For over a year, our team at Orienteed has been focused on developing a new B2B2C e-commerce platform for Pladur Gypsum.
Pladur is the leading company in Spain in the manufacture of construction solutions for internal partition walls. The goal of this project was to develop an e-commerce platform to serve both the distributors and the final customer.
This was a challenging digital business model that could only be accomplished with HCLCommerce V9, based on a container and business services architecture, 100% cloud, and leverages the power of native mobile technology.
The project came with the typical challenges of a B2B model, with consideration needed towards the variety of prices, payments and products. Also, an important point to note was that it was indispensable to create a platform where distributors had a certain control over the sales process.
These were actually the main reasons why we opted for a native B2B model such as HCL Commerce, because it offered an abundance of options for configuration and personalization, as well as a versatile and integrated marketing tool.
As we all know, the future prospects of the B2B model are indeed promising. B2B e-commerce is anticipated to be the largest e-commerce growth area from 2020 to 2025, while the global e-commerce market capitalization is expected to reach $24,265.12 billion by 2025 (According to Meticulous Research)
This signifies an extraordinary opportunity for manufacturers like Pladur, who want to take the step forward and disrupt the way they reach their customers.
How we changed Pladur’s sales model
Our main objective was to digitize Pladur’s sales cycle to transform into an omnichannel model.
This has a big impact on how Pladur will sell, how distributors will interact with the main brand, and how the final customer will purchase their products.
From the buyer’s point of view, there is no longer a single profile. The platform that we have created now defines distinct buyer profiles. Each of them displays a different price for each product based on their purchase history and interaction with the store.
It is what we call predictive buying, one of the most powerful sales tools based on personalization. No buyer is the same.
● Flexible shopping
Due to the large variety of products, it was necessary to implement a way of purchasing with total flexibility: different measurement units and in multiple quantities: pallets, kg, m3 … The user can customize the purchase as he/she wishes.
● Always available stock
Shipping, one of the great barriers to the success of ecommerce, has been solved. There is always stock available, regardless of which warehouse the order arrives at.
Thus, the buyer can choose between home delivery or store pickup. The platform itself sets a default warehouse for each user and routes the request to one or the other, depending on the stock availability. The sale is always made possible.
● Control over stock
The distributor is a fundamental part of the model, and giving them control of the sales process was one of the most challenging requirements.
Each store and each distributor has full access to the Pladur catalog, which in addition, is integrated with the specific catalog of each distributor. All in all, it consisted of creating several small stores within a larger one. Each distributor can decide on which Pladur products they prefer or do not prefer to sell.
● Custom pricing
Pricing personalization was also made possible, allowing distributors to establish price rules and individualized price lists for each user profile, as well as to define prices with or without VAT based on the customer profile.
The autonomy granted to distributors within the platform even extends to the area of marketing promotions. Each distributor has the option to create offers or campaigns independently.
Leadership thanks to a disruptive approach
The digitization of Pladur’s sales channels will allow the company to continue to be a leader in its segment and to respond to changes in the purchasing habits of distributors and individual buyers in the future.
This model not only puts the brand at the industry forefront, but also guarantees its growth, allowing its number of distributors to scale easily within the platform.
Access to sales data and analytics on user behavior, products, etc. is also an important milestone for Pladur. From now on, it is possible to access reports on sales, customer, and best-selling products, all from the same ELK dashboard.
The importance of a long-term partnership
In summary, Pladur understood from the beginning that today’s B2B buyers want a B2C-like shopping experience, with sleek site designs and functionalities for large catalogs and segmented pricing. While some B2B businesses are still reluctant to move online, B2B buyers are already there.
But, apart from the company’s vision, the success of this e-commerce business model is based on a solid technological partnership that will allow the platform to continue growing and adapting as purchasing habits change.
This long-term vision is what drives our team at Orienteed forward, and acts as the foundation for all of the projects that we are currently developing for other leading e-commerce brands.
Why HCL Commerce?
Adoption of HCL Commerce as the market leading e-commerce platform. Its main characteristics are:
· API First: with the use of REST L3 services to enable smooth access to the catalog, prices, stock, orders, users, promotions, search and administration;
· Modular: with the use of business services that allow efficient distribution of workloads, eliminate bottlenecks and extend functionalities with more precision;
· Scalable: with the use of Docker and Kubernetes to coordinate services, reduce the time and complexity of deployments, and optimize the use of resources, automatically scaling where necessary;
· Complete: the ability to fulfil complementary needs of the pure sales process, such as PIM (Product Information Management), CMS (Content Management System), OMS (Order Management System), CSR (Customer Service Representative), inventory tracker, recommendation engine, promotion engine , search engine, content personalization tools;
· Extensible: with its core developed in Java / Spring / JPA, it offers advanced extension and integration capabilities to external services and libraries, both commercial and open sourced;
· Future vision (subsequent quarters): introduction of machine learning services, Elasticsearch integration, and artificial intelligence associated with recommendation services.
To watch the video case study – https://youtu.be/SoSEe-OE-v8
To learn more about Orienteed visit https://orienteed.com/.