For those new to the commercebuild platform, the difference between a B2B web store user and a B2C web store user can be difficult to understand. In this article, we’ll explain the differences between both user types.
We’ll assume that the store we’re working on sells products directly to consumers and also sells to other businesses.
Anyone who is on your site is a user. If the user doesn’t login, then we think of this user as a Guest. We don’t know if they are a B2B or B2C yet. Once they successfully login, we’ll be able to tell if they are B2B or B2C.
B2B Users are users that are associated with a specific account in your ERP. If I’m a store manager of Buy n’ Large, my user profile is connected with the ERP account for BnL.
B2C users are users that are not associated with a specific account in the ERP. Their transactions are stored in a default customer account in the ERP. Think of this ERP account like a cash register in a store. You have all the unique transaction data, but all the transactions are all filed together.
What is interesting about associating a user with a specific account in the ERP, is the information commercebuild can use from the ERP. We can show the user the unique pricing for the account from the ERP. We can show them the ERP’s ship-to information. We can also make past orders available, either all the orders in the account or just the orders made by the user themselves.
We can control if a B2B user sees all the past orders from all users associated with this ERP account, or just their own past orders by the user group settings. It’s beyond the scope of this article to go into group settings themselves. But the ability to create multiple unique user groups that can tailor the user experience is only an option for B2B users.
B2C users don’t see unique pricing – they see the retail pricing. When a B2C user “creates an account” they’re creating a record in commercebuild that allows them to save data against the record. That allows us to show the B2C user their past orders, without having a unique account in the ERP. Depending on the set up of your store, we could also save a Favourites list, or a Wishlist.
In many areas of our platform (Systems >> Features, or Content Management >> Default Pages) you’ll see the option to toggle between B2B and B2C. This means you can have a whole bunch of settings that make the experience on B2B different from B2C. For most clients, you’re not going to create radically different experiences. You’ll generally set them up similarly. However, almost all clients need something to be different, and our platform offers an astounding amount of flexibility to make that B2C or B2B user experience work for your company’s needs.