The two most common types of ecommerce websites are:
- Business-to-Consumer (B2C) – Designed for selling goods and services to consumers.
- Business-to-Business (B2B) – Used to build strategic relationships with other businesses and to ease the supply and procurement processes that characterize trade among those organizations.
Sites can have multiple roles, and a single site can provide several functions. Optimizely Customized Commerce is a B2C platform that allows you to integrate with external systems such as financial, customer relationship management, inventory, warehouse, and customer service systems.
A typical shopping flow involves interactions between a site visitor, Customized Commerce, and any integrated external system. You can automate the shopping flow to require minimal manual attention. If needed, you can monitor, access, and handle a purchase order manually from the Orders system.
The following example shows the actions and tasks of a B2C shopping flow.
- Cart created.
A customer does not need to register on the site to make a purchase. The order process starts when the visitor selects a product and adds it to a shopping cart. The systems creates and saves a cart (basket), which you can view in Order Management > Carts. If the customer does not complete the checkout procedure, the cart remains in the system for a specified time.
If the customer returns to the website, they can continue shopping with the cart. The system checks inventory, pricing, warehouse availability, and discounts for products each time.
- Start checkout.
The customer proceeds to checkout to begin the checkout process.
- Add address.
The system needs the shipping address, billing address, and preferred type of delivery (First class, Express, and so on). An anonymous customer can add the address information manually; a registered and logged-in customer can populate the address information automatically. You can also set up the system to split shipments and ship to different addresses.
- Add payment.
The system calculates the total, including purchase amount and shipping fee. The customer selects a payment method, such as credit card or PayPal, and the systems registers and verifies the payment. Payment can happen instantly or after a specified time, depending on how the payment process is set. You can also set the system to allow split payments.
- Order created.
One the payment is settled, the system creates the purchase order and gives it a number. The customer confirms the purchase and receives an order confirmation. The shopping cart becomes a purchase order with an In Progress statues in Order Management > Purchase Orders.
- Order processing.
Order processing checks the warehouse and product inventory status then creates the shipment. The system may split the products into multiple shipments, depending on inventory status.
- Shipment released.
Once the shipment is verified and released, the purchase order appears in Order Management > Shipping/Receiving with the status Released for Shipping.
- Add to picklist.
Warehouse personnel use a picklist to create the physical shipping of the order's products and produce a packing slip that is attached to the package.
- Order completed/shipped.
The system sets the order to Completed in Order Management > Purchase Orders and creates a shipment validation number with a tracking number. You can enter the tracking number manually or automatically if you have the integration. The tracking number connects the package with the shipping provider and tracks the package until it is delivered.
Completed orders are subject to a return or exchange. You can create returns automatically or manually by replacing a delivered product with another one in exchange, offering a payment refund, or both. The return displays in Order Management > Shipping/Receiving > Returns. The order status may be Awaiting Exchange.
Replacing a new product initiates the shipping procedure. If the return involves receiving a faulty product, the system initiates a procedure requiring a receiving receipt for the returned product.