Creating a flexible and scalable digital commerce ecosystem for a company’s B2B and B2C buyers to boost growth
Office furniture is typically purchased in one of two ways. On one end, high-end design companies like Knoll and Allsteel sell their crafted pieces to the trade, whose members then resell them to clients at a markup. On the other end, mass-market retailers such as Staples offer cheaper, more-generic chairs and desks directly to consumers. Poppin—a manufacturer of well-designed, moderately priced office furniture and supplies—saw a huge market opportunity between these two models.
Looking to appeal to both B2B and B2C buyers, the New York-based company asked Astound Commerce to help it map out a commerce ecosystem that would be the basis of its business growth activities in both B2B and B2C over time. The first step would be to design, implement, and launch a Demandware (now Salesforce Commerce Cloud) platform that could support optimization of product and content for the site’s dual markets, support lead generation to grow the company’s customer base, and support experiences that would establish the brand as a premier designer of quality products.
After examining Poppin’s digital commerce footprint, Astound realized that an inflexible site architecture was not supporting the company’s unique B2B2C business approach; this in turn was hampering sales growth and marketing efforts. A unified ecommerce approach would create significant benefits for the brand—it would simplify catalog management, reduce technical overhead, put the consumer at the center of all activation, and give Poppin just one site and one brand to promote. But the company needed to take into account its constituencies’ different customer journeys, behaviors, and pain points. Also missing were resources that spoke specifically to individual B2B and B2C buyers (such as, respectively, technical product information and design inspiration).
Working with senior-level Salesforce Commerce Cloud partners, we built and quickly launched a unified ecommerce ecosystem for Poppin that has a single checkout for B2B and B2C customers. We designed a new customer-experience solution that directs users to the right customer path, be they casually exploring the brand, searching for a product type, or looking to place a bulk order. To appeal to B2C customers, we highlighted the brand’s playful personality, creating shareable stories about Poppin employees and offices as well as adding features such as a product search by color. To attract the business buyer, we developed custom price books, checkout support for complex shipping rules, and a call to action (CTA) to submit information for immediate sales-team follow-up. Post-launch we also provided Poppin with ongoing tech updates, enhancements, and training, even assisting with the interviewing of in-house engineers to maintain the site.
The Poppin digital commerce ecosystem improves the customer experience by offering varied methods of navigation, in-depth product information, and a streamlined path to purchase. The website lays the foundations for future B2B and B2C growth, providing the company with the ability to both scale and adapt its messaging, strategy, and product selection to better serve its customers. Our detailed analysis of user journeys on and off the website is revealing valuable data about the brand’s consumers. This information is generating leads, helping to nurture existing customers, influencing product development, driving repeat business, and lowering customer acquisition costs.