The two most common types of e-commerce 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. Episerver Commerce is a flexible platform allowing for seamless integration with external systems such as financial, CRMCustomer Relationship Management; a system for managing interactions with current and future customers, including support for sales, marketing, customer service and technical services., inventoryCommerce: The process of checking product availability in one or more warehouses; or, a complete list of items such as property, goods in stock, or the contents of a building., warehouse, and customer service systems.
A typical B2C shopping flow involves a number of interactions between a site visitor, Episerver Commerce, and any integrated external system. You can automate the shopping flow so that it requires little manual attention. But if needed, you can monitor, access, and manually handle a purchase orderCommerce: An order that has been registered and paid for. Typically, it has an associated purchase order number. from the Orders system.
The following example shows a B2C shopping flow and the actions and tasks involved.
- Cart created.
In the shopping flow example, a customer does not need to register on the site to make a purchase. The order process starts when the visitor selects a productCommerce: various forms of merchandise that you can display and purchase from the public site, including products, variations/SKUs, bundles, packages and dynamic packages. and adds it to a shopping cartCommerce: A collection of products selected by a website customer, with the intention of completing a purchase. Also known as a shopping cart or basket.. A cart (basket) is created and saved in the system, and is viewed in Orders > Carts. If the customer does not complete the checkoutCommerce: Completing a purchase on a website, involving the collection of shipping and billing address, shipping method, payment, and so on. procedure, the cart remains in the system for a specified time.
If the customer returns to the website, the cart is available for continued shopping. Already, in this early step, the system performs inventory and pricing checks for warehouse availability and discounts for products in the cart. These checks are updated if the customer returns to the cart.
- Start checkout.
When the customer completes the purchase and proceeds to checkout, the first step of the checkout procedure is initiated.
- Add address.
The shipping and billing address information is added together with the 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 also can set up the system to split shipmentCommerce: A shipment that comes from more than one warehouse, or cannot be fulfilled at the same time.s and ship to different addresses.
- Add payment.
The paymentCommerce: the verification of a money transaction in a website shopping situation. The e-commerce system most often needs a verification for a payment to create the actual purchase order and complete the shopping workflow. is added to the purchase orderCommerce: An order that has been registered and paid for. Typically, it has an associated purchase order number.-to-be. The system calculates the total, including purchase amount and shipping fee. The customer selects a payment method, such as credit card or PayPal. The payment is registered and verified. Payment can happen instantly or after a specified time, depending on how the payment process is set up and the solution type (B2C or B2B). You can also set up split paymentCommerce: Remittance that is divided by either time (such as a subscription) or by different receivers (if you check out a cart with products from more than one seller).s, if the system is configured for this.
- Order created.
Usually, the purchase order is created in the system when the payment is settled. In the last checkout step, a purchase order number is created, the customer confirms the purchase, and an order confirmation is sent to the customer. The shopping cart is converted to a purchase order, which is visible with status In Progress in Orders > Purchase Orders.
- Order processing.
After the order is created, order processing starts to check the warehouse and inventoryCommerce: The process of checking product availability in one or more warehouses; or, a complete list of items such as property, goods in stock, or the contents of a building. status for the products in the order, and creates the actual shipmentCommerce: a collection of products from a purchase order, ready to be shipped after going through inventory check and other verifications.. Inventory status for the products may split the order into more than one shipment.
- Shipment released.
After the shipment is verified, it is released. The purchase order now appears in Orders > Shipping/Receiving with the status Released for Shipping.
- Add to picklist.
Warehouse personnel use a picklistCommerce: The list used in a warehouse to collect the physical items for a shipping. to create the physical shipping of the order's products, and produce a packing slipCommerce: A paper slip with order information that is attached to the physical package during the shipping procedure. that is attached to the physical package to be shipped.
- Order completed/shipped.
After the system creates picklists with different orders and their respective packing slips, the order is set to Completed by creating a shipment validation number that is associated with a tracking numberCommerce: Used to track the shipment of orders.. You can enter the tracking number manually, or automatically if such an integration exists. The tracking number connects the physical package with the shipping provider for the delivery, and tracks the package on its way to the delivery address. The purchase order appears in Orders > Purchase Orders again, with status Completed.
Only completed orders are subject to a returnCommerce: manages exchanges and refunds for faulty products. or exchangeCommerce: replacing a faulty product with another one.. You can create returns automatically or manually by replacing a delivered product with another one in exchange, or a payment refundCommerce: A payment returned to a shopper due to a faulty product delivery or other reason., or both. When you create a return, it appears in Orders > Shipping/Receiving > Returns. Order status may be Awaiting Exchange.
If the return involves replacement of a new product, the shipping procedure is initiated again. The return also may involve receiving a faulty product, in which case a receiving procedure is initiated involving the acknowledgment of a receiving receipt for the returned product.