By Lena Lidl, Daniel Planert

Flexibility for B2B processes

A business suite that covers all aspects of commerce and takes advantage of common customer journeys for use in the business landscape.

For most people, the term "commerce" is likely to evoke associations with the classic end customer perspective. The idea started with the image of a store that was moved to a shopping mall on the web. Nothing is more obvious than using the familiar image of a product list, shopping cart, and checkout process, for B2B commerce, too. The advantage of this is that B2B purchasers do not have to make any major departure from what they think of from their private experience with consumer-oriented interfaces. So when they use B2B-oriented systems, they can often forego less-than-intuitive ERP systems.

Shop systems that have been on the market for a long time can now indeed be reworked into wholesale-ready software solutions, but these solutions quickly reach their limits. For example, it may become necessary to implement shopping cart-specific discounts, different tax categories, cash discounts, or delivery terms. In terms of processing, B2B business is currently subject to considerably more complex requirements than the classic checkout in an end-customer store.

With this in mind, Yoav Kuttner, Jerry Carter, and Dima Soroka founded ORO Inc. in 2012. In January 2017, the first version of OroCommerce saw the light of day.

The shop system was developed specifically to meet B2B requirements and offers buyers an experience similar to what consumers already know from B2C online stores. For example, they can save shopping lists and order items from previously saved wish lists.

"We’ve developed OroCommerce to offer the widest range of out-of-the-box e-commerce features."

Yoav Kuttner, co-founder and CEO of ORO

Flexible workflow definitions

To accommodate different workflows in buying and purchasing processes, OroCommerce offers a workflow engine that can be used to define shop operator rules and workflows, and is activated at specific points in the business process. For example, all it takes is a visual workflow editor to adapt the checkout process to certain customer groups or send e-mails if the customer’s shopping cart meets certain criteria.

OroCommerce also supports interaction between the sales team and customers. If, for instance, customers send orders or requests, sales representatives can respond directly in the system. The digital mapping of the customer acquisition process, as well as relationships to existing customers, has also been taken into account: The seamless integration of OroCRM into OroCommerce makes it possible to map sales processes, customer care and marketing campaigns, and combines all of the relevant customer information into a single overview. For example, the sales department can be notified automatically when a purchase in the online store has been aborted, so that they can respond right away.

And last but not least, custom dashboard configurations, a reporting engine as well as advanced segmentation features offer the sales department a series of useful metrics relevant to the product range, customers, and revenues. Based on these, marketing activities can be undertaken automatically.

Complex business features implemented with ease

One of the notable B2B features of OroCommerce is its support for user administration within a customer account. Individual user roles can be set up for each account, and buyers can be assigned to them, allowing them to make purchases for their account on the platform. The operator can define prices, availability, and product options for each user group so that custom offerings can be displayed for each account. Volume discounts and individual pricing are also supported, in addition to the mapping of complex company account structures, regardless of whether an account includes multiple companies, teams, departments, or branches. Anyone who has branches in different countries and regions will benefit from OroCommerce’s intuitive administrative features for different tax rates and laws.

The foundation: future-proof, modern, and upgradeable

OroCommerce offers answers to many of the issues involved with B2B business models: from getting started with online sales, effective and intuitive product information management, through to full process automation. A modern multilayer architecture built with the Symfony framework ensures maximum flexibility when customizing the system to meet individual requirements. To integrate existing ERP or PIM applications, OroCommerce offers a developer-friendly web services API that supports setting privileges for certain users to access the REST endpoints and without requiring the intervention of a developer.

Custom prices, tailored content

OroCommerce solves the problem of showing different pricing for different business partners with a product system that is adapted to the respective user. Not only can price lists be set up for each customer, company, and business unit, but each list can also include an unlimited number of products, price levels, and currencies.

Content can also be displayed differently for different target groups. Product catalogs can be customized for certain companies, departments, divisions, and even individual buyers, who then have access to their own catalog.