Setting the scene
Saddleback has evolved from humble beginnings in a box bedroom, to one of the most esteemed names in Europe’s cycling industry. Led by a team of dedicated riders who share an obsession for the world’s finest cycling gear, the company boasts an impressive portfolio of industry-leading road cycling and mountain biking brands.
Since their launch in 2004, the Saddleback team have built an established network of quality stockists around the UK and Europe. These official stockists have access to an exclusive wholesale portal where they can view and purchase products at trade prices.
Back in 2019, we built an innovative B2B store for Saddleback’s European stockists, streamlining what was once a very clunky on-site experience for users.
Delighted with the site’s success, and impressed by the extensive capabilities of both our development team and the Shopify Plus platform, Saddleback turned to Swanky to help fulfil their B2B vision for UK stockists as well.
How Swanky helped
Today’s B2B buyer wants all the independence and flexibility of D2C ecommerce when placing orders online. They expect relevance and convenience at every stage of the buying cycle, with effortless buyer-seller interactions at each touchpoint.
With this in mind, our Shopify Plus Experts developed a brand new gated B2B store for Saddleback, giving their UK stockists access to a slick, streamlined ordering experience that reflects the premium nature of the products on offer.
Let’s explore some of the highlights of this new B2B site:
Custom pricing rules
Mirroring the tiered scheme used on the brand’s EU store, the UK site uses Shopify Plus’ tagging functionality to display custom pricing for different tiers of stockist (gold, silver bronze).
This provides a much more customised shopping experience for stockists, something that is becoming increasingly sought after amongst B2B buyers. Their buying journey is personalised according to the tier they’ve been allocated to – displaying relevant discounts and pricing from the moment they log in to the store.
Bespoke credit app
Beyond the native B2B functionality of Shopify Plus, our development team built a fully-bespoke credit app to deliver the extensive payment functionality the Saddleback team needed for their UK B2B store.
As part of the brand’s B2B offering, each Saddleback stockist is allocated a certain amount of credit. Upon logging into the site, the app makes it possible for users to view their credit availability.
As buyers add items to their cart, they will see their credit amount decrease accordingly. Then, when they reach the checkout, their credit balance is used to adjust the final payment required. By automatically applying any credit and giving an accurate payment total, users can enjoy a fast and easy checkout.
Streamlined high-volume ordering
When it comes to high-volume ordering, B2B buyers need a simple ordering process that isn’t time or resource-intensive.
On this new B2B store, Saddleback stockists needn’t spend time manually navigating to individual product pages to check availability, before adding items to their cart one at a time.
Instead, they can simply upload a CSV file containing a list of required products. They’ll then be directed to a ‘holding area’ on the store, which displays the items they’ve requested and shows whether these are in stock.
A useful add to cart option allows stockists to progress any available items to their basket in one go, providing a streamlined route-to-purchase.
Download product variant files
Similarly to D2C shopping expectations, B2B customers seek detailed information about the products they’re ordering. Going beyond product specifications, they want to be able to access specific pricing information and real-time inventory levels in a simple ‘self-service’ manner.
To make it as easy as possible for stockists to gather this sought after information, another useful feature we implemented on the Saddleback store is the ability to download a list of product variants available to them specifically (not all products are available to all stockists).
These data files display the extensive combinations of product variants in a user-friendly format. Information provided in these files includes product title, price (based on the tier that stockist is on for the product), quantity available, whether or not a product is discontinued, and when more stock will be available.
Alongside the development and implementation of complex and innovative technical solutions, this B2B project has also drawn on Swanky’s expertise in UX design.
The overall store design matches that of Saddleback’s EU B2B site, also created by Swanky, maintaining a sense of consistency across stores. Front-end aspects of the UK-specific functionality developed during this project have been designed in-keeping with this look and feel.
Matt Giles, Creative Director at Swanky, talks through these aesthetics:
“The B2B site is clean and striking, pairing a balanced use of gold, black and grey with well-considered whitespace. This colour palette, alongside a mix of serif and modern sans-serif fonts, conveys a sense of prestige for a modern, tech-savvy persona, and reflects Saddleback’s premium product offering.
Throughout, the aim of the design is to maintain simplicity and clarity for the stockist. Navigation, user journeys and key information are always communicated succinctly in both desktop and mobile environments, with an aim to let the user make multiple purchase decisions at a rapid pace.”
A B2B site to accelerate multi-channel growth
This new B2B site represents a combination of Swanky’s extensive Shopify Plus development expertise and UX-led creativity. Not only does the store encapsulate Saddleback’s position in the upper echelons of the cycling market with its premium aesthetics, it provides a streamlined, intuitive buying experience for stockists thanks to a number of technical innovations.
When it comes to the impact the new site has had on key ecommerce metrics, just one month after its launch, traffic had leapt up by 704% and sales had grown by 881%! Conversion rate remains above the industry average too, at 9.54%.
These impressive results contributed to the site being crowned B2B Website of the Year at the UK Digital Growth Awards in June 2021, with the judges praising the “significant” revenue accomplishments and “extraordinary” traffic growth.
Discussing his involvement with in the project, James Kam-Radcliffe, Lead Developer in Swanky’s New Builds department, said:
“It’s the most technical project I’ve been involved with in terms of the functionality that the client needed. It’s been a real challenge, but also one of the most satisfying end results. It’s always enjoyable creating solutions that go beyond the realms of what Shopify offers ‘out-of-the-box’”.
Saddleback’s UK B2B store is a key tool within the brand’s business armoury, which they can use to build strong and profitable trade relationships, and accelerate their multi-channel growth!
B2B ecommerce on Shopify Plus
Is your B2B store in need of a boost? Want to give your distributors a more streamlined ordering experience?
With Shopify Plus, you can provide stockists with a seamless ordering process on a password-protected, branded wholesale B2B store, complete with custom prices and B2B-only products.
Get in touch with our team today to find out how Swanky can transform your B2B offering!