B2B Case Study
Introducing a Fashion Marketplace to Improve B2B Customer Experience
The company had a few sites it used for different purposes that were built on different platforms with no single approach to website build-up. Our goal was to bring all the existing ecommerce websites under one roof and enhance the user experience of B2B customers.
Development & Features
The Magento platform was no doubt a solution for creating a single platform. The technology allowed us to solve the retail, some part of wholesale trade, and ‘About us’ parts of the puzzle. Additionally, blog extension came in handy to promote global news and the latest trends in the fashion industry. For this project, we used a ready design theme that was just customized to meet the specific requirements of the client. Conventional Magento multi-store configuration only lacked different language views, so we set up 3 of them including English version for European customers, Italian for locals, and Chinese for buyers from APAC.
However, we were just halfway through the whole deal for the main challenge was the transformation of the site into a non-trivial fashion marketplace: B2B workflow required a special category of users – Vendors, who were not there in a standard system set-up. This type of sellers needed to have a possibility to register and edit products in their personal account as well as obtain order and shipping details etc.
The Unirgy marketplace extension covered a big part of this scope. After the Vendor Registration form was created from scratch, data-migration, specific marketplace upgrades, and individual configuration were the last thing to do before the wind-up of the first development phase.
Moving forward, we started with the next milestone creating an integrated product for Mario Corp. 2 main product types:
- ordinary products, i.e. Magento simple and configurable products, available for retail customers (guests or registered customers after a non-paid form of registration)
- offers, the downloadable products with attachments of fashion collection product lists provided by the Vendors.
Ordinary products were a part of B2C workflow and meant for usual customers. The offers were a part of the B2B workflow, where only Members (i.e. users, registered via the paid subscription) were the customers. The user’s access to each type of products was supposed to be different and easily adjustable for the admin. The custom membership module with flexible configuration from back-end was created for this purpose.
Next, guests who simply drop by at the website were limited to preview of the simple products. The registered retail customers, however, can buy this category of products and later on are encouraged to become a Member to get an access to the offers. Members have extensive access to the ordinary products as well as allowed to review the offers’ information.
Furthermore, only Members have an opportunity to download an offer for further acquisition. Their possibilities are determined by the terms of a Membership plan they purchased.
Another thing we had to account for was the old system configuration where one database was used to store the Vendors and another one – to keep their products. Additionally, Membership offers were sent to Vendors by email. Therefore, we had to combine the two separate databases in one without affecting the loading. A number of issues that our team faced and had to resolve were:
- To create a matching DB (database) architecture.
- To improve new user registration process.
- To create custom products.
- To implement order processing features.
Our solution incorporated variety of features such as automatic email notifications, dynamic info panel in My Account section, and additional Customers section in back-end. The latter keeps the admin and the users updated regarding their Membership Plan (if any), expiration date as well as history of download etc. Thus, administrators can easily change the Plan or update the Membership settings of each user.
Developing this platform that would gather all the MarioCorp’s business domains under one single roof, we conquered a number of challenges offering the client a brand new solution for issues that used to drag the company down. After the site went live successfully and the lessons were learnt, a retrospective analysis inspired us to create a custom membership module with a wide range of features, which is coming yet to come to light.