B2B eCommerce strengthens personal relationships for SalonCentric
SalonCentric’s local beauty supply stores and sales reps need a customizable platform that fits their business — and Adobe Commerce delivers.
Allow for unique pricing structures across a wide-array of products
Allow store-specific admins to create unique storefronts
Migrate State|RDA stores to the new platform
Supported over 100 unique pricing structures
Managed 15,000 SKUs across 90 unique inventory sources
Trained 180+ store-specific administrators to easily create unique store experiences
The personal touch
For SalonCentric, a subsidiary of L’Oreal, the business of distributing salon professional products to beauty professionals is deeply rooted in personal connections. Across much of the Midwest, sales representatives for State|RDA, SalonCentric’s subdistribution channel, go out on the road to meet with stylists to fill orders and provide information on new products and continuing education opportunities.
There are over 90 individually owned retail State|RDA stores, with sales reps putting in hundreds of miles of travel to serve as a vital lifeline to their customers. But many of those reps were still running their business off of paper binders. SalonCentric’s two-person digital team aimed to build a new omnichannel strategy that could serve all their State|RDA stores and strengthen personal relationships with customers.
SalonCentric teamed up with Rightpoint to tackle the challenges necessary to meet that goal. The local knowledge and deep customer relationships that make State|RDA successful also made the job of building out a B2B e-commerce platform more complex. Each individual store has its own inventory and a defined territory, and each would need its own storefront. Sales reps and customers would need to have different account permissions, and the platform would need to calculate buyer- and product-specific tax rates. And many customer salons were in rural areas with unreliable internet access.
But the move to a digital platform was a must — not just to improve the day-to-day customer experience, but to establish SalonCentric and State|RDA as modern partners for the digital age.
“State|RDA sales reps are much more likely to be considered industry experts when they can offer a well thought out digital footprint.”
Director, eCommerce & Digital Marketing at SalonCentric
Looking for room to grow
One of the biggest challenges SalonCentric and Rightpoint faced was finding a solution whose costs wouldn’t linearly scale with operational margins. SalonCentric ultimately plans to roll out separate sites for all of its State|RDA stores, and on many platforms, the escalating costs would have been prohibitive.
SalonCentric previously built their B2B site using Magento Commerce 1. They knew they wanted to move their site to the cloud, as well as benefit from more B2B-specific functionality, so Rightpoint helped SalonCentric replatform to Adobe Commerce. SalonCentric liked the fact that the cost of Adobe Commerce doesn’t increase exponentially as a business grows and becomes more profitable, and that you can run multiple websites on a single Adobe Commerce instance, each of which can be stamped and managed universally. SalonCentric deployed Adobe Commerce hosted by Adobe in the cloud to reduce infrastructure and management overhead.
Rightpoint also developed a number of customizations and integrations to help SalonCentric make best use of Adobe Commerce. They created a custom credit card API and built sales rep front-end ordering capabilities and multi-inventory sourcing. The platform was integrated with Zendesk for customer service chat and MD Pro Systems’ SIMS ERP system.
New ways to connect
With Adobe Commerce, State|RDA sales reps can now work beside customers to build shopping carts and requisition lists — or give them the autonomy to handle ordering for themselves. Adobe Commerce can also enable customer collaboration and engagement that goes beyond the sale: Reps can educate their customer base with industry-specific articles and embedded informational videos in product detail pages. SalonCentric plans to eventually include informational material on the site for every product they sell.
“Today, sales reps are utilizing Adobe Commerce not only as a sales tool, but as a business building and resource tool! We are now able to get a clearer look into conversions and ordering and service trends, which allow us to improve on this already beautiful foundation.”
Director, eCommerce & Digital Marketing at SalonCentric
But most importantly, Adobe Commerce provides a platform that allows SalonCentric to maintain a unified look and feel for multiple websites. Storefronts don’t have to be updated individually, but each can still have its own unique product assortments, inventory, and pricing.
Individual State|RDA stores have been eager to make use of the new B2B platform. Already 55 have signed up, and SalonCentric will be able to run 200 stores altogether from a single Adobe Commerce instance. Master store admins can easily launch new regions, new teams, and new catalogs across the distributor organizations, creating and maintaining launch templates; they can also train other admins who can easily administer the site for their location.
Ultimately, State|RDA’s new e-commerce platform will be able to support over 100 unique pricing structures and more than 180 store-specific administrators. Adobe Commerce will make it possible for State|RDA to manage 90 unique inventory sources and over 15,000 SKUs.
A solid foundation for growth
Today, SalonCentric is busy rolling out websites for all of its State|RDA stores. What lies ahead? One near-term goal is to create a loyalty program that could span multiple stores, along with a State|RDA credit card that could earn reward points for customers.
Phillip Jackson, Rightpoint’s Chief Commerce Officer, sees Adobe Commerce as the key to that future. “There truly is only one e-commerce solution that’s open and powerful enough to drive the future of all of SalonCentric’s and State|RDA’s needs over many years,” he says.
“Adobe Commerce allows you to grow into a whole realm of other possibilities and create a virtuous cycle.”
DChief Commerce Officer, Rightpoint