During the 2023 NRF conference in New York City, executives from Codal, BigCommerce, and Balance met up to record a conversation about the future of B2B eCommerce, and their innovative new payments app. The discussion features:
- Keval Baxi: CEO of Codal
- Dan Fertig: VP of Agency Partnerships at BigCommerce
- Bar Geron: CEO of Balance
Codal partners with BigCommerce to build cutting-edge eCommerce solutions for enterprise companies, including B2B merchants—and that’s where Balance comes in. Balance is an end-to-end eCommerce checkout solution that streamlines B2B transactions for both buyers and sellers.
A new era for B2B
While working at PayPal, Bar and his partner, Yoni, noticed that B2B merchants were struggling to bring their customer experience online, since existing eCommerce solutions could not fully support complex transactions with flexible payment options and terms.
Ecommerce platforms were originally built to support B2C experiences exclusively, providing SaaS products that enable retailers to deploy and manage online storefronts quickly and efficiently. This model was well-suited for the early days of eCommerce, but the landscape has changed dramatically.
“10 years ago, less than a quarter of B2B businesses were selling anything online,” Says Dan. “By the end of 2023, nearly ⅔ of businesses will be doing some form of online sales. It’s been a revolutionary last decade.”
Digital transformation roadblocks for B2B merchants
Today’s average B2B customer is a millennial who doesn’t want to have to fax orders, talk on the phone, or enter data into a spreadsheet. They would rather sign into an online portal, browse products, make purchases, and check the status of their orders—without the assistance of a salesperson. In other words, the optimal B2B customer experience is one that’s as simple as shopping on B2C sites like Amazon or Ebay.
But here’s the problem: When it comes to payments, B2B buyers have more complex needs and expectations than your typical online shopper. Some buyers prefer to use a credit card, while others prefer ACH payments, wire transfers, or even physical checks. They also expect the flexibility of going on a payment plan, with Net 30, Net 60, or Net 90 payment terms. While providing these options may lead to a better customer experience, it also creates a lot of manual offline work for the merchant, like managing invoices and sending out payment reminders. And if the merchant tries to reduce that offline work by offering stricter payment options, they risk losing customers to their competitors.
Balance offers an elegant solution to this problem.
Simplifying B2B payments for buyers and sellers
By implementing Balance, B2B eCommerce merchants can provide flexible payment options and terms to their customers during checkout, without the burden of costly, time-consuming tasks—not to mention the risk of never receiving payment.
Let’s say you’re a manufacturer with an online sales portal, selling to a distributor who prefers wire transfers and Net 90 payment terms. With Balance, the client can simply select these options and check out in a matter of clicks. And you, the merchant, receive the revenue from that sale up front, while Balance takes on the liability of collecting payment. This logic can be applied to all different types of payment options and terms, making life easier for both the buyer and seller.
As Bar notes, “the future of B2B is simplicity, usability, and providing a self-service experience.” But in many cases, a lot of attention is focused on streamlining the customer experience, and not enough on driving internal efficiency and scalability. In addition to matching buyer expectations, Balance also reduces internal workloads, allowing merchants to allocate their time and resources more effectively.
“If we do our job right,” says Bar, “we can help the economy grow by enabling online merchants.”
Implementing Balance for BigCommerce merchants
In 2022, many B2B companies migrated to BigCommerce to power their online storefronts. Now, BigCommerce has raised almost $100 million, which will be dedicated to supporting and amplifying these self-service B2B experiences. As part of this initiative, BigCommerce teamed up with Balance to help enable streamlined checkout for its merchants. Enter Codal.
Codal was tasked with developing an app that would allow BigCommerce merchants to implement Balance for their site in just a few clicks. Our team worked closely with BigCommerce and Balance to integrate the two technologies—and ultimately build an app that could effectively integrate with any BigCommerce site, and seamlessly scale alongside its growth and transformation. This app is now available on the BigCommerce Marketplace
From a development perspective, the Balance B2B Payments app saves significant time, money, and resources for merchants. Historically, when building a B2B sales portal, you have to develop custom software, along with multiple third-party integrations before you’re ready to launch. This can easily take 18 to 24 months—and by the time you’re finished with the product, it may already be outdated in comparison to other sites.
“Enter in BigCommerce and Balance, and the time to market is substantially quicker,” says Keval. “Now, we can get enterprises up and running in six to eight weeks.”
Building a better future for B2B eCommerce
BigCommerce, Balance, and Codal continue working together to streamline the B2B experience for both buyers and sellers, ushering in a new era for eCommerce.
As Bar puts it, “With this integration, there’s no reason to compromise.” Merchants can remove friction from the customer experience and get paid instantly with each transaction, saving time and effort in the process.