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.
ecommerce portal: the essence
An ecommerce portal is an online platform where buyer-seller trading transactions are conducted. Ecommerce portals are mainly used by B2B companies, manufacturers and large distributors across varied product domains, to transit their buyers from traditional in-person sales to an online buying channel.
What makes for a viable B2B ecommerce portal
In B2B electronic commerce, portal functions center around effective management and personalization of buying experience.
- Automated pricing rules.
- Quotes with negotiated pricing.
- Custom catalogs with pricing available only to specified corporate accounts.
- Minimum and maximum order volume storewide or by customer.
- Corporate account hierarchy, user roles and permissions.
- Per-user requisition lists.
- Multiple lists for quick order.
- Shipment to multiple locations.
- Bulk ordering.
- Volume-based pricing.
- Order export before submission.
- Quick reorder of previously purchased items.
- Multiple requisition lists per customer account.
- Payment on account.
- Credit card payment.
- Check or money order.
- Purchase order.
- Responsive user interface.
- Instant purchase due to saved payment credentials.
- Clear portal navigation.
- Faceted search.
- Barcode scanner.
- Sales reports per various criteria: timeline, buyer, catalog (master and custom ones).
- Reports for negotiated quotes.
- Sales team performance (quote conversion rate, average sales cycle rate, negotiations success and more).
- Balance and credit limits per buyer.
Watch Ecommerce portal demos
How an ecommerce portal integrates into your corporate workflows
When made a part of a cohesive IT ecosystem, an ecommerce portal is no longer a mere sales channel. It becomes a constituent of your supply chain, product and customer data management.
Key factors to make your ecommerce portal a success
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.
Investments in ecommerce portal development and where the ROI comes from
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.
Top ecommerce platforms for ecommerce portal development
- 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.
With an ecommerce portal on InsiteCommerce, 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.
Launch your ecommerce portal with ScienceSoft
As for now, 250+ companies globally have tapped into ScienceSoft’s expertise to launch a digital presence. We offer a full-fledged consulting and development partnership.
- 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.