Blended and dedicated stores on B2B
Before setting up B2B on Shopify, it's important to decide whether you want to open a blended store or a dedicated store. Certain features might not be able to differentiate between B2B (business-to-business) and DTC (direct-to-consumer) orders, resulting in indiscriminate customer notifications, changes to orders, and reports.
Review the following comparisons between a blended store and a dedicated store.
A blended store is a store that accepts both B2B and DTC orders. In a blended store:
- By default, B2B customers can't use discount codes. However, activating discount codes allows both B2B and DTC customers to use them.
- By default, B2B customers can't use gift cards. Activating gift cards allows both B2B and DTC customers to use them.
- By default, B2B customers aren't affected by Shopify Scripts that affect line item discounts. Activating Shopify Scripts affects both B2B and DTC customers.
- B2B and DTC customers have the same online store experience by default. If you want to customize the online store experience for B2B customers only, then you can use the
customer.b2bliquid variable in the theme editor or edit your theme’s code. Learn more about adapting your theme for B2B.
- B2B and DTC customers can log in with new customer accounts using the same login page.
- Most analytics combine results from both B2B and DTC customers, except for sales reports which differentiate between the two.
- Notifications and abandoned cart emails are the same for both B2B and DTC customers.
- Inventory systems and selling when out of stock settings are the same for both B2B and DTC customers.
- Shipping settings and rates are the same for both B2B and DTC customers.
Using a blended store allows you to manage all your business data in one place without the need to differentiate between B2B and DTC customers. However, if you require different settings for your customers, then consider opening a dedicated store.
A dedicated store is exclusively used by B2B customers. In a dedicated store, you can create settings specific to B2B customers without requiring code modifications. Here are the changes you can make in a dedicated store:
- activate discount codes
- activate gift cards
- activate Shopify Scripts that affect line item discounts
- customize your store's theme and navigation settings
- obtain analytics reports that only include B2B customer information
- customize notifications and abandoned cart emails for B2B customers
- use different inventory systems or selling when out of stock settings
- use different shipping settings and rates
- use new customer accounts
Using a dedicated store allows you to segment inventory and business data between your B2B and DTC stores. You can use scripts and discount codes exclusively for B2B customers. However, opening a dedicated store for B2B requires creating a new store, setting up any existing integrations, and managing dedicated store settings separately. If you don't need to differentiate between B2B and DTC customers, then a blended store might be more suitable.