Solvay is a Trailblazer

Solvay is doing big things growing small-volume sales.


25,000 Employees


Site launched on Community Cloud in two months


As a global expert in chemical materials, Solvay finds solutions for businesses of all sizes.

Solvay develops chemical materials to perform highly specific jobs, like plastic car parts that work in demanding temperatures. With more than 25,000 employees in over 60 countries, Solvay generates annual revenue around €11 billion. Solvay’s customers are typically large manufacturers, but smaller customers need materials, too. Solvay wanted to find a way to serve them well.

Inside sales needed to move to digital tools to serve smaller companies efficiently. We did this by quickly building an ecommerce solution with Salesforce B2B Commerce.”

Georges Houtappel | Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development

By serving small companies more efficiently, Solvay makes a big impact on revenue.

When smaller customers need specific high-performance materials, they usually order off the shelf. However, it’s a very complex shelf. Solvay’s sales team must spend time on the phone helping low-volume buyers figure out the right material and then taking single orders, often through a series of emails. It’s time-consuming for both buyers and sellers.

Though Solvay tried B2B ecommerce platforms, like, sales were disappointing through trade sites. Customers need lots of information about Solvay products and how to apply them before they decide to buy. Salesforce had just the solution Solvay needed.

Solvay started small and scaled.

To find a scalable way to serve small-volume customers well, Solvay carefully researched its customer journey. Smaller companies (under €1 million in revenue) need technical background information, help to narrow down choices, confidence in the supply chain, and reliable delivery of compliance documents.

Instead of starting an ecommerce platform from scratch, Solvay started small with Salesforce Community Cloud to test communication methods with customers. That led to a pilot deployment of Salesforce B2B Commerce in Europe, where it served about 600 small-volume customers. Solvay was already on Sales Cloud, so the familiarity made testing innovations relatively painless.

Solvay also deployed Marketing Cloud to promote the pilot portal and deliver proven campaigns originally developed for large-volume customers.

A self-sufficient customer is a satisfied customer.

The Solvay team appreciated the agility of Salesforce tools. Salesforce allowed Solvay to actively involve users in a process to build, test, and improve its system. This solution fostered self-sufficient customers, who appreciated the 24/7 self-service system, the ability to track their orders, and access to resources that helped them choose the right materials.

More than half of Solvay customers have already switched to the ecommerce system. Solvay believes that responding promptly to user feedback has contributed to 56% adoption so far.

The customer feedback in Solvay’s ecommerce portal says it all.

The reactions to the new system were encouraging:

“The portal is easy to access and navigate.”

“The extended product list and using the new order sample/request quote features is a good additional feature.”

“The information is clearly presented, easily understandable, navigation makes sense."

“Your new site is beautiful and innovative. Thank you so much!”

The numbers tell an even bigger story of success.

With Salesforce, Solvay achieved:

A speedy launch of initial pilot: 2 months for Community Cloud, 4 months for B2B Commerce

Fewer demands on inside sales from small-volume buyers

€2–3 million per month in sales through the ecommerce channel

100 touchless ecommerce orders per month that used to require personal attention

339 satisfied ecommerce customers after six months’ experience

A clear path to a scalable solution for growing small-volume sales worldwide

Solvay keeps scaling its success.

Solvay committed to expanding its B2B Commerce solution. The Solvay team anticipates that more and more small-volume customers will adopt the ecommerce sales channel as it improves and rolls out globally. Solvay is proving that you can do big things with small-volume sales.

Explore the products that are helping Solvay grow.



Unify the buyer experience with Commerce Cloud.


Give your sales teams the power to close deals like never before with Sales Cloud.


Give your sales teams the power to close deals like never before with Sales Cloud.

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