Speaking of pricing in B2C, the typical strategy looks as follows: there is a public offer or a list price available to everyone, and there is a loyalty program. In the latter, customers receive a discount on the list price, which is a kind of incentive to entice those customers to purchase. While there is something similar in B2B, B2B prices are usually woven into the contract’s obligations. When B2B customers log into the B2B portal, they expect to see the prices that are contractually defined. You can absolutely agree on exclusive conditions for a specific customer, and each of your thousand customers can have their own price list.
Therefore, the biggest challenge is to replicate each contract in the electronic system in the form of rules, so that they reflect the contractual obligations, including prices, agreed upon between your sales team and customer.
You’re lucky if it is just an individual price list, but contracts are typically more complicated, and prices can depend on many other variables, such as order frequency, urgency (well in advance or on short notice), product types, payment and shipping terms, warranty, and purchase quantity.
A customer might also have multiple contracts and several orders, which further complicates the pricing calculation and requires to account for other factors like volume-based discounts. The system also needs to understand which contract to pull up when a customer with multiple-contracts makes an order.
The irreducible complexity still grows if you add other factors: packaging, weight, geographical area, promotions, type of customer (consumer vs business buyer), among others.
Your ecommerce solution should fully address the price complexity and integrate with third-party software to keep your approach in sync with all internal subsystems.
To summarize, there are three key elements in B2B ecommerce pricing (which should be considered when choosing an ecommerce platform or building your own):
The price reflects each customer’s unique shopping habits and depends on multiple factors, including the volume of an order, its frequency, and shipping arrangements.
The pricing is consistent across all systems as delays in syncing will result in customer confusion and potential loss of profits.
The pricing for varying product configurations, which depends on size, packaging, and weight, should be made instantaneously available via click-through options on the ecommerce solution.
Virto Commerce B2B ecommerce platform was developed with the B2B pricing complexity in mind, enabling you to build the functionality your business requires.
First of all, Virto Commerce comes with a robust Price Module out-of-the-box, which can be further configured on the back end to create a unique shopping experience for each customer. With the Virto Commerce Price Module, you can:
Group your customers by price lists or tiers and assign your customers to their designated tiers.
Include the same product in multiple price lists and assign each catalog with its own custom price lists.
Apply a variety of discounts for each product on your price list and change your prices based on a predetermined schedule.
Specify rules and conditions to give a pre-set price to a specific group of customers.
Set your prices depending on the volume or quantity.
Define the prices in custom currencies, such as loyalty points or bitcoins.