Serving B2B audiences with BigCommerce and Groove Commerce.
Considering the need for a functional ecommerce site with support for a B2B audience, Groove Commerce ultimately recommended BigCommerce to Ballard Industrial.
“Given the unique requirements that they had and the goal to shift their B2B selling operations to have an commerce component, BigCommerce ended up being the right choice,” said Drew Blais, Creative Director at Groove Commerce.
Using BigCommerce B2B Edition, the team found the out-of-the-box functionality to provide buyers a pathway to purchase directly online. One native feature that was particularly valuable was the ability to offer speciality B2B pricing, which, for Ballard, is based on customer tiers and quantities purchased. Thus, Groove Commerce was able to automate pricing rules, as well as assign membership roles inside of BigCommerce to each B2B customer account.
“Ballard Industrial has different pricing for different customers, so they really wanted a way to control buyers and have that quick order functionality that's built into B2B Edition,” explained Justin Bright, Director of Technology and DevOps Engineering at Groove Commerce. “B2B Edition checked a lot of the boxes that they wanted.”
Customising content with Page Builder.
With a large product catalog, Ballard also hoped to promote specific product categories and services on its new ecommerce site. While some products were already high-selling, high-traffic items, the team wanted to increase consumer awareness of other products and services, such as its high-pressure hydraulics portfolio, safety equipment, and gas detection.
In order to do this, Ballard originally wanted to use HubSpot to customise its web content. But after seeing the customisability and simplicity of the BigCommerce Page Builder, the team decided to create and manage its page content with the native tool.
“They wanted the ability to swap out these homepage widgets for whatever product they wanted to promote that month or that week,” said Flaherty.
With the help of Groove Commerce, the team was able to build custom widgets throughout its homepage, which they can now easily edit on their own — without developer intervention.
“On the homepage, they can add, remove, and change things, which they do frequently. So it gave them a level of control that they didn't have before with their old site,” said Bright.
Offering real-time pricing with BisTrack.
As an industrial supplies business, Ballard also had to navigate the issue of ever-changing pricing of industrial materials. With raw material prices changing on a daily basis depending upon raw material cost, the team needed a way to automatically update their own pricing on the website in order to retain a fair profit margin on goods sold.
In response, Groove Commerce assisted in the integration of BisTrack — a custom middleware that tracks the price of raw materials, populates that information onto the Ballard website, and adjusts customer pricing accordingly.
“When customers add products to their cart and check out, all those items are verified through Ballard’s ERP in a real-time call,” explained Bright. “Let's say pricing changes — it goes up a penny or goes down at 10 cents. When a customer adds something to the cart, that update is checked and adjusted before they check out.”
“We get business from around the country that we normally wouldn’t have gotten. Plus, the site has proven to be a really solid source of product info for account customers and our sales team.”
Chris Gubbelsweb producer, ballard industrial