your ecommerce portal configured and customized to your business needs.
- All business workflows associated with your ecommerce direction automated.
- Profiles of your current customer base and their historical data automatically migrated to make customer transition to online smooth.
ScienceSoft is an IT consulting and software development company with a history dating back to 1989 and a global presence encompassing delivery centers in the US, UAE, and Europe. Web portal development is our strategic business direction, and we consistently grow our expertise and knowledge to bring true value with the buying experience we design.