The B2B e-commerce sector is evolving rapidly. It is now one of the fastest-growing segments for new and established companies. According to Forrester, B2B e-commerce will reach $1.8 trillion and account for 17% of all B2B sales in the U.S. by 2023. With this growth, scalable B2B commerce software is needed.
Magento B2B and Salesforce B2B commerce software offer commerce solutions for companies like Thermo Fisher Scientific, T-mobile, and HUMU. This software helps these businesses sell products to their customers online.
Both Magento B2B and Salesforce B2B have multiple benefits that large companies like T-mobile rely on, but they also have limitations that restrict a business’s ability to offer frictionless buying experiences for replenishables, bulk orders, and larger one-time purchases that are common in B2B.
Some key limitations of this B2B commerce software include:
- Magento B2B is expensive given that it’s primarily open source. For a basic theme with hosting and standard integrations it costs around $15,000.
- Magento B2B is a complicated enterprise system to use, even compared to Salesforce.
- Salesforce B2B requires add-ons to create a complete B2B solution. You must pay extra for these add-ons, even after paying enterprise pricing.
- Salesforce B2B can quickly become “over-customized,” making solutions unscalable.
- Both Magento & Salesforce are monolithic B2B commerce platforms. You can only customize as far as add-ons allow for.
Below we will break down each platform in more detail, highlighting the pros and cons of each. This post serves as a high-level overview of each platform and includes an overview of modern alternatives like Fabric.
Magento B2B Commerce
Magento was created in 2008 by Roy Rubin and Yoav Kutner. Rubin was the founder of Varien, an open source technology platform that leveraged technology that helped online merchants while Yoav is a radio and television producer from Israel.
Adobe purchased Magento for 1.68 billion dollars in 2018 and has since launched Magento B2B and Magento 2 which combines an improved checkout experience, new themes, and reporting features. Like Magento 2, Magento B2B lets B2B sellers use extensions and add-ons to customize the platform. However, these can present an achilles heel as add-ons are not tested, causing major errors to occur within Magento.
Due to Magento’s monolithic structure (you must use the whole platform, even the features you don’t need) the software is rather slow to use on a daily basis and can take upwards of a whole year to properly implement. In short, it requires a long and expensive replatform, even if you plan to use the open source version.
Magento also restricts users with how many orders they can create and what they can use the order management system (OMS) for. This means Magento users incur ongoing fees for the duration they use the OMS.
Salesforce B2B Commerce
In 2016, Salesforce announced that they would be purchasing Demandware for 2.2 billion dollars. Salesforce B2B Commerce Cloud was the result of this acquisition. Commerce Cloud is a multi-tenant, cloud-based commerce platform. Similar to Adobe, Salesforce is an acquisition-driven company meaning they acquire a number of products to put under the Salesforce banner. This can sometimes cause a lack of resources and lack of customer focus with their products.
Salesforce B2B also has a monolithic architecture. Salesforce features an all-in-one package that includes everything in a single platform, making it hard to customize and scale. Salesforce also offers extensions and add-ons that you will need to purchase. This means Salesforce can be customized, just not in a scalable way.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud also offers a license system meaning you will also have to purchase a B2B or B2C license in order to use Salesforce to its fullest extent. Depending on your merchandising needs, Salesforce will adjust your price. There is also a $0.50 charge per order as well as fees for the Digital Experience Platform (DXP) and for premium vendors.
Magento vs Salesforce vs Fabric
Fortunately, Magento B2B and Salesforce B2B are not your only options for creating scalable B2B commerce experiences.
- Fabric offers a retailer-first approach instead of an acquisition-first approach.
- Fabric lets you implement a single Fabric product with an existing commerce solution and add more products as needed on the fly, eliminating the need for a long and expensive replatform.
- Fabric comes pre-integrated with payments, tax, search, and other vendors to reduce TCO and vendor management.
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If you’re interested in learning more about B2B commerce and how to scale B2B commerce with modern technology like Fabric, check out this extensive guide.