The best way to look at price definitions in Ecommerce is as a multidimensional exercise. Prices could be different across sales channels; they change with time or payment terms; prices could be customer-specific and have a different value in each currency you support.
In addition, to the usual price complexities we see in all Ecommerce implementations, B2B adds additional challenges.
- In many cases, product prices for large customers are defined by pre-negotiated contract agreements. To complicate things further, contracts may cover only some products, and list prices are used for others.
- Support for volume discounts and tier pricing is the must-have functionality. Tier pricing can also be customer-specific
- In a B2B store, you need to show both Net & Gross prices.
- In most B2B implementations, customers cannot see prices before they are authenticated.
- Large purchases require negotiation, and the Ecommerce System must support the Request for Quote flow.
- To sell configurable products, business needs to implement custom logic to calculate prices based on a selected configuration.
- It is possible to have so many price points in a B2B store that you need to be cautious about online store performance. A large number of products multiplied by a number of special customer price agreements multiplied by the number of currencies, geographies, and so on.
- When a B2B business starts implementing digital channels, all these special price agreements have been accumulating in their ERP for a long time. Not many people in the company have full knowledge of how prices are defined. The first step in moving online could be to evaluate and streamline pricing.
- B2B Ecommerce system must support Price Lists functionality. It allows you to configure multiple price lists by including products and their prices, then assign them to customer groups (like Small Resellers or VIP Customers) or individual B2B customers. A single price list can be assigned to different sites and countries. Price lists significantly reduce the manual work of managing custom-specific prices.
- If a business sells services, its Ecommerce System needs to support recurring and per-usage prices to sell subscriptions.
- Business needs to decide what system to use to manage prices. If a business is primarily selling online, and the price structure is relatively simple, your Ecommerce platform should have sufficient capabilities to set up and manage prices. However, an established business that already manages its prices in the ERP system will need to integrate two systems and export prices into the Ecommerce platform. Some businesses may choose to receive base prices from ERP but still allow price modifications through the Ecommerce platform. That agile approach allows businesses to react quickly to changing demand and market conditions. In complex B2B scenarios, it is also possible that prices are not even stored in the Ecommerce platform and are retrieved in run-time from ERP to display them to customers. Be aware that ERP systems are not designed to handle high-volume requests, and you should choose the later setup only if the volume of requests is low.