Welcome to our new Developer
Diaries Series, where we highlight the incredible
innovations in the Magento Marketplace and the people who make
them a reality.
B2B eCommerce set to reach $1.2 trillion by 2021, accounting for more
than 13% of total B2B sales, it’s become crucial for B2B
merchants to offer customer experiences that match those of
leading B2C brands. However, with high volumes and custom
orders, the pricing and purchase process tends to be more
complex for B2B merchants. That’s where Cart2Quote comes in. We
sat down with Co-Founder Remco de Jong and certified Magento developer
Lennart van der Garde, to talk about their contributions to
Marketplace and why offering request for quote functionality in
your store is essential for B2B commerce.
Magento: Tell us about how you started
Cart2Quote and how you
came up with the idea.
Remco: In 2009 I was working for a wholesale
company in the Netherlands. I converted their entire eCommerce
ecosystem to Magento. At the time, Magento didn’t have all the
B2B features that it does today—in particular, a
quoting system that would allow customers to request quotes for
different quantities, compare prices, and place custom orders.
I worked out the idea of an RFQ module and hired a freelancer
to code it for me. Today, Cart2Quote is available on Marketplace for
merchants on Magento Commerce 1 and Magento Commerce 2.
Magento: Cart2Quote is one of the most popular B2B
extensions. Tell us a bit about the features and why they are
important for both merchants and customers?
Lennart: Our extension provides a “request for quote
functionality” on a Magento site. While the frontend allows
customers to request quotes on products, the backend allows
sales administrators to negotiate prices and terms with
customers as well as initiate quotes and answer quote requests
with custom prices and custom products. Cart2Quote includes
many backend features that make closing a sale easier for the
merchant, such as automated emails, a light CRM system and
the ability to assign sales representatives to quotes.
Magento: Why are quotes important?
Remco: It’s all about the sale. Let’s look at
the three types of merchants who rely on quotes. First, there
are the wholesalers who sell products in large quantities but
need to be careful publicizing their bottom prices when showing
tiered prices. We give them the option to let customers request
a quote instead of publishing prices.
Second, we have the merchant with corporate or government
customers, where there are layers of approval that the
purchaser must go through before buying. Cart2Quote provides a
quote by PDF that can be printed and signed off by a director
Finally, Cart2Quote also caters to companies like web shops,
whose main product is a highly customizable good. In this case,
it’s impossible to offer just one price point. Customers want
to know if you can make it green, bigger, smaller, or add a
logo. Pricing is complex. They use Cart2Quote to gather all the
right information and provide customized rates based on the
specs of the customized product.
Magento: Where are your customers?
Remco: All over the world, we work
with merchants in all continents. Cart2Quote is especially
useful for companies in countries where policies and
regulations are always changing. For example, currently, in
South America and Europe, there are many companies who need
quotes to deal with ongoing changes to government regulations.
Magento: What are some examples of merchants who have
found success with the extension?
Remco: We recently had a customer at our
office, who is an IT hardware supplier for companies like the
different National Railways in Europe. It’s a multimillion
dollar company and 90 percent of their sales is processed by
Cart2Quote. They told us they could not do it without Magento
in combination with Cart2Quote because almost every sale is
customized and a national purchase officer must sign off on all
Magento: Can you tell me a bit about your custom
Lennart: Our customers are happy with 90% of
what Cart2Quote has to offer, but there are regulations that
come with running a business so we offer to modify all of our
quote modules and integrations with the regulations the
merchant is facing. We sit with our customers to find out
exactly what they need and then build it for them.
Magento: What is the most exciting problem in commerce
you are solving, or want to help solve?
Remco: If you’re a merchant, you want to
convert site visitors to sales. The last thing you want is
visitors leaving your website because you’re requiring an
account to be created before showing prices. Or you only show
catalog items and prices but your customers are looking for
something custom made or expect a discount for high volume
purchases. Or you are dealing with big companies who typically
do not add product to a shopping cart but require a purchase to
be signed off and approved first. That’s our strong point.