In the process of negotiating with potential customers or customers, we are faced with a situation where people do not see the difference between wholesale B2B Internet shop and ordinary retail. In most cases, large companies have their own representative online stores, but you will agree that their main function is to introduce the user to the product, rather than make it their main sales channel. Intuitively, b2b companies understand that they are mostly wholesalers, that each of them has its own business processes and because of this, they need a unique product. But due to lack of answers, how can this be done, they create their sites according to the rules and principles of the b2c-segment, hoping that something will come of this, because of what they lose potential customers.
At first glance, the difference is certainly not obvious, all the same pictures, product cards, personal cabinet and basket, so companies choose standard boxed CMS solutions.
The target audience is the main reason for the appearance of differences.
Wholesale B2B Internet shops (hereinafter referred to as their systems) are more focused on regular customers, on their direct interaction with the supplier. Such systems should be an effective tool for the rapid exchange of information, which, as a rule, is equipped with completely different business functions.
In this article we will show 12 main differences, each of which is present in b2b sales.
1. Complex pricing, for each customer its own set of prices, discounts, extra charges.
Wholesale buyers buy at other prices, moreover, each counterparty may have its own price and a discount even for a particular item taken. Such prices are not only different from retail prices, but also depend on a number of criteria, most often the volume of purchases. But there are cases when the customer takes the goods on a delay and depending on its term (1 week, month, half a year) the price can be absolutely different. In a retail store, everything is simple - one price for everyone, a discount if there is one for everyone and for the whole group of goods, personal ones can be promotional codes.
2. Display of balances for all warehouses and branches.
There is a certain similarity with the retail store, only in the b2b-segment is not enough one inscription "Is available", sometimes the client needs to know where and how much? Sometimes there are cases where it is easier to order goods from a remote warehouse than to wait until it appears available at the regional. We agree that sometimes it is not always pleasant for the customer to display the exact quantity, because often competitors are also customers who call up interested in prices and quantity. In such cases it is sufficient to specify in the remainders, for example >10 или >100.
3. Display of balance of payments under contracts.
If in retail sales are built on the principle of selling here and now, then in the b2b segment, wholesale buyers often make a deferred payment order and it is normal practice to have such obligations to their supplier. Moreover, sometimes there are situations when relationships are built on multi-currency contracts, if the customer wants to get a more loyal price or when the supplier provides a credit limit for a certain amount. Then it is very convenient for the buyer in his personal office to see not only the history of his orders, but also the decoding of the current balance of payments under contracts (prepayment, amount of delay, total debt) and the balance of the amount until the credit limit is exhausted.
4. Automatic workflow, a complete package for the transaction.
In b2b, in contrast to retail transactions are accompanied by the formation of a complete package of documents (invoices, tax invoices, contracts, etc.). As practice shows, customers choose to automatically create only part of the documents, the rest is displayed in the private office a little later. An additional convenience for customers was the display of a package of documents on the transaction, regardless of the manner in which the order was placed (telephone, e-mail), as well as the opportunity to generate reconciliation reconciliation reports at any convenient time.
5. The ability of one counterparty to work from different legal entities.
For the wholesale market, the typical situation is when one counterparty can work from different legal entities. Is familiar with the situation when, for example, you need to place an order not through the LLC, but through the privat person? For various reasons, this happens, for example, special pricing conditions, etc. In a retail store, you would have to create two separate accounts for work, and so the system allows you to create multiple profiles in the same account, with the order history divided.
6. Wholesale units of measurement.
Usually as it happens in a retail store, the price is indicated per piece, liter, sq. M. meter, running meter and no more, then the wholesale buyer thinks precisely with other concepts, it can be boxes, barrels, pallets, etc. In the system, the settings are made in such a way that it is convenient for the customer to see both the unit of the goods and the quantity in the package, where the latter can sometimes be the minimum requirement of the supplier for sale.
7. Table view of the catalog - without photos and descriptions.
Here everything is very simple, in the b2b segment, experts basically know what they need, beautiful pictures and detailed descriptions of the goods are not necessary, so the mode in the form of a table for them becomes acceptable. In contrast to retail, where the customer needs to present the product beautifully in all its glory.
8. Reservation of free residues.
Currently there are online stores that boast such functionality as a reserve, but do not you think that this is more of a marketing move than it really is, such a need for the buyer. In wholesale sales, it's easier to explain, sometimes to form one full order, some items really need to be put in reserve, because tomorrow they may not be. Or, for example, when the supplier gives the condition to make an order for a certain amount and then the delivery will be free, then it is also logical. It happens even when customers are informed that next week the goods are significantly more expensive - it is also justified and there can be many such examples.
9. Ordering through the list through the file uploader.
Well, at once we will tell, that in retail of such concept basically is not present. But in b2b very often, in order to save their time, customers use the channels of communication with the supplier and discard the order information in the form of a list to the manager. Usually it is a certain file or just text information sent through existing instant messengers. In such cases, the system creates a single template for all clients (for example, in the form of an Excel spreadsheet), by downloading which, the order is immediately placed in the accounting system. I would also like to add that there are customers who generate their own special files and send them to the supplier automatically. mail. In such cases, a separate mechanism is developed for reading such documents and all information is delayed in 1C.
10. Adding items to the shopping cart by entering the items.
A somewhat similar difference with what is described above, only here functional is prescribed for professionals, who do not need any lists, they have all the information in their heads. In such cases, there is a special field in the customer's basket, where by entering a special value, usually this article, although it may be different, the system adds goods to the basket in real time. Having thus compiled a whole list with the required quantity and selecting the delivery terms for the saved template, the order is sent to a supplier in a couple of clicks in the accounting system.
11. Module for sales agents.
The logical development of the previous paragraph, if the wholesalers have their sales representatives. The mechanism is that for such agents a separate account with a classifier is created in the system, for example, "agent" and being on the client's exit, they have the opportunity to form an order from the worktable on his behalf, by the principle of adding articles directly in the customer's basket. After that the full package of documents is automatically sent to the customer by email. mail. The functionality of the module of course does not end there and can be described in more detail, but this is not about this.
12. Integration with the accounting system 1C.
Well, perhaps, the most important difference without which none of the above listed items would be realized is tight integration with the 1C accounting system. Professional adjustment is carried out both from the side of the site, and from the account system, resulting in one complete trading platform. Thanks to this information in the system always remains actual - prices, balances, mutual settlements, documents, etc., just everything that is necessary for your customers. Additionally, we want to add that in our practice there is already implemented the project of integration with the accounting system 1C configuration 7.7.
We showed you 12 main differences of wholesale B2B online stores from ordinary retail. Although there are a lot more differences: a personal manager, a dropshipping wallet, provision of customer's API, complaints, similar products, etc.
Summarizing, I want to note that the box functionality of a simple online store is also good, beautiful pictures of goods, an excellent presentation of the company, and the price of developing such a web store is always acceptable. But you need to understand that this functionality covers only the basic needs of the company and to get what you want, then you have to "finish" the site, which in the end can drag on for years of work and huge budget injections.
On the example of a wholesale online store, it can be said with certainty that in the development process all business processes of the company are taken into account that are not directed to change, but rather to help them more easily to interact with their customers.