Open Source B2B Ecommerce: An Industry Perspective

Dec 14, 2022 by

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Nicklas Gellner

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Nicklas Gellner

Get a summary of our thesis on why B2B businesses should consider open source platforms to power their ecommerce setup.
Open Source B2B Ecommerce an industry perspective
At Medusa, we recently published our Perspective on Open Source B2B ecommerce as part of the launch of our new B2B starter template.
I believe that more focus should be put on open source solutions in the context of B2B ecommerce. The field presents a major opportunity for open source platforms as B2B commerce cases often require a lot more customization and flexibility than proprietary platforms can handle.
In this short article, I will present a summary of our thesis on why B2B businesses should consider open source platforms to power their ecommerce setup. We will also share a comparison of existing platforms open source platforms in the end.

Ecommerce is becoming a key revenue channel in B2B sales

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It has long been a myth that B2B businesses don’t offer ecommerce. That’s wrong. A recent McKinsey study shows that 65% of B2B companies across industry sectors now offer ecommerce. In fact, ecommerce is becoming one of the main revenue channels for B2B.

Open source ecommerce platforms best serve the customization needs of B2B businesses

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Businesses and their development teams benefit from open source platforms due to their flexibility. B2B commerce is complex as you need to handle aspects like customer groups, differentiated pricing, multiple integrations, and so on.
The flexibility of open source platforms makes them well-suited to handle these complexities as they can be better customized to individual business needs.

Open source and custom build ecommerce platforms are the preferred options among the top 250k ecommerce sites

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We used to categorize the checkout flows of the top 250k ecommerce sites online measured by traffic. 56% of the largest ecommerce sites online use an open source or custom build ecommerce platform.
This is a strong testimony to the fact that as the complexity of businesses increases - as in the case of B2B - the greater the need is for flexibility and open architectures.

For open source platforms to be relevant, they need to support B2B-specific ecommerce features

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To understand what open source ecommerce platforms best support B2B, we categorized the 10 most important features to support a modern B2B business.
This includes core features such as Customer groups to set up individual B2B customer rules, Price lists to differentiate pricing across customers, and Sales channels to separate B2B and B2C experiences.
These are some of the core features that B2B clients have requested from us in the past.

Overview of critical B2B features supported by existing open source platforms

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At last, we looked at the most well-recognized open source platforms for B2B and compared them across the feature sets - read the in-depth comparison here.
Obviously, we built Medusa with this specific feature set in mind giving us an unfair advantage. However, it was still striking to see how many of the traditional B2B OS platforms failed to support elements we would consider core B2B functionality.
The research across competing platforms was undertaken by an independent researcher to ensure we got unbiased inputs.

Want more?

Discover more about B2B and open source ecommerce:
  • Download our full Perspective presented above on our B2B-page.
  • Check out our tutorial on how you set up Medusa to support B2B: Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Reach out in our Discord for a chat on the topic

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