B2B Marketplace Architecture: What Makes it Possible on Four51 OrderCloud?

May 27, 2020

Category: Best Practices

The complexities of B2B businesses demand modern technology and specific business logic. That’s why many B2B businesses find that out-of-the-box technology doesn’t work for them and turn to custom solutions. 

Even more so, private B2B marketplaces require specific technology that goes beyond simply connecting a product catalog to an existing online marketplace. So, what makes a B2B marketplace possible from a technical perspective? 

B2B Marketplace Architecture: What Makes it Possible on Four51 OrderCloud?

A B2B marketplace delivered via the OrderCloud platform consists of 4 key components:

1. Comprehensive B2B eCommerce features and functionality available via the OrderCloud API

Pre-built features and components make it possible to create the exact ordering experience you are looking for. The robust commerce features are designed to solve complex ordering scenarios such as:

  • Product management: Segmented, Multi-Vendor Catalog Visibility, and Complex, B2B Pricing & Shipping Rules.
  • Order Management: “Amazon-like” ordering experience for the buyers, Streamlined order management, Bulk ordering, and quote creation.
  • Vendor Management: Connected Suppliers, and vendor fulfillment rules. 
  • Comprehensive B2B Administrative Capabilities: Personalized Buyer Experiences, Complex approval rules, and permissions, Consolidated billing, Streamlined communications, Reporting & Analytics

2. Supplier Integration Layer enabling product and order orchestration with an infinite amount of suppliers

Integrations with disparate suppliers require tremendous effort to maintain performance, consistency, and accuracy. To make this possible, OrderCloud has a supplier-specific logic layer responsible for performing the tasks of synchronizing (or orchestrating) supplier product information and automating order information between the marketplace and the supplier.

3. Best-in-Class Integrations for a best-in-class experience

Complex eCommerce applications have expectations of functionality outside of the scope of many software vendor’s services. These actions may include publishing information to search engines or merchant services for product indexing, shipping estimation services, tax calculation services, content delivery networks for digital assets, and many others. API-first platforms have an integration layer that allows third-party microservices to be integrated quickly, allowing you to utilize functionality you already have or to build a virtual suite of best-in-class functionality.

Some examples include:

4. A Marketplace Application which drives the administrative, buyer, and supplier user interface (UI)

The marketplace application is the user experience for all involved players (buyers, sponsors or sellers, and suppliers), containing a buyer interface, an administrative interface, and a supplier interface. OrderCloud has a pre-built B2B marketplace application that includes all of the basic features required to launch a B2B marketplace. This application can help accelerate delivery.

Because OrderCloud is technically headless, some marketplace sponsors prefer to use their own “head” as the user interface.

API-first platforms like Four51 OrderCloud bring the robust marketplace features and capabilities to the table that can power B2B marketplaces for complex B2B businesses. For more information on what B2B marketplace are, the benefits, and examples of businesses who’ve successfully implemented B2B marketplaces, download Four51’s latest eBook.