This is part of a series. See here for the initial post and a list of all the articles in the series – Better B2B eCommerce solutions are coming


In large B2B transactions it’s typical for a business customer to have multiple user’s making purchases. A lousy solution to this problem is to create one account for the customer and then expect all their user’s to share that username/password. Instead, a better solution is to associate multiple eCommerce accounts with one customer account.

Let’s imagine that you sell building materials to construction companies and your construction company customers are buying materials for multiple jobs. However, the construction company’s account should be keeping record of the purchases in the ERP and each purchase should be affiliated with the appropriate project. The project managers for those jobs may need to buy materials for each of their individual projects. Instead of calling their headquarters to place orders it would be much more efficient to allow them to log into your eCommerce site and purchase the materials they need for their one job.

Be sure that you are working with a system that allows business customers (the construction company) to instruct each project manager to create an account with the eCommerce site. Then each of those user accounts would be associated with the one customer account in the ERP.

Additionally, the construction company should be able to manage which jobs each project manager could ship to. For instance, if Project Manager One is managing Job One, and Project Manager Two is managing Job Two they could only purchase items to be delivered to their individual jobs.

Again, the construction companies account should save all the sales order records in the ERP. This is will be incredibly efficient for both you and your customer when it comes to reporting, purchasing management, and eliminating time on the phone placing orders.