Godiva’s corporate business spans multiple industries, including automotive, legal, financial, retail, technology, and pharmaceutical. In 2014, the 90-year-old Belgian chocolatier decided to leverage Commerce Cloud’s B2B capabilities to deliver a more tailored experience to its corporate clients, resulting in the successful launch of 78 microsites and an ambitious corporate gifting plan.

Godiva’s decision to invest in its online buying capabilities was inspired by the tremendous growth of B2B digital commerce in the U.S. over the past few years. According to one research firm, the B2B market is expected to top $1 trillion by 2020. This growth is driven mostly by a shift in buying behavior, as corporate executives gain access to the same easy-to-use, intuitive online shopping experience that B2C consumers enjoy.

To be successful, B2B digital commerce requires a unique set of capabilities layered on top of the merchandising, marketing, and management foundation of B2C ecommerce.

Commerce Cloud includes these B2B-specific features, including price books per account, restricted login access and permission controls, and complex checkout options. It also provides support for a B2B customer-centric user experience, including large order sizes, batch uploads, restricted item availability, and the ability of sales representatives to take orders on behalf of business clients.

Before Godiva launched its B2B microsites, customers had to enter orders into a spreadsheet submitted to Godiva customer service teams, who then manually entered orders. This was resource-intensive and created “a lot of room for human error,” said Erin Darden, who works in direct corporate sales at Godiva. She says the process, while simplified, still has room for improvement.

 
 

[Commerce Cloud] automation allows our account managers to manage and generate more corporate accounts [and] tailor the content on our microsites based on the market, season and customer needs.”

Erica D'Aloia | Ecommerce Manager at Godiva

Godiva’s corporate gifting program was a perfect fit to move online. With a dedicated microsite for select accounts, Godiva business customers are able to place their orders directly on the site and send gifts to a large volume of recipients with various addresses through a single order, year-round.

For example, an auto dealer may want to send gifts to each individual who bought a car last month. The interface is optimized for large split shipments, and volume discounts are automatically applied to larger orders.

“The automation allows our account managers to manage and generate more corporate accounts,” said Erica D’Aloia, ecommerce manager at Godiva. “The other piece is being able to tailor the content on our microsites based on the market, season, and customer needs.”

 

For Godiva, extending the B2B capabilities of its existing commerce platform made sense, as the company can leverage the source code, changes, and customizations made to its primary B2C site. That’s a key benefit, considering the small size of its team.

While corporate clients appreciate the ability to place large, sometimes complex, orders directly, Godiva acknowledges it has had to invest time training its clients, particularly on batch uploading. The company (which, as a private enterprise, does not disclose sales or growth figures) plans to refine and expand its B2B program well into the future.

 
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