Case Study Launches Online Marketplace Empowering Teachers

January 29, 2018

Categories: B2B Marketplace, Digital Transformation Strategy

BUSINESS CHALLENGE: is a national nonprofit that connects individual and corporate donors to classrooms around the country. Donations are made to teachers and/or classrooms, who then spend those donated funds from a network of vendors that partner with needed to replace a legacy, proprietary eCommerce system with a solution that could allow them to create a better online marketplace experience, facilitating a connection to multiple vendors of various classroom supplies; the ability to accept blended payments in one transaction; and seamless integration with back-office systems, like Salesforce.


After comparing a wide variety of Salesforce-compatible eCommerce providers, and their technology partners chose Four51’s OrderCloud™ platform. They recognized that the headless nature of the platform and its open API would allow them to create the customized experience they were looking for and create a tight integration to Salesforce.

Through a customized online marketplace application, was able to integrate thousands of products from different educational vendors, including vendor’s that required punch-out capabilities. Their application enables teachers to place an order for classroom supplies with goods from multiple vendors. The order takes into account vendor-specific shipping rates, processing fees, and tax where applicable, but keeps the process streamlined for teachers in that they only need to place one order. A customized OrderCloud webhook allows for all of this detail to feed back into Salesforce and trigger various actions, rules and next steps that provide a seamless experience for teachers and employees alike.

“OrderCloud helps us manage dozen of vendors, each with unique shipping tables, in a blended environment that makes it easy for the teachers we serve to quickly find what they need, compare prices, and experience a seamless ordering experience.” – Ryan Jordan, Program Manager,


The OrderCloud platform allows teachers a much-improved experience compared with the legacy system that was in place before. Teachers can now order from multiple vendors in one transaction via the online marketplace, and use split payments of their spending account and a personal credit card. Beyond that,’s developers and technical partners are able to make updates to products, users, addresses, and more simply and efficiently through the OrderCloud console and dashboard. This application will allow them to continue to evolve the experience on the same platform without thinking about replatforming again to respond to future business needs.


When comparing options, OrderCloud was selected for its ability to handle multiple vendors types, user-specific tax tables, and vendor-specific details like order minimums, shipping fees, and addresses served, which were must-have features for, and ones that they found all platforms weren’t able to support. Further, OrderCloud’s support team worked to replicate existing punch-out vendor applications in our new environment, easing the burden of transition for our vendor partners and teacher users.