IQMS has taken on several new exciting projects this year. As we kick off 2014, I'd like to preview the upcoming web shopping cart product IQMS is calling WebDirect B2C. This new product release will join our WebDirect line of offerings that includes our employee, customer and vendor portals. Many of our customers have seen or are already using the WebDirect B2B portal.
Let’s start by outlining that B2B stands for business-to-business and B2C stands for business-to-consumer. The name is somewhat descriptive of the difference between the two products, however there are some distinct differences in functionality. The B2B product is typically used for relationships where purchases by your customer can be made on account, on PO and/or for blanket purchases over multiple scheduled releases. In this case, you’ve already entered the user credentials and opened up access to the business user to enter the B2B portal prior to the user purchasing anything from the site and considerations such as customer-specific price breaks can be taken into account.
The B2C product is different in that it is open for anyone to create an account and make purchases with a credit card for single release orders. Additionally, the B2C product allows much greater flexibility to customize the user interface. In today's blog, I’d like to highlight five features surrounding the new B2C product: product architecture, credit card security, shipping options, content customization and EnterpriseIQ integration.
Securing a website is a complex topic itself, but rest assured that WebDirect B2C portal was built with security in mind. The shopping cart can be encrypted using SSL encryption and follows the strict PA-DSS credit card security standards. If the PA-DSS standards still don’t let you sleep at night, the system allows auto deletion of credit card data.
With WebDirect B2C, users may create a customer account during or prior to placing their order. The basic customer record, shipping, billing and contact information can be managed by that user. Upon placing an order, the credit card can be validated and authorized automatically resulting in sales order creation. Depending on the credit card merchant configuration within EnterpriseIQ, the transaction can be settled automatically during order placement or manually at a later point in time.
WebDirect B2C also has highly configurable shipping options, such as shipping to selected countries, integration with major carriers (FedEx and UPS) or simple flat rate charges. With the FedEx and UPS option enabled, the site can be further customized to restrict which carrier options are available to B2C users. For example, if you only wanted to ship via ground for the B2C site and not allow 2nd Day Air, the site could be set up that way.
One of my favorite features of the B2C’s shopping cart was an early design concept allowing a non web designer to customize content and the general look and feel of the website. With an Admin role, many pages of the site allow in-place editing through WYSIWYG editors. Menus, headers, sidebars and footers throughout the site can be modified in minutes to make the WebDirect B2C fit your enterprise's identity. For the advanced web developers, HTML of custom content regions throughout the site can be edited directly. Each product can be configured with multiple images, thumbnails, descriptions and EnterpriseIQ linked product documentation.
Additional integration can be done with the new portal, including quantity price breaks integration, document control integration that ensures that the latest revisions of any published documents are always available to your end users without any manual intervention and inventory level integration so levels can be instantly verified and updated to show out-of-stock indicators. With this new fully integrated shopping cart offering, IQMS holds true to a single source solution.