The chapter “B2B Web Design” in the book ‘The B2B eCommerce Handbook’ by Matt Haig begins like this – “There is no such thing as a perfect B2B website. It simply does not exist and indeed cannot, exist. The web itself is an inherently imperfect medium because, as its inventor Tim Berners-Lee is more than happy to concede, it will always be ‘a little broken’.

The requirements of a B2B site is different from that of a B2C site. The business workflow of a B2B site is much more complex, non-standardized, and differs from client to client and industry to industry.

Magento is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms that has been making successful forays in B2B.  A recent webinar by Magento provided a sneak peek into the B2B features included in the core of Magento 2.2. 

Below are some of the best practices and learnings from the Magento B2B projects that we implemented. We have presented it in the form of differences in testing a B2C and a B2B eCommerce site. This is also to bring in focus the features of B2B that needs to be tested apart from the regular eCommerce features in B2C.

Differences in testing a B2C and B2B ECommerce site:

Account Management:

  • Creating company accounts in a B2C site is simple and does not need any approval.
  • Creating company accounts in a B2B site involves approval from the accounting team or other appropriate teams after a customer registers on the site.

What to Test:

  1. Customer registration with/without Credit Line
  2. Register using unique email address and password
  3. Approval from the Accounting/other teams

Pricing:

  • In a B2C site, there is no dynamic pricing. The product price is usually the same for all consumers.
  • In a B2B site, there are different pricing types such as tier pricing, customer-specific pricing etc

What to Test:

  1. Pricing for each customer
  2. Pricing for guest user
  3. Boundary testing for Tier pricing

Searching & Browsing Products:

  • Search in a B2C site is simple.
  • B2B has enhanced search features that need to be tested with various keywords/SKU to achieve the exact search results.

What to Test:

  1. Search by one or more keywords
  2. Search by partial keywords
  3. Search by partial/full SKU
  4. Search by price range

Purchasing Products:

  • In a B2C site, consumers can purchase a product by using the standard functionalities.
  • B2B e-commerce platforms are expected to offer full support for Quick Orders, Request A Quote, Reordering for the wholesale customers to help drive repeat business. 

What to Test:

Quick Order:

  1. Search and Add product using partial/full SKU
  2. Search and Add product using keywords
  3. Increase/decrease Quantity

Request A Quote:

  1. Request and submit product quote
  2. Approve/Reject the quote 
  3. Buy the quoted products with the negotiated price if approved

Reorder:

  1. Reorder a previously placed order
  2. Reorder and add new items and proceed to checkout

Payment Processing:

  • In a B2C site, customers are offered payment options like Paypal, Credit/Debit card, COD
  • B2B companies extend credit to customers in addition to traditional payment methods like credit cards and PayPal

What to Test:

  1. Check using allowed credit card types
  2. Check expiry month/year
  3. Pay using credit line amount
  4. Pay via ACH/e-check

Shipping methods:

  • In a B2C site, consumers often purchase products which are light weight and hence they ship via common carriers such as UPS, FedEx or US Postal Service.
  • In a B2B site, business customers purchase products in bulk using LTL or FTL  shipments and also use UPS, FedEx, US Postal Service for products with light weight. 

What to Test:

  1. Add products with different weights
  2. Verify the UPS, FedEx, LTL, FTL rates

Order Tracking:

  • In a B2C site, tracking orders by consumers is a common feature
  • In a B2B site, the ability to track orders is a key component of the overall customer experience wherein they can find the order status. This plays a crucial role for the supplier to fulfill the expectations of the distributors

What to Test:

  1. Track order status using Order ID, Email account, Zipcode
  2. Track order status using Tracking number

We have just scratched the surface of testing of B2B eCommerce sites. B2B eCommerce sites are complex and layered in nature.  The QA professional who tests the site must be familiar and comfortable with the jargons of the industry, the workflows, approval cycles, pricing, buying and payment patterns etc. This will help her to test not just the functionalities but also from the company and buyer points of view.

References

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