B2B on Shopify Plus has arrived
A new innovation included in Shopify’s Plus Plan, B2B on Shopify Plus means functionality business traders have asked for within Shopify is now available, something which all eCommerce-involved people should look into and seriously consider.
A feature which allows you to sell in a Business 2 Business format through your online store easily, without requiring the use of third-party apps, this new Shopify Plus feature is a dream come true for B2B sellers. The B2B feature enables you to set customer-specific price lists, payment terms, and currencies, whilst also allowing you to quickly connect multiple buyers and locations in a single company profile.
All the most customisable features are available to your Shopify store with the B2B plan, including the following:
- Custom themes
You can choose to use these features in a Blended store that serves both B2B and direct to consumer customers, or a dedicated expansion store that only serves B2B customers.
Once you’ve set up your price lists and connected your companies, you are then offered custom pricing for B2B customers when they log in to their customer profile on your online store, without having to tediously sign into a separate storefront, making the whole process quicker and easier.
Before you use B2B, I recommend you look at and review the following aspects:
You are set to a maximum of 500-line items for orders, therefore if a customer places an order for more than 500 different products or variants, then the order will not work and will be cancelled.
- Subscriptions aren't compatible with B2B.
- Because B2B is a new feature, note that some third-party apps might not be updated to function with B2B yet.
- B2B customers use new customer accounts.
The following features are not included by default for B2B orders. If you need these features, then contact Shopify Plus Support to activate them:
- Shopify Scripts that affect line item discounts
- Purchasing with gift cards
- Recovering abandoned checkouts
The following features are not currently available for B2B orders:
- Changing the customer on a B2B order
- Customers submitting orders as a draft order
- Offering tipping options
- Buy online, pickup in store
- Offering non-physical products, such as services or digital products
- Local delivery
- Accelerated checkouts, including payment wallets
- Shopify Scripts that affect shipping or payments
- Customizations to the checkout made by editing the checkout.liquid file
Blended and Dedicated stores
Before you start setting up B2B, it is best that you consider whether you want to open a blended or a dedicated store. Some features cannot see the difference between a B2B and a DTC order, resulting in customer notifications, changes to orders, and reports that are applied indiscriminately.
What is a Blended store?
A blended store is a store that accepts both B2B (business to business) and DTC (direct to customer) orders. B2B buyers log in to their account to access wholesale price lists and payment terms in a blended store format.
These factors apply to blended stores:
By default, B2B customers can't:
- Use discount codes. If you activate discount codes, then both B2B and DTC customers can use the same discount codes.
- Use gift cards. If you activate gift cards, then both B2B and DTC customers can use gift cards.
- Be affected by Shopify Scripts that affect line-item discounts. If you activate Shopify Scripts, then both B2B and DTC customers are affected.
B2B and DTC customers have the same online store experience in Blended stores. Changes made to your theme and navigation by using the theme editor apply to both B2B and DTC customers. Changes can be made to your theme that affect only your B2B customers by editing your theme’s code to use the customer.b2b liquid variable.
Almost all facts, figures and analytics combine results from both B2B and DTC customers. The only area which differentiates between B2B and DTC customers is Sales Reports.
Notifications and abandoned cart emails are the same for both B2B and DTC customers.
Inventory systems and selling when out of stock settings are the same for both B2B and DTC customers.
Shipping settings and rates are the same for both B2B and DTC customers.
If you want to keep all your business data collected in one place and manage your store settings easily, without the need to differentiate between B2B and DTC customers, a Blended Store is your best option. If you need varied and different settings for each type of customer, then consider opening a dedicated store.
What is a Dedicated Store?
To put it simply, a dedicated store is an expansion store that is specifically only used by B2B customers. In a dedicated store, you can create settings that are specific to B2B customers without using any code at all.
Because dedicated stores are exclusively for B2B customers, you can make changes that apply and are relevant only to your B2B customers, including the following possible changes:
- Activate discount codes
- Activate gift cards
- Activate Shopify Scripts that affect line-item discounts
- Change your store's theme and navigation settings
- Obtain analytics reports that only include B2B customer information
- Customize Notifications and abandoned cart emails for B2B customers
- Use different inventory systems or selling when out of stock settings
- Use different shipping settings and rates
Using a dedicated store helps you to segment inventory and business data between your B2B and DTC stores. Additionally, you are able to use scripts and discount codes without bother or concern, as B2B customers are the only ones who will use the store.
On the other hand, you will have to create a new store when opening a dedicated store for B2B and this requires you to set up any integrations that you might already have with your existing stores and manage your dedicated store settings separately. If you don't need to differentiate between your B2B and DTC customers, then consider opening a Blended store.