Part 7 - Shopify B2B and Beyond

The current system at UC allows for a very limited and “creaky” B2B interface that does more damage to the company than good. When it does work, and that is on rare occasions, it’s a very painful interface that is cumbersome and not designed to sell at all. Most customers are put off by the entire interface as on more than 50% of occasions the orders are lost or don’t get emailed through to sales representatives. Inventory availability is also not reflected accurately on the system and is a constant thorn in the side of the sales tea.

At this stage, it isn’t known if it’s a software issue, badly set up, user error, or a combination of everything. But needless to say as an urgent priority this interface needs to be fixed, updated, completely replaced or permanently removed.

All branches are also wholesale outlets, but none of the outlets have a point of sale (POS) system, and other than basic bank EFTPOS facilities, and a petty cash tin for cash, transactions of almost $25-45,000 are put through a month that really requires better than one “cash account”, that is almost always unpaid, which for a cash account is a major problem and impossible to reconcile.

Key Requirements

As this has become almost a point of embarrassment for a company of this size, it was deemed either a suitable solution be found or the entire venture into online ordering be discarded altogether.

The major areas that needed to work seamlessly are as follows:

  1. An interface that never goes down (due to server problems, the system simply not working, user issues and poor support, incorrect setup)
  2. Accurate stock reflection on the online B2B interface
  3. Professional interface that is intuitive to use, as well as best in class in its field for user experience.
  4. Integrate with DEAR Inventory solution seamlessly.
  5. Integrate with eBay in the need to dump excess stock with ease.
  6. Have a point of sale system as well as other payment gateways that allow customers to pay in multiple ways. The more payment options the better chance to get paid.

Shopify Unlimited

The world leader in e-commerce shopping solutions was chosen to replace the current system, as it addressed all of the issues that UC was experiencing and much more. The fact that Shopify seamlessly integrates with DEAR pulling stock levels and if needed, being able to choose excessively stocked products you want to push into eBay to sell quickly.

The customer experience and feedback from such a simple to use system was the validation of the system in general.

Further to this being able to reconcile the cash account, and pull actual reports of what was sold, who sold it, and if needed, online tracking of shipments from web orders, lifted the service level of the organisation in leaps and bounds. The sales team also received orders quicker and more accurately. Processing of information was so much easier with orders being pushed from Shopify for approval in DEAR, ready just to be authorized then picked, packed and shipped when ready.

The time saved in customers using the online portal as opposed to ringing or faxing in is estimated at around 6 hours a week, which is a significant amount of time, freeing sales teams to focus more on marketing and new customer acquisition.


It was decided to go with the unlimited package for $179 per month + the $40 a month Retail package (for POS), a one-off POS hardware package was purchased for each branch for $1,900.00. This included an iPad stand, barcode reader/scanner, receipt printer and a cash register. A further $500 was spent on an iPad for each branch.

The total ongoing cost for a hassle-free system is $219 per month.


Shopify is such a massive improvement from the current system, the improvements that have been quantified so far are only scratching the surface of the benefits of such a powerful system.

The fact that for every salesperson six (6) hours of their work time has been freed up, pays for the system 20 times over each month. Enough said!

In the final part we look at HR:

Part 8 – Employment Hero

Previous posts in this series:

Part 1 – Case Study – Import/Export Wholesale Business

Part 2 – Inventory Management

Part 3 – How did DEAR Solve UC’s Stock Problems?

Part 4 – Debtor Management system – Ezycollect

Part 5 – Invitbox – Data Entry “Time Saved is Money Saved”

Part 6 – Capsule CRM – Managing Interactions


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