Invoice Payment in B2B Online Shops: How Businesses can Profit

Invoice payment in online shops: the concept of “Buy Now, Pay Later” has the potential to transform B2B e-commerce in the coming years, and offers numerous advantages for merchants and buyers alike. How can your B2B business benefit? And what should you take into account when integrating it into your online shop? 

In Germany, “Buy Now, Pay Later” (BNPL) is synonymous with invoice payment – that is, when goods or services are paid for only after they’ve been received. Now, BNPL has reached B2B e-commerce, providing value for merchants and buyers in equal measure. The term B2B is short for “business-to-business,” or the working relationships between businesses.

The B2B E-commerce Boom

Digitalization has arrived in the B2B space – businesses, manufacturers, and merchants increasingly distribute their products via online shops, a trend that is set to increase in the coming years.

According to the study “Payment and Finance Processes in B2B E-Commerce” from ibi Research at Universität Regensburg and Creditreform, the majority of all B2B payments will take place online by 2025. The coronavirus pandemic has further accelerated this trend, just as in B2C e-commerce.

Significant opportunity lies ahead: the market for B2B payments is enormous and the current payment options are obsolete. The emergence of real-time transfers, open banking, and advanced finance software are transforming how organizations do business.

The World Supply Chain Finance Report predicts that by 2025, businesses will conduct more than 50% of their sales online. With this development, customer demand for invoice payment will increase, as will the demand for automated and convenient processes.

Payment Methods in B2B E-commerce – Invoice Payment is the Clear #1

In order to ensure as high a conversion rate as possible, online shops should offer their customers a wide variety of payment options. According to ibi research, the most important payment methods in B2B online shops are invoice payment, direct debit, and credit card.

Invoice payment is by far the preferred payment method in the B2B space; the ibi study revealed that 95% of B2B businesses want invoice payment as an option when buying goods in an online shop. Its value is undeniable – businesses that don’t offer invoice payment can lose up to 30% of revenue.

Still, invoice payment in B2B transactions hasn’t yet been widely adopted. Few solutions are able to provide a consistent and seamless experience for buyers while also reducing risk and cost for merchants. Just 45% of B2B merchants offer invoice payment online for both new and existing customers. 

The B2B space, meanwhile, has long offered such solutions. Innovative businesses purveying new payment methods have helped fuel an online shopping boom. The basis for this is the concept of “Buy Now, Pay Later,” in which consumers can use invoice payment to buy goods with just a few clicks. This level of convenience has become an indispensable part of the B2C online shopping experience.

Differences Between B2C and B2B

Unlike in B2C (business-to-consumer, or the working relationship between businesses and consumers), invoice payment in B2B transactions presents several unique challenges. 

So, what exactly makes it more complicated?  

  1. As a rule, the client base of B2B businesses is smaller than B2C businesses. This means there are far fewer orders, and B2B businesses are more reliant on timely payment.
  2. B2B invoice payments entail higher risk since the order amounts are significantly higher than in B2C transactions – on average, B2B orders are €1,900.
  3. If a customer becomes insolvent, they are no longer able to pay the invoice. In order to ultimately receive payment, a merchant may need to invest considerable time and energy (as well as legal fees) to chase it down.   

With this in mind, it’s essential that B2B businesses check creditworthiness before offering invoice payment to a customer. Only then can an order be completed and goods delivered.

Invoice Payment in B2B E-commerce: What are the Advantages?

B2B invoice payment provides an array of benefits:

  • Preferred payment method: 95% of customers in Germany want invoice payment as an option when buying goods in an online shop.
  • Higher conversion rate: Offering invoice payment can boost conversion rates by up to 40%
  • Higher revenue: Invoice payment increases basket size by up to 60%, considerably improving purchasing power.
  • Higher customer satisfaction: A seamless shopping experience increases customer satisfaction and loyalty – happy customers are returning customers.

Implementing this solution, though, remains a challenge for many wholesalers and manufacturers. Strategic foresight, a solid inventory, and analysis of existing data are all necessary to make it happen.

A State-of-the-art Solution for B2B Invoice Payment

This is where Mondu can help. The B2B invoice payment solution takes into account all requirements of B2B transactions and seamlessly integrates into online shop systems. This enables businesses to offer customers  – both new and existing – the most popular, modern payment methods at checkout.

The credit check is core to the solution, and features an intelligent risk management system (including fraud prevention) that runs in real-time before a sale is concluded. Mondu not only covers the default risk, but also supports merchants with dunning and keeping track of payments.

With Mondu, B2B businesses can significantly streamline their online transactions and the processes associated with them, saving time and money. The smooth shopping experience and flexible payment terms help increase customer loyalty and average basket size.

In turn, B2B customers benefit from greater financial flexibility, enabling them to determine when they pay their invoices based on their own needs.

This is an exciting time for B2B businesses – complex and inefficient payment processes may soon be a thing of the past.

Definitions

Invoice payment

The most popular payment in Germany, invoice payment is when a buyer receives a product or service immediately after purchase, but is allowed to pay for the goods later. Anyone who has ever made a private order through an online shop is likely familiar with this form of payment.

Payment terms can vary and are determined by the seller. B2B invoice payment operates similar to B2C transactions, with the buyer paying for goods only after they’ve received them.

Credit check

A credit check examines a customer’s creditworthiness, and is a common part of sellers’ due diligence. This process is usually carried out before a purchase is confirmed in order to minimize the potential of payment default.

Factoring

Factoring is a form of financing, in which outstanding receivables are sold to a third party. The seller receives liquidity immediately, while the factoring company takes on the default risk of the receivables. In legal terms, this is known as a debt purchase agreement.

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