How a B2B e-commerce platform helps build relations with clients
Orno is a Polish electronics company that has been present on the market for over 20 years. Its product range includes nearly 2,500 products in the home improvement and home automation categories, such as alarms, monitoring systems, intercoms, cameras, and code locks. Orno serves 1,500 regular business clients in 16 countries, achieving sales of 70,000 products per month.
Orno approached us with the task of creating a sales platform for business customers that would meet the specific needs of the industry. Sales in the B2B sector are based on a face-to-face relationship – a team of qualified sales representatives are responsible for contacting buyers, presenting offers, negotiating prices, and supporting clients at every stage of placing an order. At the same time, the company wanted to guarantee its customers access to a new shopping channel where they could comfortably and independently explore the shop's range and place an order. To maintain customer relationships and treat each company individually, Orno, therefore, needed a platform that would allow personalisation of price and offer.
- The different needs of the company's clients require an individual approach.
- Multiple decision-makers on the buyer side.
- Extensive technical specifications.
- Sales of products in a number of foreign markets.
- Migration to a new platform.
- Personalisation of the offer and price list.
- Simplifying the purchase path.
- Advanced product management.
- ERP integration.
- Facilitating the day-to-day work of the Orno team.
Many aspects of B2B projects work on a different basis than in the B2C sector. Shops targeting business customers require a high degree of personalisation, a specific approach to presenting the offer, and simplifying the complex and lengthy purchasing process. In the Orno project, we focused on creating a quality relationship with the client in the digital space and delivering the best possible experience.
B2B e-commerce is an investment in the future for us, a new way to improve the customer experience and introduce a personalised offer. In the business sector, face-to-face relationships still form the basis of sales, but the online platform gives us a bunch of new opportunities. Customers can now browse our offerings freely and independently in the e-commerce model they are familiar with, while we gain the convenience of managing our product range and optimise our resources. Michal Zawada, Development and Marketing Director at Orno
Migration to a new platform and integration with ERP
As part of our collaboration with Orno, we migrated the sales platform to the latest version of Magento. Furthermore, we simultaneously carried out an integration with the ERP system, managed via API.
Individual price list for each customer
In the case of retail shops, product prices are the same for all users, but in the B2B sector, the price list is personalised based on the customer's relationship with the shop, the scale, and the frequency of the order. At Orno, we have implemented the ability to personalise the price list and offer for each client. This means that each logged-in Orno user sees products tailored to their business profile and prices depending on the type of contract concluded with the retailer. The solution we have introduced allows us to efficiently handle several million individual prices for users, setting them in different currencies, and so on. The tool communicates with an external ERP system so that product information doesn’t have to be entered manually into the sales platform.
Product availability management
It is not efficient or cost-effective for a shop to stock a large surplus of products, but a temporary lack of stock does not prevent an order from being placed. If customers want to buy a product that is currently out of stock, the platform displays information about the time of availability immediately on the product page. The system also suggests substitutes so that time-sensitive customers don’t have to wait for the desired item to return to the shop.
Intelligent product positioning
The suggestion feature allows Orno administrators to manage the order of products displayed in the listing. This allows bestsellers, new products, or flagship products to be presented to customers first.
The e-commerce platform acts not only as a sales channel but also as a catalogue allowing customers to familiarise themselves with the offer. Some of Orno's products are only available for purchase with the help of a customer care manager, but are displayed on the website as so-called marketing products.
Due to licensing agreements, some products are only available for purchase to customers who have signed the relevant addendum. In order to enable Orno to have more control over which items are available to certain user groups, we have implemented filtering and purchase protection. In this way, the product price is hidden for customers who have not signed the relevant appendix to the contract.
In the Orno online shop, we have implemented the ETIM classification for all items on offer. ETIM (European Technical Information Model) is an international standard for the classification of technical products. It facilitates the standardisation of technical specifications so that every B2B customer has access to the same information on product attributes, even across different suppliers and distributors. Each product type has its own specific list of attributes described by a specific code according to the ETIM classification.
In addition to descriptions and specifications, products in the Orno range have many attachments, for example, guarantee cards, user manuals, or multimedia such as ringtones. To make it easier for the customer to manage such materials, we have introduced support for product attachments via an API.
Product life cycle
At Orno, selected products may be labeled "New", "Sale" or "Available while stocks last". Depending on the attribute assigned, the product behaves differently in certain situations, for example, if a product is labeled 'Available until sold out' then once the print run is sold out, it can no longer be ordered; this is different for products without a label when you simply wait until the product is available again. This is a custom functionality designed specifically for Orno to make the offer management process more automated.
Registered customers can access their order history, wish list, product comparison, address details, and preferred payment methods from their accounts. To facilitate the purchasing process, Orno also offers a repeat order function.
Custom roles and permissions for clients
In the B2B sector, many people are responsible for different stages of the purchasing process, so a single administrator account would be insufficient. For Orno customers, we’ve introduced the possibility of attaching multiple separate accounts for individual employees to a single company account. In this way, each person can be given different permissions, for example, to place orders, display prices, etc.
In addition to the personalisation of the offer at the level of each customer, the Orno platform also allows the management of the products displayed in a given market. For example, if a company does not want to distribute an item in one of the markets due to size or transport difficulties, it can exclude them from the display. This customised solution greatly facilitates the work of a company that sells in a cross-border model. Such a 'blacklist' of products and brands can be implemented at the individual customer level or for a whole group of customers based on a specific attribute.
From a back-office perspective, the Orno team has access to all customer data including assigned attributes, order history, addresses, and assigned consultants. To further facilitate relationship management, the system allows customer accounts to be classified according to a selected key, for example, business type or contract type, and a hierarchy of customer accounts to be established. The platform is fully integrated with the ERP system so that managers have visibility of key company information and don’t have to make changes in two places. As with customer accounts, Orno employees can also be assigned customised roles and permissions.
Improving the experience
Orno's online shop aims to improve the user experience and shorten processes to save valuable time. Business customers have access to a product comparison engine to conveniently assess the performance of similar items and choose the best one for them. At Orno, we have also implemented repeat purchase functionality useful for those who periodically order the same items. In addition to the advanced personalisation and intuitive interface, which allow for a comfortable shopping experience on the platform, each customer can benefit from the support or advice of an assigned account manager if needed.
Strategic and operational support
Orno set its sights on developing e-commerce to the highest level, which required a lot of consultation, planning, and testing to ensure that the solution best met the needs of the brand's customers. As Strix, we were responsible for the design, implementation, and maintenance of the platform, but we were also active advisors in the strategic process, providing our expertise in developing the best solutions. We also offered our client consultation and support in training the team responsible for managing the new platform. Our commitment and flexibility in our approach to the project implementation resulted in a functional, convenient, and highly personalised sales platform.
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