DEAR Inventory's B2B eCommerce Portal enables your customers to browse and order from your catalogue 24/7. You can watch a video tutorial on the B2B Portal or read this article.
The DEAR B2B Online Portal provides a scalable and flexible platform uniquely focused on companies doing business with each other. For example, manufacturers selling to distributors and wholesalers selling to retailers.
IMPORTANT! DEAR B2B Portal is excluded from the base DEAR Inventory subscription plan. Before you can create a portal, you must add DEAR B2B Portal licence to your subscription. Each portal requires a licence, e.g. to create two (2) portals, two (2) licences (or one licence for each portal) is required.
- Set up Contacts (Required)
- Set up Addresses (Required)
- Set up Locations (Required)
- Set up Accounts (Required)
- Familiarity with Processing a Sale (Recommended)
Table of Contents
- Setting Up a B2B portal
- Content Pages
- Email Templates
- Price Lists
- Accessing and Logging On to a B2B Portal
- Ordering through a B2B Portal
To begin setting up your custom B2B portal, navigate to Integration > DEAR B2B Portal. If you have not previously created a portal, you will be greeted by an empty Overview page.
Any portal you create will have its own Overview page displaying summary information on its sales and customers.
If you have two or more portals, summary information on the combined sales and customers of these portals are shown on the All Portals page.
Setting Up a B2B Portal
You may have several portals for different customers, each with different lists of products to sell.
To add a new portal:
- Click + to add a new shop.
- Enter a name for your portal. The name is appended as a subdomain and reflected in your store URL, which will be used by your customers to access the portal.
- Click Add. Repeat Steps 1-3 to add more portals.
NOTE: You can also specify a custom domain name for your portal, although this may require additional costs for getting a domain name from a registrar. See Custom Domain for Portal below for more information.
In this section, you can manage the settings and customise preferences for the custom portals you have added to DEAR Inventory. Select a portal from the top of the screen to change its settings.
Portal Name is the given internal name of the portal when it was first created. This is editable.
Your store URL is a link to your custom B2B portal. The URL can be changed at any point with Change Domain. Once changed, customers with the previous URL will no longer be able to access your store.
Is active allows you to activate/deactivate the portal. Once a portal is deactivated, your customers are no longer able to log in and browse your products. You may consider deactivating the account during maintenance of the product listings or any other changes being implemented.
Configure Custom Domain Name allows changing the domain name for the portal assigned when it was first created. When you click this button, a window appears where you can enter the new domain name. Click Change Domain Name to save the new name, otherwise click Close to cancel the change. When you change your custom domain name, current users and invitees to the portal before the name change will no longer be able to access the portal. You will need to notify users about the change or send invitations to existing users so they can access the portal using the new domain name, which is different from the custom domain name discussed in Custom Domain for Portal below.
Portal Type is set to B2B. In the future, once the planned DEAR B2C Portal functionality is in production, you should be able to select B2C using this setting.
Portal Contacts allows selecting your Company Contact’s details. These will be displayed in the portal's footer. Company contacts can be managed in Settings > Reference Books > Company Contacts.
Portal Address allows choosing the Company Address to be displayed in the portal's footer. Company addresses can be managed in Settings > Reference Books > Company Addresses.
Portal Location is one of the locations you have set up in DEAR to manage your inventory. Orders placed by customers via the portal will be automatically marked for fulfilment from this location, with the portal reflecting the stock quantity held in the location. However, the portal location can be changed when performing the Pick for the Order or in the Sale Order header. You can manage locations in Settings > Reference Books > Locations and Bins.
Sales Representative allows you to enter the sales representative you would like to associate with the sales orders generated via the portal. This is a text field.
Create Sale As chooses how sales created via the portal are automatically generated in DEAR. There are 3 options:
- Authorised Quote – does not reserve inventory and is a quote only.
- Authorised Order – reserves inventory for the order and is ready for the fulfilment steps Pick, Pack, Ship and invoicing.
- Authorised Invoice – reserves inventory for the order and is ready for the fulfilment steps Pick, Pack, Ship with customer invoice authorised and available for sync with your accounting application. If you are going to allow payments using a credit account, select this option.
Invoice Template allows selecting a template for invoice printing from the Portal. Templates can be managed in Settings > Document & Email templates.
Default Revenue Account is an account in your Chart of Accounts that will be used for portal sales. If left blank, product, customer or default account mapping will apply to sales generated via the portal.
Show Available Quantity lets you choose from three (3) options for showing remaining available item quantities to customers:
- Hide – the available quantity will not be shown.
- In/out of stock – the actual quantity will not be shown. Customers will only see In or Out of stock.
- Show Quantity – the available quantity for the product will be shown.
Family Price Format for product families specifies the order in which prices are displayed.
Products List Layout lets you choose the layout for how product tiles are displayed on the portal.
Price List Template lets you select a Price List Template for invoices printing from the portal. A basic Price List Template is selected by default. Templates can be created and managed in Settings > Document & Email templates.
Price Tier For Guest User lets you select the price tier for users accessing the portal as guests. Only available if Allow Guest Access is enabled. For more information, see Price Tiers.
Google Analytics Tracker ID lets Google Analytics users embed analytics tracking on all portal pages.
Tag Name for NEW Products allows selecting a default tag for new products in the portal's catalogue.
Show Extra Parameters lets you choose where on the Portal extra parameters will be shown.
Shipping Service lets you choose from either Manual Shipping Methods or Shipping Zones as your shipping service.
Minimum Order Amount allows you to specify the minimum amount for orders placed on the Portal.
RRP Price Tier refers to the product's retail price. This is set to Do Not Show RRP Price by default, meaning that the retail price will not be displayed on the Portal unless this is set to display a pre-selected price tier. You can change this to your preferred price tier in DEAR. Price tiers are configured in a product's details page in DEAR Inventory. For more information on price tiers, see Managing Price Tiers.
On All Orders page allows either All orders from all sales channels or only B2B orders on the portal to be displayed on the portal's All Orders page.
There are several settings in this section. All are disabled by default, except for Show Additional Attributes.
Allow backorder allows you to enable/disable back ordering if an order is placed through your B2B portal for an item that is not in stock. See Back Orders for more information on the backorder function.
Show product images in Shopping Cart allows toggling whether customers will see product images in the shopping cart. Only 10 images can be shown per product.
Show Price before Discount lets you choose whether or not the pre-discount price (if applicable) for an item is displayed crossed out next to the discount price.
Show tax percentages lets you choose to show tax percentages on the Checkout page.
Allow Customer to Access Portal When on Credit Hold lets customers on credit hold access the portal. This is disabled by default.
Hide Images in Product List lets you choose to hide images from product tiles in the product list.
Include Available Quantity in Price List lets you choose to show the Available Quantity column in your price lists.
Allow Guest Access lets anyone, even uninvited customers, to access the portal's Home page. However, only customers who have been invited and accepted their invitation can log in to the portal.
Show Deal Information on Shopping Cart Page lets you choose whether to show deal information in your customer's Shopping Cart on the Portal.
Show Additional Attributes lets you choose whether to show additional product attributes on the Portal.
Here, you can specify the URLs of your pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, among other social media platforms. These links will be added to the Follow Us section of the Portal.
Customers are able to sort the products in your B2B Portal based on the options defined under this section.
The available sorting options are:
- Product name (ascending): Products are alphabetically sorted by name in ascending order, e.g. A-Z.
- Product name (descending): Products are alphabetically sorted by name in descending order, e.g. Z-A.
- Price (ascending): Products are sorted by lowest to highest price, e.g. $1 - $100.
- Price (descending): Products are sorted by highest to lowest price, e.g. $100 - $1.
- Category (ascending): Products are sorted by categories arranged in ascending order, e.g. Category A to Category Z.
- Category (descending): Products are sorted by categories arranged in descending order, e.g. Category Z to Category A.
- Brand (ascending): Products are sorted by brands arranged in ascending order, e.g. Brand A to Brand Z.
- Brand (descending): Products are sorted by brands arranged in descending order, e.g. Brand Z to Brand A.
The default sorting option is Product name (ascending).
To add a sorting option, click the + button, select a sorting type from the list, then enter a name for the option. You may add as many sorting options as required.
To edit a sorting option, click either its sorting type or name, then select a new sorting type or enter a new name for the option.
To change the default sorting option, check the box under the Default column.
To delete a sorting option, click the X button to its right.
In this section, you can add the shipping methods available to your portal's customers.
To add a shipping method:
- Click + and enter the carrier's name, amount and mark the carrier as Active. If you have added shipping carriers previously, click Add All Existing Carriers instead, then enter the amount and mark each carrier as Active.
- To show shipping costs on the Portal, turn on Show Shipping Costs.
Tax rules associated with customer records in DEAR will be applied to the selected Shipping Method, and tax will be calculated accordingly in Sales Invoices.
Users/Stores are also able to set the estimated delivery date within the order information for Customers who place orders through the B2B portal. The Date field in the DEAR Sales Order can be used to set this requirement.
NOTE: At least one shipping method should be marked as Active before you can use a portal.
In this section, you can create all payment methods available for customers using your B2B portal.
To add a payment method, click +, enter a name and select a type for the payment method, then mark it as Active.
NOTE: At least one payment method should be marked as Active before you can activate the portal.
Custom Domain for Portal
Under this section, the required parameters for your custom domain name are set. These parameters include the custom domain name, the SSL certificate file in the .pfx format required for the Microsoft IIS server, and the SSL certificate password. Once these parameters are entered, click the Set Custom Domain to point your B2B Portal to your own custom domain. See Binding a Custom Domain Name to your DEAR B2B Portal for more information.
Disconnect a Store
Clicking Remove Store will completely delete ALL sales history and portal settings entered previously.
IMPORTANT! Do not use this option if you would like to only temporarily disable the portal. Instead, uncheck the Is Active box under General Settings.
In the Appearance tab, you can customise how your portal or portals look to your customers. You can upload your company logo, change the default shopping cart image with your own custom one, and change the portal colour scheme.
The portal shows your company logo. You are required to upload a logo before you can start using it.
To upload a company logo:
- Click Browse and choose a file to upload. The recommended size for the logo is 200 x 100 pixels.
- Click Save to complete.
NOTE: You are required to upload a logo before you can start using a portal.
Shopping Cart Custom Image
You can upload a custom shopping cart image for a portal through this feature. The recommended size for the cart image is 46 x46 pixels.
To upload a custom shopping cart image, click Browse, select the custom image from your computer, then click Save.
In case you decide to change the shopping cart image to the default one for all DEAR B2B Portals, click Restore Default.
In this section, you can further customise the appearance of your portal by changing the colour schemes of the Header, Custom Menu, Content and Footer areas.
To change the colour scheme, click an option, then either enter the colour's hexadecimal code or choose a colour from the palette.
The Navigation tab is where you set up navigation options to help your customers browse through a portal.
Navigation bars can either display existing Categories, Tags or Brands or they can be set up using a Custom Menu. Navigation bars for a portal are disabled by default. See Navigation Bars below for more information.
Page elements are used to further customise the look-and-feel of a portal. See Page Elements below for more information.
You may opt to use either horizontal or vertical navigation bars only, or both horizontal and vertical navigation bars on a portal. The horizontal bar will display options at the top of the B2B screen. The vertical bar will display options on the left side of the B2B screen.
You can also use a custom menu for a portal's navigation bar.
Setting Up a Horizontal or Vertical Navigation Bar Using Categories, Tags or Brands
Both horizontal and vertical navigation bars can display Categories, Tags or Brands.
To set up a portal's navigation bars based on categories, tags or brands:
- Under the Navigation tab, select Categories, Tags or Brands from the Horizontal and/or Vertical navigation bar sections.
- Click + Add Item to select from the chosen option in Step 1, e.g. if you selected Categories, select from among the listed categories. You may add as many items as you want.
- Click Save at the top to complete the operation.
Setting Up a Horizontal Navigation Bar Using a Custom Menu
The horizontal navigation bar can also be a custom menu. On the other hand, a vertical navigation bar cannot be a custom menu.
There are five (5) types of menu items that can be added to a custom menu:
- List of Products allows products from the catalogue that meet the set criteria to be displayed in the custom menu.
- Menu Item is ideal for use as a top-level menu item though it can also be used as a sub-menu item.
- Grouped Menu may contain several lists of products as well as a link. It can also be used to group items based on a title or name, e.g. Shop by Brands can be used as a title for a menu item showing a list of products grouped by brand.
- Link points to a hyperlink, for example, a product page which can be an internal page, or part of the portal, or an external page that is outside the portal.
- Title is available only if the upper-level menu item type is Grouped Menu – this is actually a type of Grouped Menu. It is not clickable but only appears as the Title (hence the name) for a grouped menu on a portal.
Below are some important considerations when using a custom menu for your portal:
- Except for menu items and grouped menus, menu types can be nested down up to three (3) levels.
- Menu items are draggable, allowing for easy editing of a menu tree structure.
- Menu styles are set up under the Custom Menu section of the Appearance tab.
To use a custom menu for a portal's navigation bars:
- Select Custom Menu from among the Horizontal Navigation Bar options.
- Click + Add Item and enter its name and select how it will be displayed on the menu, e.g. left-aligned, centred or right-aligned.
- By default, the new item will show a list of products. You can change this to a menu item, grouped menu or a link.
If the new item will show a list of products, proceed to Step 4.
If the new item will show a main Menu item with one or more sub-menu items underneath it, skip to Step 6.
If the new item will show a Grouped Menu, skip to Step 7.
If the new item will show a link, skip to Step 9.
- Click Add Products, then on the Add Products menu, select the parameter(s) that will be used to filter the products that will appear in the menu item. You may select one or more parameters from your categories, product families, brands, product tags or individual products.
- Click OK to save the product list.
- Enter a name for the menu item, then click Add sub-menu item to <New Item>, then define the sub-menu item itself as a list of products, another menu item, a grouped menu or a link.
To add a list of products, follow Steps 4-5 above.
To add a grouped menu, proceed to Step 7.
To add a link, skip to Step 9.
- A grouped menu comprises several menu items that are displayed as a group on the portal. Enter a group number and name for the grouped menu, then select a type, which can be another list of products, a title or a link. The group number indicates where on the portal the grouped menu will appear. For example, if you have two grouped menus, the menu with Group Number = 1 will be displayed as the first group on the left, with the menu with Group Number = 2 appearing to its right.
If the selected menu type is a List of Products, go back and follow Steps 4-5.
If the selected menu type is a Title, proceed to Step 8.
If the selected menu type is a Link, skip to Step 9.
- A title is a non-clickable menu item and is always shown above the grouped menu. For example, for a grouped menu showing a list of brands, you can have a Title menu item named Shop by Brands.
- A link is a hyperlink to a URL that opens a web page, e.g. a product page, when clicked. You will need to enter a URL for a Link menu item.
NOTE: DEAR does not check if an added hyperlink is broken. Thus, ensure that the hyperlink is working so that your customers can open the web page.
- Once you are done setting up your navigation bar, click Save.
NOTE: Menu items can be dragged and dropped into place after they have been added, allowing them to be repositioned into your desired order. In addition, in case you make a mistake when adding a menu item to a custom menu, you can delete the menu item by clicking the X button to the right.
This section contains four Page Elements which can be used to further customise the appearance of your portal.
By default, all of these sections are already selected for display on a portal, and the Menus & Catalogue page element is the only one that cannot be deactivated. To deactivate a page element, uncheck the box to the right of each element.
You can also add more page elements. To add a page element, click +Add Section and add a Name, select the Section Type and check the box to make the section visible to your customers.
There are three types of page elements available for selection:
- Group of Banners
- Tabbed Pane.
A carousel is a slide show of images appearing in a sequence. Recommended image size is 930x300px.
Once you have selected a Carousel element, click Link and then Select a file to upload an image.
You can then link the image to product(s) appearing on your portal. You can filter products based on Brand, Category, Product (select a specific product) or Tag, or you can enter a URL. Repeat this process for every image you would like to add to the carousel.
Group of banners
Group of banners is essentially a group of images that will appear next to one another on the portal.
Click Link to select and upload an image and then link the image to product(s) appearing in your portal. Filter product by Brand, Category, Product (select a specific product), Tag or URL.
A Tabbed Pane page element creates horizontal tabs which can be linked to Product Tags.
Once you have selected or added a Tabbed Pane element, click #Tag and enter a Title for the element and start typing the tag to be associated with the new tabbed pane.
Menus and Catalogue
This page element refers to the Horizontal and Vertical navigation bars (described above) which are managed from the Navigation tab. Although included by default, it is also disabled, meaning that you have to set this page element up before you can use it. See Navigation Bars above for more information.
In this section, you can manage various information pages you would like to include in the footer of your B2B portal.
By default, the following content pages are already available and can be customised from this tab:
- Terms and Conditions
- About Us
- Our Goal
- Login Information.
To customise an existing content page:
- Select a content page from the list on the right.
- Create and format the text, table or image content using the HTML Editor. You can copy and paste content from an existing website or edit directly in the editor.
- Click Save.
To add a new content page to the B2B portal footer:
- Click + Section.
- Enter a Page Title for the new content page and begin creating/formatting the text, table or image content using the HTML Editor. You can copy and paste content from an existing website or edit directly in the editor.
- Click Save.
The B2B Portal includes the following standard email templates that are sent to B2B portal users:
- Invitation to B2B – a standard email invitation sent to customers that contains a link to your B2B portal
- Invoices for orders – a standard email template containing invoices for selected orders pulled from the B2B Orders page
- Reset Password – a standard email template containing a link to the Reset Password page.
You can edit these templates from the Email Templates tab. The editor accepts HTML code so you can copy and paste content from an existing email template or edit directly in the editor. Once you are done editing a template, click Save.
In this section, you can show or hide products from appearing in the customer’s B2B portal view. Each portal can display a specific catalog of products; for example, if you maintain multiple brands, you may consider publishing products from a specific brand to a particular B2B portal associated with this brand.
NOTE: DEAR will remove script tags automatically from product descriptions and product family descriptions to increase security and avoid potential issues.
To change which products are visible in the customer's B2B portal view:
- Make sure the correct portal is selected before making any changes to the catalog listings.
- Search for the product to list or delist. You can also filter the products by Category, Family, Product Tag or Brand.
- Use either List or Delist to publish or remove the product.
- Click Save. Repeat the procedure to list/delist other products.
You can create custom Price Lists which customers will be able to download directly from your portal. Please note that price lists can only be downloaded by customers who are logged in, not accessing the portal as a guest.
You can create Price Lists for Brands, Categories, Tags or any combinations of these.
To add a new price list:
- Click + Add New Price List.
- Enter a Price List Name.
- Enter the Brands, Categories and/or Tags on the corresponding boxes, then click Enter. Repeat until you have added all preferred brands, categories and/or tags to the price list.
- Click Save.
The look of your template can be customised in Settings > Document & Email templates.
To view price lists:
- Log in to the B2B portal as a customer.
- Go to My Account > Price Lists.
- Choose the desired format for the Price List and download.
The Sales tab is a log of all Sales made via the portal. You may search for a sales order or filter the list of sales based on order status.
Use the Invitations tab to send an email invitation to individual customers or their designated sales representatives to create an account and order products from a portal. Customers and sales representatives must have a valid email address to receive your invitations.
You can check if a customer has a valid email address through the customer record, which is accessible from Sale > Customers. For sales representatives, you will enter a valid email address prior to sending them the invitation.
Send an Invitation to a Customer
There are two ways you can invite a customer to order products from a portal.
The first involves inviting your customers from the B2B Integration page. To do this:
- On the Invitations tab, all your B2B customers are listed by default. Search for the customer to be invited. You can also filter the records to show only those customers that you have not invited to the portal yet.
- Click the customer record, then Invite Selected.
Alternatively, you can invite a customer directly from the Customer record. To do this:
- Go to Sale > Customers.
- On the Customers page, only active customers are listed by default. Search for the customer to be invited, then click to open the customer record.
- Click Invitations, then click the Email icon to send the invitation to the customer.
Send an Invitation to a Sales Rep
Some customers prefer to use a Sales Rep to order on their behalf.
To invite a Sales Rep to your B2B portal:
- Click Sales Rep Invitation in the Invitations tab.
- Enter the Sales Rep's email address, then click Send the invitation. The Sales Rep will then be sent an invitation to sign up to the B2B portal, where they can make sales on behalf of any active customer.
Revoke Customer's Access to Portal
There are two ways you can revoke a customer's access to a portal.
The first involves revoking access from the B2B Integration page. To do this:
- On the Invitations tab, all your B2B customers are listed by default. Search for the customer whose access is to be revoked. You can also filter the records to show only those customers that have previously accepted your invitation to access the portal.
- Click the customer record, then Revoke Selected.
Alternatively, you can revoke access directly from the Customer record. To do this:
- Go to Sale > Customers.
- On the Customers page, only active customers are listed by default. Search for the customer whose access needs to be revoked, then click to open the customer record.
- Click Invitations, then click the Trash icon to revoke the customer's access to the portal.
Accessing and Logging On to a B2B Portal
Customers and sales reps access a B2B portal through the store URL reflected in the portal's General tab (see General l above).
If Allow Guest Access is Enabled
To access a B2B portal, customers and sales reps enter the store URL on a browser window. If the Allow Guest Access setting is enabled (see General Settings), they are then taken to its Home page, where they can view and browse through your catalogue.
Only logged-in users can shop for products on a portal. To log in to a B2B portal, users need to click the Login button on the portal's Home page, then enter their credentials.
If Allow Guest Access is Disabled
If Allow Guest Access is disabled for the portal (see General Settings), customers and partners will be taken to the portal's Login page when they enter the store URL on a browser window. They will then need to log in before they can view the portal's Home page.
Ordering through a B2B Portal
The B2B portal functions very similarly to any standard eCommerce platform, with a few additional features and functionalities tailored to B2B customers.
In the page footer, customers can access the Quick Order and Bulk Order functions. Products with multiple variants (size, colour) have a matrix table for easy selection of multiple variants in a single order. A maximum of 10 images per product can be viewed from the Products page.
Wholesale and retail prices, if available, are also viewable on the Products page. The retail price is taken from the RRP price tier, which is defined in the DEAR B2B General tab.
If a certain product deal is created to provide a discount for a certain quantity purchased, and if the user selects that product and checks out, a label is displayed below the Quick Order page's Quantity field mentioning the amount of items of the product the customer should buy to avail of the discounted price.
Information related to orders can be viewed on the B2B portal's Order Info page. Aside from the order number and other relevant order info, the delivery address, expected delivery date, tracking number, and carrier are also displayed on the page.
Once the order is finished and the customer goes through the checkout process, a sales task will be created which can be accessed through DEAR Inventory as usual. All sales transactions on a DEAR B2B portal are also logged on the DEAR B2B Integration page via the Sales tab for the portal (see Sales above).