Magento’s B2B capabilities deliver for Caterite
Founded in 1969 as a mobile grocery store, Caterite has grown to over 100 employees selling goods to other businesses around the Cumbria area. They supply hotels, restaurants, bars and other catering establishments with products ranging from cleaning supplies to fresh produce.
Caterite approached iWeb to redevelop their existing website using Magento eCommerce. Magento has become the industry leading eCommerce software. With its powerful capabilities, it was an ideal solution for Caterites’ large catalog of products and advanced platform integration.
Sanderson Swords is a software solution specifically designed for wholesale and Cash & Carry businesses. We developed a bespoke data integration between Magento and Sanderson Swords, enabling Caterite to manage all products, customers, stock, prices and promotions using their back office systems. This allows the website to always be synced with their back office system, allowing Caterite to update in real time without directly interfacing with Magento.
Building a B2B Magento eCommerce website often introduces an additional level of complexity. To purchase through the Caterite website you must be a registered customer. Those who wish to become members are able to complete a request for an account through the website. Caterite’s customers often have their own negotiated pricing which must be reflected when they login. Using our bespoke integration with Sanderson Swords we are able to display unique pricing for each customer.
Each customer has the ability to create sub accounts. These sub accounts can be used for different departments within their company. For example if a customer is a hotel owner they could setup sub accounts for the kitchen, bar and housekeeping. These sub accounts can then be allocated a limited set of products to order. The customer can manage sub accounts, as well as order on behalf of them.
Thanks to the advanced integration with Sanderson Swords we are able to pull out detailed information for products. Each product shows a stock indicator; if the item is out of stock customers can receive a notification for when more stock becomes available. We are also able to display nutritional and allergy information for each product. Unfortunately, Sanderson Swords does not allow for product titles longer than 128 characters. To overcome this we created a vanity name allowing for clearer title descriptions for each product.
Their new website is built using responsive web design allowing customers to browse an optimised version of the website on all devices. With a wide range of customers and sub account users, this is useful for reordering supplies when on the move.
As you start browsing products on the website new ones start to load underneath so there is no need to move to the next page for more results. On desktop computers the basket sits on the right of the website, following you down the page as you scroll. This allows the customer to always see what they have added to their basket, particularly useful when ordering a large number of products. Each product has a quick view option which initiates a pop up. This means customers can find out more information about a product without leaving the page and losing their position on the listing page.
Many people choose to search on eCommerce websites, especially with websites with a large and broad range of products such as Caterite. The built in Magento search often returns poor results. Implementing SOLR provides a fast and accurate search along with adding some extra features such as correcting spelling errors.
Magento allows you to sell lots of different combinations and types of products. This is useful for Caterite as they sell individual, multipack and weighted products. For example, fresh produce such as cheese and meats are charged by weight whereas tinned products are sold in singles and multipacks. If a customer does not require the full multipack they have the option to split the product. For example if a product is only available as a multipack of six, the customer can ask to just order two cans from it.
Customers have the option to create multiple shopping lists. These are groups of products they can refer to at a later date. This is useful for companies who change their orders over a year, for example seasonal menu changes. Customers are able to save these products to quickly order from in the future. Customers can add any product to any shopping list from the product listing page.
Items that have been previously ordered are dynamically collated into a category. This allows customers to quickly view the items they order regularly.
When a customer views the basket page they have the option to choose a delivery slot. Some products must be ordered before midday for next day delivery. If the customer chooses next day and are ordering after midday, products that are unavailable for this option will be highlighted. Customers also have the ability to add notes to each product. This is useful for allowing the customer to specify a certain cut of meat, size of cheese or quantity of fruit.
Most eCommerce websites take payment using a payment gateway during the checkout process. Because Caterite is trading to other businesses, payment is made via an invoice. This means we do not need to collect any payment information, billing or delivery addresses, allowing us to reduce the Magento checkout process to just a single step. Orders are added straight into Sanderson Swords for processing. The cost of some weighted items may be slightly different from the quoted price which is reflected in the invoice once the order has been processed. All invoices are sent back to Magento for the customer to view through their accounts area.
The customer’s account shows details of all their past orders along with options to contact their area manager, see their outstanding debt and request hard copies of invoices. Previous orders can be re-ordered with a simple press of a button.
We are continuing to work with Caterite, building a Magento multisite to incorporate their sister company, Grapevine.
Visit Caterite’s new Magento eCommerce website on mobile, tablet and desktop by visiting www.caterite.co.uk.
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