The wait is finally over
If you’re a Shopify hopeful that has been holding out for a B2B (business-to-business) expansion, the wait is over. Earlier this year, Shopify rolled out some pretty big updates. Formerly focused on providing exceptional DTC (direct-to-consumer) services, Shopify now caters to enterprise-level online retailers too. As proud Shopify partners, we’re thrilled about this advancement — both selfishly and on behalf of our clients.
17% of all B2B sales this year will be digital and are expected to grow by 20% throughout the remainder of this decade, with revenue nearly quadrupling in the same period. That’s an insane amount of potential to harness and we’re looking forward to helping our clients take advantage. But in the meantime, let’s break down some of our favourite capabilities from Shopify’s B2B update.
Branding and customer interaction
Invitation emails | custom templates | checkout branding
Consistency is key when building brand awareness. And as your business grows, it gets harder to pay your audience the same attention they’ve grown accustomed to. Shopify’s solution? Branding capabilities that bolster your connection with customers at every interaction.
Greet new business customers, notify them of your B2B products and services, give step-by-step instructions on how to make purchases, and invite them to interact with your storefront. Custom themes by Liquid make it easy to turn small gestures like these into conversions. Once they’ve made it to the finish line, your name will be fresh in their minds once again with customised checkout branding, making for a consistent experience from start to finish.
Metafields | APIs
The B2B enhancement continues. With Shopify metafields, you can customise nearly everything about your store, from how it looks to the way it performs. Info available to customise is outside what’s typically captured by Shopify’s traditional admin; you can track and display a range of variables like care instructions for individual garments or a countdown to a best-selling product restock.
The new B2B rollout covers most updates you could ever want, but just in case there’s something missing, Shopify also offers a complete suite of APIs that we can use to build you bespoke ecommerce solutions as we did here with Chia Sisters. From orders to payment terms to loyalty programs, the opportunities created by these APIs are endless.
Receive and fulfil orders seamlessly
Checkout to draft | invoicing
If you’re just starting to dabble in high-level B2B transactions, there may be a steep learning curve when it comes to filling bulk orders. Review order requests before they’re sent out with the new ‘checkout to draft’ feature.
This way, if you don’t have the inventory to support an order, you can offer alternatives and even a discount on a lesser amount of product. And depending on what precedents you’ve set with established customers, you may still be getting orders via phone or email — drafts come in handy here too.
You can easily create a draft order for anything placed outside the platform. As long as your customer is already set up with a company and location, their current rates and specs will automatically be applied to the draft. From here you can either invoice, manually input a physical payment, or utilise their vaulted credit card to finalise the order.
Products and services
Curated product offering | streamlined reordering
Did you know there’s a 27% chance that first-time purchasers will come back to buy a second time? But that second sale is even more vital. Why? The likelihood of those second-time customers coming back to make a repeat purchase jumps to 54%. Pretty soon that percentage will be a near guarantee and there are a few ways Shopify can help get you there.
Offer discounted pricing or special rates to specific businesses you deal with using custom B2B catalogues. These can be applied to an entire collection, individual products, or a uniquely curated selection. Business customers have different needs, so offering bespoke experiences builds trust; long-lasting relationships lead to increased profit margins. And with Shopify’s streamlined reordering process, it’s easier for your customers to repurchase the things they know and love.
Streamlined and secure payments
Credit card vaulting | payment terms | reminder emails
As a business owner, how many times have you found yourself having to approve a pending order or make purchases on the fly only to realise you don’t have your card on you? It happens to the best of us, but it could lead to abandoned transactions if it happens to your customers.
Now available, credit card vaulting securely stores your customers’ account information at checkout for future purchases. But you can also extend flexibility to your B2B customers with a variety of payment terms to choose from; immediately upon checkout, net due dates (terms available from 7-90 days) or due on fulfilment. This way, they can make payments immediately with their vaulted credit cards, or come back within the allowance to settle their tab.
For those notoriously forgetful few, Shopify Flow now supports payment reminders for you to gently let your customers know their account has a balance. Hopefully you won’t need to, but you can schedule up to five payment reminders starting on the due date up to 30 days later. If they forgot to pay, it’s likely you could forget to remind them, so this update makes it easier for everyone.
Consider us your Shopify help centre
Shopify has the benefit of longevity. Its B2B features give you the tools to succeed now and in the future. Being an official Shopify partner allows us to help you harness its full potential, expand your reach, and build your business to new heights. Beyond our partnership with Shopify, working with us gives you access to a team of web designers, web developers, and strategists dedicated to delivering digital products that perform.
Ready to gain an unfair advantage over your competitors? Let’s talk.