Shopify for B2B eCommerce? Part 1 of 2

from Pascal Nüesch at

Our constant analysis of existing and new eCommerce solutions on the market - in general and as part of evaluations for our customers - leads us this time to a representative that we know well from the B2C environment, but have not yet reported on. One that has become an integral part of the professional B2C world and is now knocking louder and louder on the door of the B2B world. We are talking about Shopify (Plus version). 

By the way, this is exactly the way Salesforce has gone in the past, trying to position itself in the B2B eCommerce world with a new solution - but in short, this only makes sense for customers with a complete Salesforce universe. Others, such as Emporix, take a different approach and offer B2B and B2C eCommerce on a modern MACH architecture in one solution, which is an exciting constellation for many companies.

But back to Shopify Plus - and why we took a closer look at this solution, which has often been ridiculed in the past from a B2B perspective.


We see in the market that many B2B companies want to open a new channel to a new customer group with a B2C store in one form or another. Their existing B2B solution is not flexible enough for this, with processes that are deeply integrated into the (B2B) ERP and not "marketing-like" enough. A lean, cost-effective B2C eCommerce solution should enable a quick start in the end-consumer world. The primary goal is to gain experience while ensuring scalability for later expansion stages.

In this deployment scenario, Shopify has already made it to our evaluation recommendation once in a balanced consideration of functional coverage, a good fit in terms of cloud-native SaaS, a flexible tech stack, and most importantly, a short time-to-market (including low project costs) and affordable licensing costs. In another case, we got to know Shopify in depth in a proof of concept by integrating a central, external business service from the implementation side.

And suddenly we are faced with the serious question of B2B eCommerce: Is Shopify Plus a valid candidate that we can recommend to our customers with a clear conscience in the evaluation case, or in the implementation case, that we can implement ourselves with manageable risk and the usual quality?

The "Shopify Plus B2B Series Resource Hub" offers a good and structured introduction to the Shopify B2B world for all interested parties and is also a convincing statement that Shopify has a lot of ambition here - with good videos and additional extensive FAQs:


This will provide you with information on the most important B2B features available and allow you to make up your own mind. The most important points for us are:

  • Domain-Model: Company-location-customer-catalog understanding and interaction
  • B2B Early-Login: Functionality, activation and effects
  • Location Selection: Initial selection for current shopping session & options for customization within checkout
  • Custom Shipping Address at Checkout: Enabling other addresses and data storage
  • Payment Terms: Creation and display of payment deadlines in the checkout
  • Payment Reminder Email: Management of reminder E-Mails
  • Order Submission: Submission of a draft order for review and follow-up processes
  • Order History: Ordering locations and further actions, dealing with “New Customer Accounts”
  • Reorder: Options for reordering, dealing with “New Customer Accounts”
  • Account Management: Editing profile settings, dealing with the “New Customer Accounts”
  • Vaulted Credit Cards: Store from credit card to location, using Shopify Payment as your payment provider
  • Quick Order List: Tabular listing of different product variants with direct add-to-cart option, insertion via product template, handling of original add-to-cart logic
  • Draft Order: Draft order handling - initiated by the customer or a sales rep through the Shopify backend, item reservation, sharing options.
  • Custom Product Assortment: Creation of specific product assortments via catalogs, includes and excludes, assignment to company locations
  • Custom Pricing: Flat-rate surcharges/discounts via catalogs, definition for individual products, price logic for multiple catalogs
  • Quantity Rules: Dealing with minimum/maximum quantity, definition of steps to increase quantity
  • Volume Pricing: Display of gradations, logic of graded prices

We have also been eagerly awaiting what Shopify has in store for B2B in its big annual of the Winter Edition 2024 announcement (late January):


Conclusion of the Winter Edition 2024 regarding B2B: The development and the resulting offer of Shopify is once again going in the desired direction, even if some things like the Trade theme for B2B are only an announcement for the time being, and only later it can be checked how good the thing really is (= whether the Liquid variant will be relevant for B2B at all - the only valid variant for B2B so far was the Headless variant with Hydrogen and Oxygen).

What has also developed well and is very positive for us are the expansion options: Even if certain functionalities in the storefront are not yet available as desired (hopefully they will come with the aforementioned trade theme), the APIs already allow for the development of the classic B2B use cases we have examined!

"Seamless" functionality can be integrated in an encapsulated form through your own apps (and it works brilliantly!).

In addition, there is the App Cosmos, which already offers a lot of "extra" in the B2B direction.

The interim conclusion sounds very good - but we wouldn't be diselva if we didn't go one step further. And that's what we'll do in the next post Shopify for B2B eCommerce - Part 2 of 2, where we'll look at how Shopify performs on some classic B2B key criteria. And draw an overall conclusion that goes beyond the functional requirements.

See you soon, happy eCommerce!

... and if you are currently facing an eCommerce evaluation and are wondering whether Shopify fits your requirements, just get in touch!


Pascal Nüesch

Chief Technology Officer & Partner