Using Headless eCommerce to Create a B2B eCommerce Experience that Mirrors a Retail Display

October 16, 2018

Category: Best Practices

Can you create a dynamic product collection that mirrors a retail display?

TV shows like Fixer Upper, Love It or List It, and This Old House have made DIY-ers and fixer-uppers out of all of us. When kicking off a project, a trip to your local Home Depot, Menards or Lowe’s is likely one of the first steps, and paint chips, those paper paint samples you can tack to your wall to try to imagine new colors, are likely a big part of that.

One of our customers, a national paint distributor, distributes over 300,000 of those paint chips every month to retailers and painters across the country.

You can imagine that placing orders for these paint chips could be very tedious, very time consuming and very error-prone. And if the retailer didn’t have an easy way to place those orders digitally, the onus would likely fall on the sales rep to make it happen, taking away from valuable sales time.

A paint distributor needed an efficient way for retailers to restock their paint chip display.

Watching these retailers stand in front of the paint chip displays writing down the chip numbers they needed to restock on a notepad and calling those chip numbers into the CSR to order, the paint distributor dreamed up a better solution.

They created a digital replica of the retail display that allowed the retail representative to stand in front of the paint chips with his or her mobile or desktop device, and see the chip collections represented in the exact order and position that they were in the physical display. This allowed the buyer to quickly move through the collection, adding the chips to the cart as their eyes scanned any physical stacks of chips that needed restocking.

Color swatches or paint chips displayed in retail store

Creating this dynamic product collection digitally, made it easier and less time-consuming for the paint distributor’s retail customers to place the orders. It also cut down on the number of order errors they were experiencing during the once manual ordering process.

With headless eCommerce, the front end (or the “head”) – which in a lot of cases is seen as a template or a theme that must be followed – has been decoupled or removed, leaving only the backend architecture and its complex eCommerce functionality. Developers can then present that functionality in any way they like – in this case, they could present it exactly like the paint chip retail displays, creating a very custom eCommerce experience for their retail customers.

Do you have buyers who are retailers? Do they need custom ordering or restocking experiences? Can you deliver?

If you can’t imagine doing something like this, it’s time to rethink your approach to eCommerce. Your eCommerce or order management platform should not limit possibilities when it comes to ways to create operational efficiencies and to improve your bottom line. A headless, API-first eCommerce platform makes both a completely custom front-end and a strong, secure back-end your reality. And a team with 20 years of experience dedicated to your success almost guarantees game-changing results. Four51 makes it possible