How to Sell B2B on Shopify Plus
The year 2024 marks a key time for companies thinking about embracing B2B ecommerce. Recent numbers show that the global B2B online business segment will expand even further, driven by technological advancements, changes in people’s buying and selling habits, as well as the need for efficient supply chain management.
In this scenario, the Shopify Plus B2B platform emerges as a top choice for companies wanting to capitalize on the B2B opportunity.
That being said, let’s set out to explore how you can actually set up and optimize your business-to-business workflows, making your enterprise grow easier and faster with the help of Shopify Plus. This article highlights the platform’s key features, benefits, and strategies for success.
Embracing B2B on Shopify Plus in 2024
In the business-to-business ecommerce realm, the emergence of Shopify Plus as one of the leading platforms has changed how companies aim to sell better to other big businesses. As the demand for seamless B2B transactions continues to rise, using a platform like this has become a must for businesses looking to stay ahead in an increasingly competitive market forefront.
With its robust features and out-of-the-box scalability, Shopify Plus B2B makes for a one-stop solution tailored to the unique needs of B2B sellers, empowering them to win in harder market conditions.
Shopify Plus – The Ultimate B2B Platform?
Unlike a third-party application or sales channel, Shopify Plus B2B offers you the choice of having either a single online store for both direct-to-consumer (D2C) and wholesale operations or a standalone store to help you manage operations separately.
Regardless of the path you choose, your customers will enjoy benefits such as customer-specific pricing, payment terms, tax exemptions, and more. And you don’t need to resort to coding or complex workarounds.
What you get with Shopify Plus
Businesses can operate across multiple locations, each with its own set of catalogs, checkout options, payment terms, and shipping addresses. So, every time a B2B client logs into your store, they can select the specific location they’re purchasing for. This allows them to access the prices, payment terms, and checkout options that you’ve assigned to that particular location.
You get the flexibility to create a company, specify the company’s location, and edit other business details. You can also set up a company account request form, allowing customers to request access to purchase from you as a B2B entity by filling in the required information.
More available Shopify Plus B2B features expand your B2B opportunities further. For instance, you can:
- Create a wholesale channel: prepare a dedicated space for your B2B customers.
- Set custom pricing: define pricing tiers based on volume or customer type.
- Customize the buying experience: tailor storefronts and features for B2B clients.
- Integrate with ERP/CRM: synchronize with backend systems for seamless operations.
- Offer flexible payments: provide options like net terms or credit lines.
- Personalize marketing: use targeted campaigns for B2B audiences.
- Segment support: offer dedicated assistance for B2B inquiries.
- Monitor performance: track sales and customer data for insights.
- Optimize continuously: adjust growth strategies based on customer feedback.
User reviews consistently highlight that Shopify Plus outperforms its competitors by prioritizing B2B management and automation.
Real-world case studies reinforce this statement further. Let’s take a look at one coming from under our own belt.
Case Study: PetHQ’s Success with Shopify Plus
A B2B-oriented website developed from scratch with additional business-specific functions (e.g., order quotation flow, custom registration flow, quick order functionality) tended to. The main challenge to overcome was to create a new business logic with different user journeys, making the supplier’s shopping experience more ‘customer-like’ – we still sell to people. Bigger orders require more convenience – one has to build a brand worthy of their client’s trust. People trust the ones who care about their precious time.
What we did and the outcomes
We helped PetHQ transition smoothly from B2C to a leading B2B position in just 2.5 months. Elogic specialists squeezed the maximum out of Shopify B2B functionality and provided end-to-end website development, including discovery, design, development, quality assurance, project management, and support.
We developed custom-tailored features to cover some business-specific tasks and functions and recalibrated the order quotation flow, registration flow, and Quick Order functionality.
Overall, we achieved a brand new, fully functional, optimized, and supported online store, streamlined management of offline B2B suppliers, and an expansion into the UAE’s B2B market. The PetHQ B2B project is live and monitored regularly by Elogic specialists for flawless operation.
B2B in a Nutshell: Key Features of Shopify Plus
As one of the key enterprise ecommerce platforms, Shopify Plus provides an integrated set of solutions designed specifically for big businesses. Let’s go in-depth into the capabilities that make Shopify Plus a leading option for your business
- Script Editor
The Script Editor is a unique feature of Shopify Plus. It allows businesses on Shopify Plus to create custom scripts that can modify the checkout process and apply custom pricing logic to pricing and discounts. These scripts are written in the Shopify Script Language (SSL), which is an in-house scripting language developed by Shopify.
While other ecommerce platforms may offer a certain level of customization through APIs or third-party extensions, the Script Editor feature of Shopify Plus is notable for its ease of use and the ability to directly modify the checkout process and apply complex pricing strategies based on various conditions. Such granular control over the checkout and pricing is an exclusive feature of Shopify Plus that sets it apart from many other ecommerce platforms.
- Wholesale Channel
The Wholesale Channel feature of Shopify Plus enables businesses to create an individual, password-protected storefront for wholesale customers. It offers customizable pricing, catalog, and order management tailored specifically to wholesale operations.
With this feature merchants can set up approval workflows, integrate with Shopify’s ecosystem, and scale their wholesale business confidently, thanks to Shopify Plus’s infrastructure. The Wholesale Channel feature helps streamline the wholesale experience, making it easier for businesses to manage and grow their B2B sales.
The Launchpad feature of Shopify Plus is a tool for planning and automating such processes as launching products, changing product prices, updating inventory, and applying discounts or promotions, as well as performing bulk actions and tracking performance.
It acts as a control center for coordinating various events within the Shopify platform. While it’s not essentially a single place to do many different things or a general-purpose tool, it is a centralized hub specifically designed to manage complex tasks involved in launching and managing events on an ecommerce website.
- Shopify Flow
With the Shopify Flow feature of Shopify Plus, merchants can create complex workflows based on specific triggers and conditions, automating repetitive tasks and operations. Here’s a practical example of how a custom workflow can be built for an abandoned cart recovery:
- Trigger: When a customer adds items to their cart but doesn’t complete the checkout (abandoned cart).
- Conditions: Check if the abandoned cart meets certain conditions, such as the total cart value or specific items in the cart.
- Send an automated email to the customer reminding them about the items in their cart and offering a discount or encouraging them to complete the purchase.
- Create a task for the customer support team to follow up with a phone call if the cart value is above a certain threshold.
- Outcome: Increase the chances of recovering abandoned carts by automatically reaching out to customers with personalized messages and incentives based on their shopping behavior.
- Dedicated account management
Shopify Plus experts empower enterprise-level merchants, providing them with account management, strategic guidance, technical support, and personalized help.
- Shopify apps
Shopify Plus offers a thriving ecosystem of third-party applications available in the Shopify App Store with lots of high-quality apps to ensure that businesses can enhance their store’s capabilities without relying on expensive development resources.
- Custom solutions
Shopify Plus grants API access to create and implement custom integrations and apps within their current systems. Here are some examples of what can be created using Shopify Plus API:
- You can use the API to integrate Shopify Plus with other systems, such as ERP software, CRM platforms, or custom databases. This allows for flawless data synchronization and automation of business processes.
- You can create a custom app for managing complex product configurations, handling unique shipping requirements, or integrating with a specialized payment gateway.
- You can create a headless commerce setup where the front-end of your store is separated from the back-end. This allows for greater flexibility in designing the user interface and enables you to use different technologies for the front-end, such as React or Vue.js.
Overall, the Shopify Plus API provides a wide range of possibilities for customizing and extending an ecommerce store to meet unique business needs.
- Enhanced security
Businesses can safely entrust Shopify Plus with handling their sensitive customer data and transactions as the platform includes advanced security features such as Level 1 PCI DSS compliance, SSL encryption, and dedicated infrastructure for enhanced security and reliability.
- Global expansion tools
With Shopify’s global expansion solutions, like multi-currency support, localized storefronts, and international shipping options, businesses can serve customers across different countries and regions with ease.
- Wholesale pricing
Shopify Plus includes features for managing wholesale pricing, such as the ability to set tiered pricing levels, minimum order quantities, and custom pricing rules for wholesale customers.
B2B and D2C: A Synergistic Approach
Now, expanding onto the B2B segment (if you haven’t yet) is a great business decision on its own. However, the D2C (Direct-to-Consumer) approach can help make your B2B sales more striking by organizing them more like regular consumer shopping and boosting the overall convenience of your offers.
Enriching your B2B landscape with D2C methods allows you to:
1. Increase conversion.
Research demonstrates that 60% of buyers believe their supplier’s online shopping experience is crucial, while another 67% say they’ve changed suppliers to achieve a more “customer-like” experience.
A personalized shopping process leads to bigger average orders and makes customers want to order from you again. After all, keeping your old clients and getting more orders from them instead of looking for new buyers makes your business’s growth easier and faster.
2. Save time.
Big online shopping sites help customers do more in less time. Efficient online shopping benefits customers and business owners alike. By changing the way retail customers buy in bulk, everybody gets to focus more on important tasks and less on routine office work. Moreover, you can reduce mistakes by using automated solutions to handle your inside work.
3. Build brand loyalty.
D2C brands use eye-candy, creative, inviting websites and designs to attract and retain traffic. The same idea works great for business-to-business sales, too. Powerful branding helps you set your business apart from other players in the market, and it doesn’t require much effort.
4. Stand out from your competition.
Many B2B clients are unhappy with the overly-exclusive and complicated online experiences currently available to them. According to Statista, B2B buyers expect to get various D2C-style features from the companies they buy goods from online on a business level. Businesses want to buy special products, see what’s in stock, and check the status of their orders, just like many regular buyers can.
The following Shopify Plus features guarantee these points:
Customization and personalization
- Product quantity buying rules, customer-focused product publishing, customizable terms of payment, and other features alike enable outstanding personalized buying experiences and improved customer engagement.
- The platform offers branding customizations and designs for a consistent brand experience across all channels, enhancing brand awareness and loyalty.
- For international expansion, Shopify Plus offers multi-currency and multi-language options, supporting currency and language localization for all buyers.
- Buyers can securely store their credit card information for automatic payments during checkout or in their account hub, enjoying timely transactions without manual follow-ups.
- Automated reminders notify buyers of due or overdue payments, removing the need for manual reminders and emails from your sales team.
- Implementing rules for purchase quantities can increase average order values and streamline fulfillment for wholesale customers, specifying minimum, maximum, or incremental purchase quantities for each item.
- Integrate B2B operations with ERP systems like Brightpearl, Acumatica, or NetSuite to automate back-end processes, achieving seamless management of pricing, customers, price lists, and inventory across D2C and B2B channels without manual data entry.
Reviews and product recommendations
- Connecting to your customers through curated product recommendations and peer reviews inspires trust in your brand and allows you to build deeper relationships with your customers.
Shopify Plus is definitely an ecommerce platform to reckon with, and now you can see how it can help you excel in the industry’s B2B sector as well. Packing everything an ambitious B2B needs to digitize in one place, Shopify Plus is a must-have in your list of potential online business foundations. Let us help you integrate it at the highest level of quality.
At Elogic, we specialize in empowering businesses with end-to-end ecommerce solutions tailored to unique tech and market needs. Contact us to discuss your project and discover how our tailored solutions can drive your success.
Can Shopify Plus handle complex B2B pricing structures?
Yes, Shopify Plus offers strong pricing features that allow businesses to manage complex pricing strategies tailored to their B2B buyers.
How does Shopify Plus help manage B2B orders?
Shopify Plus provides advanced order management tools, including customizable workflows, order tracking, and integration with third-party platforms.
Is Shopify Plus suitable for large-scale B2B operations?
Absolutely. Shopify Plus is made for businesses of all sizes, providing enterprise-level options and support.