13/11 Shopify B2B: Our frontier for B2B transactions


6 minute read // E-commerce

Welcome back to our “November Enterprise Commerce” series! Today, we’re diving into something super exciting – Shopify’s foray into the B2B world.

The platform has been making its name in the industry – and earned it. If you’ve been following our series, you know we love to keep things quick and easy. So, let’s explore why Shopify is quickly becoming the go-to platform for B2B transactions.

To keep this clear upfront, the B2B feature is only available for Shopify Plus so far 😉

Flexibility and features

Shopify has long been a powerhouse in the B2C space, but it’s also making serious waves in B2B. Why? Because it’s packed with features that make B2B transactions smooth, efficient, and, dare we say, enjoyable. Let us divide this in exactly these two parts, that let the platform stand out: Flexibility and features. We will show you some very nice features and what makes them stand out regarding flexibility in a normally more uptight sector.

Customisable pricing

One of the coolest things about Shopify’s B2B capabilities is the flexibility in pricing. Businesses can set custom price lists for different customers. This means you can easily offer special pricing to your VIP clients or adjust prices based on volume, which is a game-changer in the B2B world. Imagine being able to offer exclusive, preferential pricing to your most loyal or high-volume clients – Shopify makes this not just possible, but easy. This level of customisation is particularly beneficial in the B2B sector, where pricing strategies can significantly impact customer relationships and business growth. The ability to adjust prices based on factors like order volume or customer loyalty can be a crucial competitive advantage. Learn more about this on Shopify’s B2B page.

Streamlined ordering process

Shopify’s platform is designed to streamline the ordering process, making it exceptionally user-friendly and efficient. This is achieved through features like quick order forms, which significantly reduce the time and effort required to place orders. Additionally, the platform’s reorder functionality allows for repeat purchases with just a few clicks, eliminating the need for tedious, repetitive order entry. This is especially beneficial for B2B clients who often place bulk orders. The platform’s support for bulk ordering is another standout feature, simplifying the process for clients who need to purchase large quantities, thereby reducing the usual back-and-forth communication. More details about these functionalities can be found in Shopify’s B2B manual, which provides comprehensive guidance on maximising the efficiency of the ordering process.

Managing multiple stores? No problemo!

For businesses that operate in both B2B and B2C sectors, Shopify offers an incredibly efficient solution for managing multiple stores. The platform allows you to oversee all your stores from a single, centralized dashboard. This feature eliminates the need to constantly switch between different systems, saving valuable time and reducing the potential for errors. It streamlines operations, allowing business owners and managers to focus more on strategic growth and less on administrative tasks. The ability to manage multiple stores seamlessly is a significant advantage for businesses looking to expand their online presence across different market segments. Further information on this feature can be explored in-depth, highlighting how it can be effectively utilized to enhance business operations.

Robust analytics

Shopify’s analytics capabilities are exceptionally robust, offering comprehensive insights into various aspects of your business. From tracking sales trends to understanding customer behavior, these analytics tools provide valuable data that can inform strategic business decisions. This feature is particularly useful in the B2B realm, where understanding customer needs and market trends is crucial for success. The analytics tools available on Shopify can help businesses identify opportunities for growth, optimize their marketing strategies, and improve customer engagement. More information on how to leverage Shopify Analytics for business growth can be found here, providing a deeper understanding of the platform’s analytical capabilities.

Unmatched security

In the world of B2B e-commerce, where transactions often involve large sums and sensitive information, security is paramount. Shopify recognizes this and offers robust security features to ensure that your data, and that of your clients, is protected. This commitment to security provides peace of mind, which is invaluable in building trust with your clients and maintaining a reputable business. The security features of Shopify safeguard against various online threats, ensuring that your e-commerce operations are secure and reliable.

A Thriving app ecosystem

Shopify’s App Store is a dynamic and extensive marketplace, offering a wide range of applications that can extend the functionality of your Shopify store. Whether you’re looking for advanced inventory management solutions, enhanced SEO tools, or specialised apps to improve customer engagement, the Shopify App Store likely has what you need. This ecosystem of apps allows businesses to customise and enhance their Shopify experience, tailoring it to their specific needs and challenges. The availability of such a diverse range of apps means that businesses can continually adapt and improve their online presence, staying ahead in the competitive e-commerce landscape. Explore the Shopify App Store here to discover the myriad of tools and applications available to elevate your business. Check out the Shopify App Store here.

In general sense, Shopify Plus made it possible to “DTC-ify” B2B business, what makes all of this for Wholesale very amazing! 90% of B2B buyers want to be marketed to from the suppliers they buy from and almost 25% switched suppliers after just one negative online experience. Shopify is going with the time and makes B2B more personal.

Something new for you

There are a few new features for the Shopify Wholesalers out here. Before we round this blog up, let’s have a quick look on how Shopify innovates itself all the time to give the eCom world the best-possible outcome:

  • Customer-specific product publishing: Enhance the shopping experience by assigning customised product catalogs to individual buyers or specific locations, offering a personalised selection of products.
  • Quantity rules: Implement rules for products and their variants, such as setting minimum and maximum purchase limits, defining case pack sizes, and specifying order increments to streamline your inventory management.
  • Company metafields: Streamline your ordering process by incorporating custom metafields for companies and locations, allowing for more tailored and efficient data handling.
  • Easy reordering: Boost repeat business by providing customers with a convenient and effortless way to reorder their frequently purchased items.
  • Flexibility getting paid: Simplify the ordering process by integrating features like draft orders, payment reminders, invoicing, and due-on-fullfillment terms, making transactions smoother and more adaptable for both you and your customers.
  • Vaulted credit cards: Accelerate the payment process by offering customers the option to safely vault their credit card information, either at checkout or within their customer accounts, for quicker and more secure future transactions.
  • Customisable B2B logic: Utilise Shopify Functions to create custom delivery and payment logic that caters specifically to your customers’ needs, directly integrated into the checkout process for a seamless B2B transaction experience.

Considerations for Shopify B2B

When you’re getting ready to use Shopify’s B2B feature, there are several key points to keep in mind. We want to Firstly, there is a limitation on the number of line items per order, with a maximum of 500. This means if a customer places an order that includes more than 500 different products or variants, the order will not go through. Additionally, it’s important to note that subscriptions are not compatible with the B2B feature. Since B2B is a relatively new addition to Shopify, be aware that some third-party apps might not yet be updated to function effectively with it. Also, B2B customers are required to use new customer accounts for logging in. Lastly, for company locations, there is a limit to the number of catalogs that can be assigned, with a maximum of 25 per location. Keeping these factors in mind will help in effectively utilizing Shopify’s B2B capabilities.

The Power of Shopify POS in B2B

Now, let’s talk about Shopify’s Point of Sale (POS) system. It’s not just for retail shops, it’s a powerful tool for B2B transactions too. Here’s why they go hand in hand:

Seamless integration

Shopify POS integrates seamlessly with the online store, meaning inventory and customer data are always in sync. This integration is crucial for B2B transactions, where accuracy and real-time data are key.

Mobile and flexible

With Shopify POS, you’re not chained to a desk. It’s mobile, so you can take your business anywhere. This mobility is especially useful for trade shows, pop-up events, or any situation where you need to do business on the go.

Custom orders made easy

Custom orders are a big part of B2B, and Shopify POS makes it easy. You can create and track custom orders right from the POS, ensuring that everything is recorded and nothing falls through the cracks.

Working with a Shopify Plus partner on your B2B game

Opting for a Shopify Plus partner, such as Flatline Agency, to develop and manage your B2B platform can bring several significant advantages, especially in terms of scalability, cost efficiency, and specialised support.

What are we exactly talking about here?

  • Scalability and cost efficiency: One of the foremost benefits of working with Shopify Plus, as highlighted by us, is the ability to maintain a scalable and easily expandable e-commerce solution without relying on complex customisations. This approach significantly reduces both the initial setup costs and the ongoing operational expenses. The streamlined nature of Shopify Plus ensures that your B2B platform can grow and adapt to your business needs without incurring prohibitive costs.
  • Comprehensive B2B features: Shopify Plus offers an extensive range of B2B features, as detailed on their B2B manual. These features are designed to cater to the unique needs of B2B transactions, including bulk ordering, custom pricing, and more. Flatline Agency can help you leverage these features to create a robust and efficient B2B platform.
  • Technical support and documentation: With access to Shopify’s general documentation and API resources, a Shopify Plus partner can provide you with the technical backing necessary for a smooth integration and operation of your platform. For instance, the direct Connector with Microsoft Dynamics Business Central eliminates the need for REST API for ERP integration, simplifying the process significantly.
  • Customisable frontend solutions: Depending on your specific needs, we can offer a range of solutions for your frontend editor or CMS. Whether the out-of-the-box functionalities meet your requirements or you need extended capabilities, options are available. This includes extending functionalities through apps or building a headless solution on top of Shopify, offering you a tailor-made frontend that aligns with your business objectives.
  • Demonstrations and learning resources: Shopify Plus provides valuable learning resources, including video demos of B2B processes and a detailed B2B Series platform. These resources, combined with the expertise of a Shopify Plus partner, can help you understand and utilise the full potential of your B2B platform.

We will make it even one step easier for you – with our Omnichannel approach as your trusted Shopify Plus Partner. We thought of you and are willing to make this journey as simple and comforting as possible. For further info on that contact us!

Wrapping It Up

Shopify’s move into B2B isn’t just a new feature – it’s a whole new frontier. With its customisable pricing, streamlined ordering, and powerful POS system, it’s set to revolutionise the way businesses handle B2B transactions.

We at Flatline Agency, official Shopify Plus Partners, are here to help you take your business to the next step, including custom development, design, and marketing. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us.

Until next time!

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