Businesses have many different types of channels who place orders. In B2B eCommerce we call these “omni-channel” businesses. Call centers entering phone and email orders; direct online orders from customers; orders coming through distribution partners, like VAR’s; manufacturer reps; or other indirect channels. These are all examples of how businesses place orders with other businesses.
In these omni-channel businesses, one of the biggest operational issues is simplifying your price management across channels. Variable price plans for things like volume level, plan discounts, geography, vertical market, and product version are just a few examples of the many pricing attributes that can affect the ultimate price of a product in B2B.
In order to reduce errors, eliminate cost and simplify processes, B2B eCommerce technologies can be used to support multiple pricing strategies across channels – all from one single platform. Your pricing strategies may consist of multiple components that you need to manage. Two components that we get asked about frequently from our customers are tiered based pricing and product specific pricing. Let’s look at how B2B eCommerce can help manage these two main components of your price management.
In tiered based pricing, there are typically levels or “tiers” of association within a population of customers. Most modern B2B eCommerce platforms allow you to recreate these “tiers” within the application and assign them to customers or groups of customers. As users log-in to the application, they are automatically shown their correct pricing level. By creating the appropriate groups, pricing administration is dramatically simplified and customers can transact at their convenience.
Product specific pricing is used when there are geographic restrictions, price restrictions, quantity restrictions, or restrictions on specific products by customer or location. By combining robust approval routing with product assignments at the group and individual user level, B2B eCommerce platforms allow you to configure and automate these procurement processes. This kind of “front-end” flexibility removes the burden of order entry from back-end systems and internal call centers while simultaneously centralizing order management controls onto a single platform.
Product specific pricing can also be driven based on product configurations. Products that are highly complex and customized may require configurators tied to backend resource systems. B2B eCommerce systems can deliver these configuration choices to the customer, allowing them to select valid product options and receive appropriate configuration based pricing – typically without the help of customer support.
If you’re looking for ways to help manage complex pricing scenarios across multiple customer channels, look to a B2B eCommerce solution, like Four51 can provide, for answers. You may end up simplifying your business processes and saving money along the way.