In both the B2B and B2C sectors, the customer is king! To enable successful online mail orders in the B2B sector, tailored solutions are crucial. Leveraging Spryker as the foundation, the new B2B store for HVAC (heating, plumbing, and cooling) wholesaler COLONS exhibits a B2C-like design. Yet, its distinction lies in the diverse B2B functionalities it offers, setting it apart from other online stores.
COLONS, an HVAC wholesaler headquartered in Ahaus, located in the western Münsterland region, possesses an extensive inventory of over 44,000 stocked items and a catalog featuring more than 200,000 listed items. Leveraging a solid 70 years of industry experience in traditional specialist wholesale operations, COLONS is now poised for success in the digital realm.
While online mail order has been steadily growing in the consumer sector for several years, it is still in its early stages in the B2B (business-to-business) sector. The HVAC industry, however, is witnessing significant influence from new sales channels. These alternative distribution models, including those targeting end consumers, bypass traditional retailers and wholesalers. With the increasing prominence of online purchases in the consumer realm, the significance of the online buying experience is also on the rise. Consequently, customers in the B2B sector now expect comprehensive functionalities and a fast, uncomplicated procurement process. Addressing these needs, COLONS wanted to offer a new online store that provides maximum convenience and significant time savings for HVAC specialists when shopping.
A modern frontend powered by state-of-the-art technologies ensures a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience across all devices. Whether on-site at a construction site or in the office, customers can access the online store quickly and effortlessly.
The new COLONS eShop, based on Spryker, is designed for effortless integration into the existing system landscape. Through direct interfaces with systems like SAP and PIM, it can seamlessly integrate into COLONS’ current IT processes, eliminating redundant data and streamlining operations.
As a closed shop, COLONS requires specific B2B features that allow larger customers to maintain a clear overview of their purchasing processes.
Based on Spryker, a B2B store was created for COLONS, combining the design and structural elements of a B2C store with essential B2B functionalities. The account area of COLONS offers a wide range of features, including: role and rights management, order templates, individual budget limits, sales and order overviews, credit lines, and more. While these functionalities are available, they do not have to be used.
Similar to the B2C experience, COLONS provides a streamlined checkout process with multiple payment options. Customers can choose from various methods such as invoice, PayPal, credit card, or instant bank transfer. Notably, the COLONS checkout process is also characterized by its simplicity, enabling orders to be completed with just one click.
COLONS ensures real-time pricing and up-to-date product data by establishing a direct connection to SAP and PIM systems. This direct integration allows for seamless transmission of subsequent processes to SAP, ensuring a smooth and efficient workflow while enabling full integration into the COLONS IT infrastructure.
The COLONS shop caters to the diverse needs of customers of all sizes – even those with complex organizational structures. The shop allows for the separation and management of multiple shopping carts and orders, ensuring customers can maintain a clear overview of their transactions.
In B2B commerce, purchasing on account is highly prevalent. The COLONS store automates this process, providing customers with a seamless experience, while also allowing them to have a clear overview of their credit limit at all times.
A role concept was implemented that caters to the varying needs of different customers’ purchasing departments. This concept enables customers to assign specific rights to their procurement staff, granting them the necessary access while maintaining control over the procurement of goods.
A B2B shopping experience similar to Amazon? No problem with the 1-step checkout for the HVAC trade.
Leveraging ElasticSearch, a comprehensive, user-friendly, and high-speed search was created. It ensures that customers can quickly and easily find exactly what they are looking for.
Design & UX conception
Conception & consulting concerning the system landscape