The Customers Groups section is the heartbeat of your SparkLayer integration and allows you to manage the ordering rules for your customers.
It's common for B2B customers to have terms agreed when they place orders with you. For example, brand new customers may only be allowed to pay via credit/debit card, whereas long-term customers may have more favourable payment terms. The Customer Groups section lets you define specific rules for specific customer groups, giving you flexibility in how your B2B customers order online.
By default, SparkLayer has a 'Base' customer group that is a catch-all for all your B2B customers. If you're looking to have just a single B2B customer group then the 'Base' group will be sufficient. Any changes you make will automatically apply to all your B2B customers unless you create new customer groups.
Understanding 'Inherit' When you see Inherit in a customer group you create, it means it will inherit the Base defaults. For example, if your Base is set to a specific price list or has specific payment methods, any new customer groups you create will start off by using these same settings. You can easily modify this by simply clicking the Edit icon and changing them as you need.
It's possible to configure the following rules
You can set order limit rules for your customers, such as the minimum order total they must reach before being able to place an order, and conversely, the maximum order total.
The payment methods that the customer will see when they checkout. For example, "Payment on Account" and "Payment by Invoice". See also Payment Methods
The Price Lists that are assigned to that customer group. For example, you may have different price lists per customer group
To configure order limits per customer group, click the Edit icon in the Order Limits column. If the customer group doesn't already have an order limit set, click Add new, select a currency and then the order limit values you want.
This is the minimum order total the customer must have before being able to checkout
The customer must have an order total of at least $200.00
This is the maximum order total the customer must have before being able to checkout
The customer must have an order total of no more than $400.00
Please note All order values are in net pricing (i.e. excluding tax calculations)
Once you've set this, when you access the Quick Order on the frontend, you'll then see corresponding messaging show on the My Order Interface
If you'd prefer to change the default language that is shown, you can use the below language strings.
You can specify what payment methods are shown for each customer group by clicking the Edit icon in the Payment Methods column. You'll then see the following options
Payment methods in Shopify
By default, when you set up SparkLayer on your Shopify store, unless you're using 'Upfront Payment', all orders created by customers will be generated as Draft orders within Shopify (learn about Shopify Draft Orders). One of the big benefits of using Draft orders is the ability to make changes before you then take payment and fulfil.
Payment by invoice
Payment on Account
Customers will be taken through the Shopify checkout
Request for quote
The order will be submitted as a "Draft" order which can subsequently be edited.
When the customer activates the Quick Order Interface, they'll see whichever payment methods are allowed and can then select as appropriate. You can also edit how these are named in Quick Order Interface.
Depending on which price lists you have set up in the Price Lists section, you can assign specific price lists to customer groups. Click the Edit icon in the Price Lists column and then choose the available Price List from those shown.
You can also assign multiple price lists to a customer group if you want to set up more sophisticated pricing. From the "Update Price Lists" screen, simply click "Add new" to select a price list.
In terms of pricing, if a product SKU exists in multiple price lists, SparkLayer will search through all available price lists and use the first one it finds.
New customer groups allow you to create different rules for different customers. When you create a new customer group, you'll see the following screen where you can enter a Display Name and a Handle. The Handle is a unique identifier that you can then use in your eCommerce platform (e.g. Shopify) to match with (see below for more details).
Remember, you need to always tag a customer with b2b even if you are assigning them to an additional customer group
For your Shopify store to recognise the customer rules you set up in SparkLayer, it uses the customer tag feature within Shopify. Once a customer in Shopify is tagged, when they sign into your Shopify store they will see their unique B2B ordering rules such as pricing and payment methods.
For the most simple set up, if you're using just the Base customer group, you can synchronise your customer rules with Shopify by simply tagging customers with b2b as shown below.
If you've set up additional customer groups, the process works as follows:
First, within SparkLayer create your customer group and give it a unique Handle, e.g. vip
Under the Shopify Tag column, make a note of tags that are shown. You'll note there is an additional tag to b2b, so in our example, the tags we want to note are b2b and b2b-vip
Find the customer record in Shopify and assign it the tags shown. So for our example below, if you wanted to assign them to the VIP group, you would tag them in Shopify with b2b and b2b-vip
Assigning customer groups Please note, you can only assign a maximum of two B2B customer groups to a customer in Shopify. If you're looking to assign multiple price lists to a customer, you can do so by configuring price lists.
To simulate a B2B customer on your store, you can configure a sample customer within your eCommerce store.
Edit or create a customer record First, within your Shopify Customers admin, find an existing customer record or add a new one.
Fill in all the form fields, including the address. It's important that an address is specified otherwise SparkLayer won't find the customer record.
Tag the customer Next, tag the customer with b2b
From within the customer record in Shopify, go to the Tags section and type b2b into the field. You can either choose from an existing tag, or add it as a new tag
Invite the customer If you're creating a brand new customer record, you'll need to click 'Send account invite' and then confirm the account once you've received the activation email (learn more here).
You'll then receive an email asking you to confirm your account by setting a password.
Login as a customer Finally, return to your website and visit the login page (e.g. www.yourstore.com/account) and enter your customer email and password. If you can't access this page, make sure you have customer accounts enabled (learn more here).
You'll then see SparkLayer load and you can browse your store as a B2B customer!
Inviting customers When you're ready to begin inviting your B2B customers to your Shopify store, you can easily manage this via the Shopify admin by following the process above.
Just as with a regular (DTC) customer, you simply need to create a customer record with their details. Or, if the customer already exists, you'll just need to update their information.
If you're looking to invite a set of B2B customers in one go, you can use third-party Shopify apps to streamline this for you. A popular option is Matrixify which has built-in tools to quickly create customer records and invite them.
Automating the approval process To further automate the process, it's possible to allow customers to "apply for access" on your store that you can then moderate before granting them the ability to place B2B orders. We've detailed some great options in our guide here.
Please refer to Data Sync to diagnose customer data.