Best Ways of B2B eCommerce Solution Customization

Customizing a B2B ecommerce platform for a retailer or a supplier company is a natural process in large organizations using ecommerce software applications. So-called “out-of-box” ecommerce applications are usually suitable for small online stores. Then, as the business grows, this B2B ecommerce software necessarily goes through the stage of customization due to the unique business processes in each company.

Evolution of customizing ecommerce solutions

In modern software development, there are 2 general ways to customize the B2B ecommerce platform. The task of software product customization has always been in IT, but each decade brings its own approaches based on new emerging technologies and making customization easier, faster and cheaper.

The first way of B2B ecommerce platform customization

The first way can be called the traditional one, and it relies on a plugin approach to customize products. It has been used since the mid-2000s. Developers write a plugin module (aka custom module) to insert code inside the product and expand its functionality. Examples of extensions that use plugins can be found in browsers and within content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, etc.

The second way of B2B ecommerce platform customization

The second way appeared with the popularity of cloud ecommerce systems, which provide another way of customization acting from the outside. All extensions are executed as external applications that interact with the core system via events and messages bus.

Both inside and outside software customization approaches are combined in Virto Commerce B2B ecommerce platform and it is one of our brand positioning points.

On the Microsoft Azure page, you see how event and message isolation looks like architecturally, using the Azure cloud. It describes 3 services that help deliver event messages throughout a solution and the differences between these services and help understand which one to choose for your application. In many cases, the messaging services are complementary and can be used together.

With such an architecture, an exchange mechanism is implemented from a sender module to a bus or hub, but the module these events receive remains unknown. It is an abstraction that implements a logical isolation separating event senders and receivers and allows them to operate independently.

For example, if an order was created, the order module informs the bus that the order has been created. Further, this module does not participate in any operations with the order and does not have links to the module that has received the order data.

B2b ecommerce platform customization

Trigger for other applications or for another application

Learn the advantages of the inside and outside customization ways in our comparison table. Since each manner has also some disadvantages they are listed as well.

Discover Virto Commerce B2B ecommerce platform

Virto Commerce customization via both inside and outside code

Virto Commerce B2B ecommerce platform combines inside and outside ways of ecommerce customization, taking the best features from both approaches. Both can be extended with plugins [with an advantage in execution speed] and also with a convenient event bus [with scalability and performance], providing a hybrid way of customization. This is how Virto Commerce differs from competitors {such as сommercetools}, where the customization is/can be done via external modules.

Virto Commerce solution architecture

Virto Commerce solution architecture

Additional information about the B2B ecommerce platform architecture of the Virto Commerce can be found in Virto Commerce guide to building a perfect composable ecommerce solution architecture.

Explore our platform architecture guidelines

For inside customization of the Virto Commerce platform, avoid direct modification into source code of modules that are developed by the Virto Commerce team or third parties because it is an open source project. Always follow the rule of “Open for Extensions and Closed for Modifications”.

Virto Commerce solution architecture

Virto Commerce solution architecture

We are ready to provide online training for customization in Virto Commerce through events and extension points for the development teams of our clients and partners.

Try outstanding Virto Commerce B2B ecommerce platform now

Oleg Zhuk
Technical Product Owner