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Three Benefits of Delivering Unified Commerce.

How Flexible B2B and B2C Solutions Support Growing Businesses.

Growing businesses are increasingly challenged by evolving buyer demands and competitive market pressures. Today, amazing customer experiences across all audiences and channels have become status quo. The evolving need to serve all customers — business and consumer — via digital channels is tasking leaders with achieving more with fewer business resources. 

Efficiency and enablement are core drivers of innovation. Businesses are zeroing in on the adoption and implementation of helpful technologies that support their ability to provide amazing customer experiences. 

Because that’s what it’s all about. Experience.

Buyers are seeking meaningful interactions and looking for resources and purchase functionality that streamline the path to getting what they need and want. Smart business leaders understand that customer experience is a core differentiating factor that drives loyalty and overall revenue growth. And they are prioritizing solutions that help them optimize their investments, centralize efforts, and support their own customers’ journeys.

But it isn’t always easy to seamlessly integrate the teams, technologies, and tools to do this effectively. These demands have created a shift in how businesses go to market and organize their internal strategy and tactical measures.

Benefits for the buyer, business, and beyond.

Many businesses have an emerging need to support both B2B and B2C customer sets and are seeking ways to service both effectively:

• A company with a direct-to-consumer site that wants to efficiently sell to their business customers or channel partners online.
• A company that has a site to service business customers or channel partners, but now wants to test out direct to consumer.
• A company with multiple lines of business that sell to both businesses and consumers.

This guide explains how unified B2B and B2C commerce benefits these businesses and helps them grow loyalty and revenue with centralized solutions that do the following:

•  Simplify business resource needs with a flexible workflow environment.
•  Foster a unified set of organizational processes that translate to great customer experiences.
•  Create customers for life by satisfying unique buyer habits and needs.


Benefit #1: One solution, endless customizations.

Although B2B buyers and B2C shoppers both want seamless, compelling experiences, their inherent patterns do carry some important distinctions. Your commerce platform should let you manage the nuances of your audience’s shopping patterns and control the experiences from a single interface.

Unified commerce can be a helpful way to maximize the time, energy, and output of your various creative functions. It allows you to seamlessly use many assets developed for your store across audiences and focus on customizing those pieces that matter to enable differentiated, relevant browsing and purchasing. Your different audiences will always feel like your site offers a place for them — an important added value for your ongoing loyalty and retention efforts, as well as cost savings.

Creating a single site to serve multiple audiences helps you gain site design and content efficiency. Most companies start with a primary consumer site and then add in custom promotions, messaging, content, purchasing options, and more where relevant for B2B customers so that they have a tailored experience. It just requires a small bit of incremental work to serve B2B clients. 

You can also create multiple sites. Depending on your strategy and the audiences being served, you can have shared usage of visual assets and content.

A unified commerce platform provides you with the flexible capabilities to customize for a variety of B2B and B2C customer needs, including the following:

•  Custom catalogs and price lists.
•  Multi-site management capabilities (for different brands, product lines, and geographies).
•  Customer segmentation and targeting — to help various types of buyers receive different product recommendations, promotions, and content on site.
•  Full set of merchandising and content management features so business owners can easily create compelling, optimized sites (often with deeper information for B2B buyers).
•  Fulfillment options that meet requirements of individual versus bulk shipments.

Here are some examples of how businesses can deliver equally compelling experiences to their B2B and B2C customers from a single solution:

•  Enable B2C guests check out, but require B2B log in.
•  Control which products are shown to various shoppers.
•  Set different pricing structures for individuals or groups of customers.
•  Configure and customize promotions, catalogs, and cart rules.
•  Refine the content experience by customizing banners, blocks, and widgets from the same interface.

A personal touch across the globe for Brown-Forman.

The Brown-Forman Corporation is one of the largest American-owned spirits and wine companies, representing iconic brands including Jack Daniel’s, Finlandia, Korbel, and Chambord. These brands are rooted in multiple generations of craftmanship and tradition and are available in 160 countries — so global sales are important. Historically, Brown-Forman sold their products exclusively through distributors and retail partners, but they wanted to make it easier for consumers and small businesses to engage with their brands, even if they couldn’t personally visit their distilleries.

Working with Magento Global Elite Solution Partner Vaimo, the company built a content-rich, responsive site that allows them to perfectly blend storytelling with commerce while offering products that cannot be found in stores: special vintages of whiskey, limited-edition bottles, and gift bundles. The webstore powered by Magento Commerce Cloud, part of Adobe Experience Cloud, is fully integrated with Magento Order Management, including payment solutions, and it offers features like personalized engraving on bottles of Jack Daniel’s. Meanwhile, the Magento Order Management multi-site and multi-brand functionality perfectly positioned the brand for easy expansions into Germany and Australia.

In the Australian market, the company focused on the Brown-Forman brand and modernizing the ordering experience for bar, club, and restaurant owners. The spirits market in Australia is closely regulated with a limited number of liquor licenses available. Competition for these orders is fierce. Customers were tired of placing orders the old-fashioned way: sales reps would walk into a sports club and want to talk about football before finally taking the order. This took up far too much time for busy owners. They just wanted to place their orders using their mobile phone.

Serving the needs of both consumers and small business buyers from the same platform enabled Brown-Forman to become more agile and efficient. The company recently launched another direct-to-consumer site in Germany, again, using the same Magento platform. Magento Commerce Cloud and Magento Order Management allowed Brown-Forman to manage the entire process from one platform, integrated directly with their existing ERP system.

International expansion is easy. New sites in different countries use the existing infrastructure while customizing the user experience to local needs, including local products, pricing, images, offers, and more. Meanwhile, Magento Order Management captures online orders, passes them to warehouse partners for fulfillment (which vary by country), and then moves them along to the ERP system. And everyone gets their bottle of Jack.

By using investments made globally, Brown-Forman can grow their brands locally with greater efficiency. Consumers and businesses alike can engage with their brands and experience the craftsmanship and traditions for which their flagship brand, Jack Daniel’s, is known.


Benefit #2: Technology your team can get behind.

Digital leaders must manage a plethora of people, tools, and organizational execution considerations to keep their businesses moving forward. Your technology shouldn’t add more concerns, but it should help alleviate some of that planning stress.

Consider the benefits of a single commerce platform to integrate with back-end systems, including CRM and other solutions, as well as one platform as your organization’s commerce system of record.

Overall, a unified platform reduces complexity by doing the following:

•  Simplifying staffing requirements. You don’t need to find people with skills across two platforms or hire separate teams for multiple commerce platforms. This also fosters a nimbler organization. For instance, if one part of the business has a high workload, all team members can be properly allocated. If you have separate platforms, the teams working other platforms can’t pitch in.

•  Minimizing external partnership requirements. You only need to work with one type of solution partner, rather than potentially having to work with multiple partners with different platform expertise.

•  Reducing education and training costs. Maintenance, integration, and applied use training can be limited to one platform as opposed to a variety that would take more time to learn. 

Without having to lift and shift your various systems to ensure connectivity to separate B2B and B2C commerce offerings, a centralized platform mitigates management responsibility, allowing your organization to focus on more important things, like the activities and content required to innovate an enhanced buyer experience.

See how leading brands use Magento Commerce Cloud to differentiate themselves.

Sigma Beauty’s main public site is consumer-oriented. But when a B2B buyer logs in, they can benefit from a customized view of relevant content and pricing, a rich product catalog, and appropriate company-sanctioned access to account management.

View Sigma Beauty’s story

Some hybrid companies create totally different experiences for their customer sets and choose to create separate sites. With the benefit of one platform to manage, Steelcase admins can focus on crafting more targeted experiences instead of spending time moving through the nuances of multiple solutions.

View Steelcase’s story


Benefit #3: Be the buyer’s best friend.

A growing majority of buyers prefer to purchase online, with self-serve information, direct from vendors. In today’s crowded B2B marketplace, buyers demand an easy, intuitive online buying experience that’s so good it feels like B2C. And if you can’t meet these demands, your competitors will.

Today’s seamless buying experience demands that businesses must enable a variety of self-service tasks. Buyers don’t want to have to look elsewhere for the information they need, and they don’t want to have to call a help line or sales rep to accomplish tasks on the website. Poise your business for growth with the following tactics: 

• Quick order entry, without having to browse through the site.
• Rapid reordering from previous orders.
• Requisition lists for fast, frequent purchases.
• Wish lists (for B2C).
• Extensive online product information (manuals, installation guides, material safety data sheets, high-quality images, product reviews, etc.).
• Requesting a quote from the site (doesn’t require a call).
• Viewing credit balances, prior orders, and shipping information.
• Paying invoices online (requires ERP integration and some customization but is common).

Global brands are redefining the customer experience with Magento Commerce Cloud.

CakeSupplies serves audiences in 40 countries, allocating fewer resources to content-development efforts with a unified solution that can trigger the right catalog offers to various audiences demanding relevant content.

View CakeSupplies’ story

Australian Pharmaceutical Industries harnesses the power of unified commerce to effectively manage the complicated nature of having multiple sites and instances, all while ensuring the buyer receives an equally seamless experience.

View Australian Pharmaceutical Industries’ story

Intelligentsia Coffee centralizes commerce.

Intelligentsia Coffee sells direct to consumers via their website and offers retail-packaged products in upscale grocery stores, including Whole Foods and Pete’s Fresh Market. They also have a distribution channel for restaurants and a complex wholesale business that sells to chains and independent coffee shops across America.

The company unified their B2B and B2C commerce experiences to accomplish the following:

• Save time managing multiple catalogs.
• Reduce duplicative front-and-backend work.
• Serve up a mobile-optimized user experience.

Intelligentsia’s teams focused on creating a website that offered a seamless way for both B2B and B2C customers to order, configure, and add products to their cart all from the same screen — an especially important ask for their target audience of busy coffee shop and restaurant owners who order via smartphones.

Together with Magento Global Elite Solutions Partner Gorilla Group, Intelligentsia Coffee implemented a Quick Order option to enable faster ordering and reordering for business buyers. The company also implemented a subscription option, powered by Subscribe Pro, to enable customers to sign up for regular shipments. Using cut-off dates and times for special orders, customers can conveniently preorder seasonal or promotional products.

Magento helped to simplify Intelligentsia’s complex product catalog. Their House Blend alone sells in multiple sizes, generating as many as 60 variations. But Magento simplified this by making product options configurable. It also enabled Intelligentsia Coffee to maintain a single catalog across customer segments, while still allowing for customized pricing and product offerings. For example, Intelligentsia can create tiers of discounts based on purchase volume and carefully control which customers receive certain discounts. They can also ensure wholesale customers with reseller tax exemption certificates are not charged tax on their purchases.

The new site launched to rave reviews from Intelligentsia Coffee customers and employees. Content management tasks like adding new seasonal products and creating landing pages now take minutes. Additionally, the ability to provide customers with tracking information via their account and automated emails has reduced call volume, freeing the team to provide better support and coffee recommendations.

Overall, users found the site easy to use. It delivers an exceptional purchase experience for both consumer and business customers — in fact, 90 percent of their wholesale business is now managed through Magento.

Intelligentsia succeeds with Magento.

• On tablets alone, traffic rose by 16 percent.
• Transactions soared 40 percent.
• Conversion increased by 20 percent.
• Mobile sessions have increased 41 percent.
• Overall mobile conversion rose by 34 percent. 

Delighting customers at every turn.

Companies are no longer competing only on price or products. Instead, they’re differentiating themselves with effortless and personalized experiences that build customer loyalty and sustained growth. Competing on experience means creating compelling interactions at every touchpoint and phase of the customer journey from first impressions to purchasing and fulfillment to ongoing support and engagement. Savvy and sophisticated businesses are tapping into the power of unified commerce to effectively compete on service and grow more efficiently.


Learn how you can get started with Magento Commerce Cloud, part of Adobe Experience Cloud, today.


Sources:

For CakeSupplies, the Proof was in the Pudding,” Magento, an Adobe Company, customer story for CakeSupplies.

How API Transformed its Wholesale Business Through Digital,” Magento, an Adobe Company, customer story for Australian Pharmaceutical Industries.

Inside Brown-Forman’s Global Expansion,” Magento, an Adobe Company, customer story for the Brown-Forman Corporation.

Inside Sigma Beauty’s Digital Makeover,” Magento, an Adobe Company, customer story for Sigma Beauty.

Magento Gave Intelligentsia Coffee the Perfect Blend of B2C & B2B,” Magento, an Adobe Company, customer story for Intelligentsia Coffee.

Steelcase Needed a Modern and Modular Commerce Platform,” Magento, an Adobe Company, customer story for Steelcase.