Can I limit purchase capabilities based on role?

One key difference between B2B and B2C eCommerce is that in B2B eCommerce, you often have many different types of buyers who need to interact with the order in a variety of ways. Regional managers might need to approve orders. Franchise owners with multiple locations might need to place orders for multiple locations at once. One customer might need access to a different part of the catalog than another.

Sophisticated B2B eCommerce platforms allow you to take advantage of features and functionalities like assignments and rules that help you deal with the complexities that come along with limiting purchase capabilities based on role.

Assignments are the capability within a B2B eCommerce platform to solve for complex ordering scenarios. With assignments, you can create and define a  relationship between a single resource (ie. address, payment method, etc.) and a buyer party (i.e. user, user group, or buyer company).

Rules allow you to execute custom logic expressions, or “if” “then” statements. With rules, you can customize platform behavior to create specific workflows that make your business more efficient. OrderCloud has a sophisticated rules engine that allows you to create custom rules based on your business’ needs.

Here are 5 scenarios where using rules and assignments in B2B eCommerce allows you to limit purchase capabilities based on role:

    • A franchisee owns 10 locations and needs the ability to order on behalf of all 10 locations. In this scenario, we’d create a distribution list for franchisees. These distribution lists would contain all of the locations that a franchisee owns that way, the franchisee can place a single order for all 10 locations at the same time.
    • Your vendors vary by geography, so your buyers need access to different vendors and their product catalog. In this scenario, you would create an assignment based on location. If a buyer is in a certain location, a specific vendor can be assigned to them meaning that they only see that vendor’s product catalog.
    • Store managers need to get approval from regional managers before orders are submitted. In this scenario, we’d create two different user groups, one for regional managers and one for store managers. Employees would be assigned to each group based on their role (either a store manager or a regional manager). Rules would be assigned to each user group so that when a store manager went to place an order, it would queue an approval needed by a regional manager. The regional manager would be notified to approve the order and once approved, the order would be submitted for fulfillment.
    • Your employees get access to a budgeted amount to spend every quarter. In this scenario, your employees would get assigned a specific budget that they are allocated for the quarter that they use as a payment method. Every time they place an order, it is deducted from that budget. When they reach the budgeted amount, or place an order that is above the budgeted amount, it would trigger a need for approval. A manager could then be assigned to approve the purchase.
    • You want anonymous guests to browse the catalog, but once they are signed up as a customer and log-in, they can see pricing and make purchases online. In this scenario, until the user logged in, they would be able to see all products in the catalog, but no pricing would be listed. Once the user logged in, they would see the pricing assigned to them as a user and could complete a purchase.

A strong B2B data model makes managing your complex workflows possible. When you’re able to automate previously manual processes, you’ll create efficiencies and get better results.

Can you limit purchase capabilities based on role or buyer type?

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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.

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