A Tax-Savvy Playbook for Launching B2B E-Commerce

B2B e-commerce initiatives are very much a team sport, and tax is a key player.

If your business is looking for help with selecting and implementing an online sales platform, you’ll want to check out this Playbook for B2B Companies Launching E-Commerce Capabilities. The eBook is the product of a collaboration among e-commerce software provider Magento, systems implementation firm Guidance and Vertex.

Enhancing the Customer Experience through E-Commerce

In this Playbook, industry pros weigh in on best practices and strategies for B2B companies beginning to sell online.

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You’ll find useful tips on how to:

  • Determine your company’s e-commerce readiness by weighing factors such as competitive pressure, customer demand and internal goals and constraints;
  • Choose the right technology through a carefully designed process based on software selection best practices and tied to a sound business case;
  • Roll out the new platform smoothly and successfully by appointing a project lead, considering an iterative approach and selecting partners with deep B2B skills and experience; and;
  • Avoid common pitfalls such as underestimating the magnitude of the process changes involved or increasing the risk of tax audits.

The playbook highlights the importance of including multiple internal stakeholders and perspectives in the selection and implementation processes, including leaders from IT, sales and marketing, finance and, crucially, tax. Brian Beck, digital commerce strategist for Guidance, notes that an e-commerce platform “needs to handle taxation across multiple jurisdictions and product types, tax exemptions, and many more complexities from a tax perspective.”

That tax perspective is crucial. How a company’s systems categorize a product affects its taxability, and any errors in that mapping can increase the risk of an audit. The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 Wayfair decision—and the abundant state sales tax changes rolling out in response to that ruling—represent yet another source of tax management complexity that must be addressed by the e-commerce system.

Many B2B companies will find the move to a modern, tax-enabled online sales platform well worth the effort. “E-commerce has come a long way in the last twenty years,” the playbook points out, “but the pace of progress is only accelerating.”

Please remember that the Tax Matters provides information for educational purposes, not specific tax or legal advice. Always consult a qualified tax or legal advisor before taking any action based on this information.


About this Contributor

Mark Sieczkowski  Headshot
Mark Sieczkowski
Senior Product Suite Manager, Vertex Cloud

Mark Sieczkowski is senior product suite manager for Vertex Cloud, responsible for growing revenue and profitability, as well as ensuring customer success, through market-driven product definition, prioritization and realization.

Mark has over 20 years of IT product and project management experience. He previously served as vice president, solution delivery for Devon IT, where he was responsible for supply chain management and ensuring solution delivery of both hardware and software projects.

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