B2B eCommerce is rarely talked about in relation to the more popular topic of B2C eCommerce in which companies like Amazon and other retailers are constantly innovating. However, what most people do not know is that the B2B eCommerce market is far larger with trillions done online worldwide and growth expected to reach amazing heights in the coming years.

Where to begin: The need to know facts

  • B2B eCommerce is 2x size B2C market
  • Highly fragmented
  • Growing rapidly
  • More complex than selling to consumers
  • About 70% of B2B e-Commerce transactions involve 2+ decision makers (Oracle 2012); this results in inefficiencies, cart abandonment and lost sales
  • As more B2B buyers choose to do much of their purchasing online, the number of sales reps in the United States will decline rapidly over the next several years. By 2020, the number will drop by 1 million, a decrease of 22% between 2012 and 2020. Sales reps that offer extra services to assist the purchasing of complex products for big companies will fare better.

Source: Forrester Research Inc.

  • B2B buyers increasingly expect to find business-to-consumer e-commerce site features on their suppliers’ web sites. 49% say they prefer to use consumer-type e-commerce for making work-related online purchases. 77% say it’s important to have real-time information on suppliers’ e-commerce sites related to inventory availability. And 52% say they expect to conduct half of their purchases online within three years.

Source: Forrester Consulting

  • The ease of buying online, and the cost-savings for sellers, is driving up activity on B2B e-commerce sites, where total sales in the United States are expected to hit $780 million in 2015 and $1.132 trillion by 2020. Between 2014 and 2020, B2B sales will increase at a compound average growth rate of 7.7%.

Source: Forrester Research Inc.

  • As manufacturers and wholesalers face more pressure to sell online, worldwide B2B e-commerce sales will hit $6.7 trillion by 2020. This will occur as companies rely less on EDI and more on e-marketplaces like Alibaba.com and AmazonSupply.com.
  • Source: Frost & Sullivan
  • As online payment forms become more common in B2B e-commerce, buyers are showing a preference for direct, instant payment offered by online payment cards and payment services like the online escrow service PayPal. 50% of B2B buyers say they prefer online payment cards, and 19% prefer services like PayPal, while only 28% prefer transacting through traditional purchase orders and invoices.

Source: Forrester Consulting, on behalf of Accenture and hybris Software

  • B2B e-Commerce/Payment Services Vendors (US Based)
    –  Apruve
  • Baseware
    – Billtrust
    – Digital River
    – LifeLock
    – MaxMind
    – MetraTech
    – National Payment Processing
    – Tungsten Corp
    – USBancorp

Source: Internet Retailer

B2B E-Commerce / B2B Payment Services

Apruve Inc.

Minneapolis, MN.

Apruve helps online business-to-business sellers manage and automate corporate accounts, purchase order workflow and shopper requisitions, all of which are designed to help save sellers more than 50% in traditional, offline accounts receivable costs. Features include credit application & approval, consolidated invoicing for single payment, customized payment terms, automated invoicing, payment reminders, and a real-time A/R dashboard to manage open, closed and overdue invoices and accounts. Accepted payment types include credit card, Automated Clearing House (ACH), paper check or other custom methods.

COMPANY FACTS

Year Established 2013
Product / Services Corporate accounts for e-commerce
Entry Level / Typical Pricing Monthly fee varies from free to $299 based on level of service, number of invoices or number of corporate accounts
Representative Clients Legal Supply, Curriculet, Fantasy Geopolitics, Schoolizon, Intervotion

For Sales Michael Noble|952-657-4743

Website http://www.apruve.com/

Basware

Stamford, CT.

Basware.com provides cloud based purchase to pay and e-invoicing applications to businesses of all sizes. A global open business network, Basware Commerce says it connects 1 million companies across 100 countries. Its analytics application gives businesses real time insights, allowing them to better manage finances, control costs, enhance supplier relationships and improve cash flow.

COMPANY FACTS
Year Established 1985
Product / Services Purchase-to-pay and e-invoicing applications
Entry Level / Typical Pricing Pricing and fees vary; company would not disclose specific pricing
Representative Clients

Website http://Basware.com/

Billtrust

Hamilton, NJ.

Billtrust, an outsourced billing services provider, in July 2014 acquired cash application software development company Open Scan Technologies Inc. Already working together under an alliance announced in late 2013, the combined companies will represent an end to end invoice to cash infrastructure for B2B billers, aiming to increase efficiency in the billing and payment ecosystem.

COMPANY FACTS

Year Established 2001
Product / Services Invoice Gateway, eBill Connect, eBank Connect, Invoice Central, CustomerCare
Entry Level / Typical Pricing Pricing and fees vary; company would not disclose specific pricing
Representative Clients

Website http://Billtrust.com/

LifeLock Inc.

San-Diego, CA.

ID Analytics offers consumer risk management services through a process based on a combination of proprietary data, patented analytics and real time insight into consumer behavior based on its ID Network, a network of cross industry consumer behavioral data. The company also operates a research resource ID: Labs. Services include authentication and verification and credit risk analysis.

COMPANY FACTS

Year Established 2002
Product / Services Transaction Advanced Intelligence and Transaction Protector
Entry Level / Typical Pricing Pricing depends on transaction volume
Representative Clients

Website http://IDAnalytics.com/

MaxMind Inc.

Waltham, MA.

MaxMind is a payment security vendor that flags potential payment fraud for B2B e commerce companies through its minFraud product. MaxMind also provides IP geolocation services through its GeoIP product. Its fraud protection product screens over 45 million web transactions and account registrations a month. Over 7,000 web businesses use minFraud. More than 5,000 companies use GeoIP.

COMPANY FACTS

Year Established 2002
Product / Services GeoIP, minFraud
Entry Level / Typical Pricing minFraud: $0.005/query
Representative Clients

Website http://MaxMind.com/

MetraTech Corp.

Waltham, MA.

MetraTech offers two different platforms of its core enterprise billing application. MetraNet is a cloud based subscription and usage based service that allows B2B merchants to handle pricing, billing and invoicing. Metanga is a similar application that can be delivered as a software as a service that also allows clients to build custom reports and integrate with CRM systems like Salesforce.com.

COMPANY FACTS

Year Established 1999
Product / Services MetraNet, Metanga
Entry Level / Typical Pricing Pricing and fees vary; company would not disclose specific pricing
Representative Clients

Website http://MetraTech.com/

Tungsten Corp.

Atlanta, GA.

Since acquiring the OB10 business to business network and online payment system last October Tungsten has been building out its business as a provider of B2B trade services. By acquiring OB10, Tungsten gained a ready made B2B network plus some 122 buying organizations. Tungsten now processes electronic invoices for such clients as General Motors Corp. and IBM Corp.

COMPANY FACTS

Year Established 2000
Product / Services OB 10 e-invoicing
Entry Level / Typical Pricing Pricing and fees vary; company would not disclose specific pricing
Representative Clients

Website http://Tungsten-Network.com/

U.S. Bancorp

Minneapolis, MN.

The U.S. Bank Freight Payment system, formerly known as Syncada, is a freight audit and payment system that lets shippers and carriers manage global freight payments online. The system is designed to replace paper transportation invoices with electronic invoices, audit invoices automatically to eliminate payment errors, improve security and reduce fraud risk.

COMPANY FACTS

Year Established 1863
Product / Services Syncada
Entry Level / Typical Pricing Pricing and fees vary; company would not disclose specific pricing
Representative Clients

Website http://USBPayment.com/

If you are looking for a creative startup that is connecting buyers and sellers for easier procurement and automated A/R, you might want to contact Apruve (see contact information above).

Justin King, CEO e-Commerce & B2B, recently interviewed Michael Noble, CEO of Apruve. Here are some excerpts of the interview: 

“How does Apruve help businesses?”
Michael Noble, Apruve, CEO:

  • Apruve is a checkout option that could be compared to the user experience of Paypal
  • Once you click the ‘Apruve’ button at checkout and log in, you can choose which ‘team’ you want to charge your purchase to (e.g. your company, your client)
  • As long as there is a payment method attached to a team on Apruve and you are spending within your team rules, the transaction is run.
  • You and your boss or client all know it was a ‘safe’ transaction and there is no paperwork to file before or after the transaction.

“How does Apruve help online Merchants?
Michael Noble, Apruve, CEO:

  • Across all market segments, cart abandonment averages around 68%.
  • For B2B shopping, this is almost always attributed to the fact that the person shopping isn’t allowed to buy what they are shopping for.
  • Instead, they will take a screenshot of the product or jot down an item number into a requisition form.
  • The cart gets abandoned and the merchant has a greater potential of losing that sale and adding a new customer to its ranks.
  • Merchants also see Apruve as a way to set up virtual corporate accounts (without the hassles of a credit check and monthly invoicing) and as a new marketing tool geared directly to the needs of the business shopper.
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