Business Customers frequently research and shop online then transact offline.

It is common for commercial and industrial buyers to research and shop online but transact offline.  It is still the case where business customers will do their research and actually talk with someone and place an order over the phone.  Even though the functionality was in place for business customers to find what they are looking for and pay for it using the payment options of their choice and shipping of their choice, they still prefer to talk to a live knowledgeable person on the phone.

Wholesale and Retail pricing on the same website

Some manufacturers have two tiers of pricing.  They have standard pricing and lower prices for specific customers.  This involves coding specific customers for discounted prices on an item by item basis.  Only the customers coded for preferred pricing will see both prices.  All of the other customers will see only their standard item prices.

B2B eCommerce for Industrial Manufacturers and Distributors

Request for Quote (RFQ) or Request for Information (RFI)

Frequently industrial manufacturer and distributor style websites are more focused on generating inquiries than they are about selling online.  It is still the case that many times business customers shop, research and verify online, but will call or fill out a RFQ or RFI form for more information.  Then after an interaction will proceed to initiate the transaction offline.

Purchase Order Shopping Cart Functions

Industrial Companies frequently transact sales with purchase orders.  This can be done with an online shopping cart.  Transacting with purchase orders is a convenient way for B2B transactions to take place.  In addition to checking out with credit card transactions, it is frequently necessary to offer people the option of checking out with a purchase order.  How does this work?  When on the checkout page let people choose purchase order and include a purchase order field.  Customers can enter a purchase order number instead of a credit card and checkout.

This is a convenient way for commercial customers to transact online.

Transacting with a bank routing and account number

Another way commercial and industrial companies transact is with a transfer.  It makes sense to better serve your commercial customers by giving them the functionality or option to pay using their bank account number instead of a credit card.  Sometimes commercial transactions are larger and people choose to transfer the money from a bank account instead of charging it on a credit card.  This functionality can be added to the checkout page as a payment option.  Buyers can simply enter their bank routing number and account number in the two fields and check out.  The money will transfer out of the buyer’s bank account and into the seller’s merchant account.

This is a convenient method that is frequently utilized for business to business transactions.

What if you deliver via company trucks?  How should shipping or delivery charges be calculated?

It could be the case that your company delivers with company trucks and the delivery charge is calculated based on the delivery zipcode.  Also, deliveries may be limited to specific zip codes.  How do you prevent customers from ordering if they are not in your delivery area?  This is called zip code based delivery.  You may deliver using straight frame trucks, flat bed trucks, dump trucks or any kind of truck.

Business customers may want to pay for shipping using their own UPS account number

Sometimes business customers prefer to use their own UPS number for shipping because they may think they can save money on shipping if they have a larger discount set up with UPS.  Or, sometimes from an accounting standpoint it is simpler to buy the item and pay for it in one transaction, and let the shipping be charged to their own UPS account and clearly the UPS charges are separate from the item transaction.  Depending on how companies do their bookkeeping, this is a preferred process for many industrial customers.

There is a way to serve customers online who want to use their own UPS number.  If a shipping option of Use your own UPS account number is offered as a shipping option then two fields are needed.  One to collect the UPS account number and the second field to collect the zip code associated with that account number.  This way when the order is shipped, the shipper simply visits the UPS websites and prints a shipping label and charges it to the account and zip code provided by the buyer.