Managing multi-vendor conflict through a single online storefront is a universal challenge for VAR businesses of all sizes. Typically, most of the resellers work with all three categories of customers – B2C (Business to Consumer), B2B (Business to Business) and B2G (Business to Government). However, irrespective of the target audience, the business needs vary internally within each customer category and also across the categories. For instance, B2C customers would be more interested to explore the look and feel of a website.
Features like SEO enablement, catalog export to shopping sites, coupons, ratings & reviews are very important for them.
Similarly, B2B VARs expect their storefront solution to handle customer-specific catalog, pricing, payment methods etc. Also important is a customized look and feel, ability to create microsites for larger customers and also an ability to provide a PunchOut catalog as and when needed.
B2G Resellers expect the storefront solution provider to be able to handle contract catalog and pricing, understanding of how contract works, ability to accept Govt Purchase cards. Adaptability to meet Govt. requirements quickly is also very essential for them. Procurement work flows like approval work flows, setting up buying limits etc are no longer a luxury but a must have.
Sounds familiar, huh? Well yes, this is a complex yet a common scenario across the VAR industry.
Hence there arises a very pedestal question
Can your web store provide multi-Customer functionality and custom e-commerce solutions to all categories of your customers?
While you may either affirm or negate this question, you can certainly not deny the fact that it isn’t exactly a monetarily and technologically feasible solution to maintain multiple stores for multiple customers. Not only that, the hassles of managing more than one store at the same time will eat away into the time you should actually spend in focusing on your sales and customers. So, what you really need is a single, smart and highly configurable front end store that can don the hat of multiple stores without creating any sales channel conflict. Your e-commerce service provider should be able to set up a powerful web interface with multi-vendor functionality features into both your backend and front end of your single store.
What all features should you expect from such a store? Let’s take a snapshot.
Table of Contents
Customized look and feel
You can get professional B2B/B2C/B2G e-commerce stores with your own custom URL or specific domains like ‘.gov’ or ‘.edu’. Readymade and customized templates are available to meet all your branding needs and create a distinct design for each specific category of customers. You can even create customer-specific landing pages on your storefront.
Login based Product catalog and Pricing configuration
You can configure aggregated, custom, contract catalogs, bundles and standards into the storefront and make them available to all or only selected customers, depending on the user logins. You can also add up sell and cross sell features or export catalogs to shopping engines to maximize your revenue potential. Buyers can then accordingly search, filter and compare for their order specific requirements, discounts and deals.
Convenient Shopping Cart Functionality
Your buyers can shop for products from multiple vendors yet club them together under their shopping cart and then pay for the accumulated purchases as one single order during the checkout. So, there is no need to make separate payments for each product or each order. What is more, your store can support multiple payment gateways and currencies for buyers to choose from as per their convenience. They can even request you for a new payment gateway to be added to the store.
Approval work flows, cost centers, budgets, buying limits
You can set up approval work flows, users can log in and create requisitions and send it for approvals. Buying limits can be set up for approvers. Each of your customers can set up cost centers within their company and a budget can be set up for each cost center. All of this does not create any overhead for VARS as the end customer administrators can manage all of these themselves.
Ability to do SEO, catalog export to various shopping engines and market places, email campaigns to customers are available for you to get new prospects and customer from your store. Your Storefront solution pays for itself in no time by way of generating new business.
Multiple Shipment Options
At the time of check out, your customers can select multiple options with UPS, FedEx, DHL, USPS, electronic shipment, free delivery or pick up at the store as per their location and order requirements.
Powerful Reporting and Analytics
You can pull out precanned back office reports or export them to excel to get a complete visibility into your sales, customers, manufacturers and distributors. You can also get full analytics of the transactions, traffic and others activities on your front store with the help of Google Analytics tool.
Want a personal demo store? VARStreet can help you, contact us to know more.