TL; DR: Zoey, a B2B-focused ecommerce platform inspired by B2C, helps merchants drive online sales while streamlining the purchase process. No coding skills are needed to navigate the intuitive SaaS solution, saving users time and money on development. With a free trial period and seamless migrations, Zoey is putting the tools that wholesale businesses need to serve customers, salespeople, and marketers within reach.
In the ecommerce world, business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions lie on opposite ends of the same scale. Both facilitate sales, but the former often requires a logic-based approach, while the latter involves emotional appeal.
But, according to Josh O’Connell, VP of Marketing at Zoey, that doesn’t mean B2B platforms can’t have the same bells and whistles as their B2C counterparts.
“In terms of the technology available, B2B has unnecessarily lagged behind B2C for a long time,” he said. “There was a lot more investment in B2C up until the past two years, when a lot of companies finally began thinking about how B2C-centric technology could also work for B2B businesses.”
The team behind Zoey had the advantage of approaching the B2B market from a B2C perspective. After a foray into web development and hosting, the company found its footing as an ecommerce solution that delivered basic B2B capabilities on top of the open-source ecommerce platform Magento — which was at the time primarily a B2C platform.
“We started with a B2C focus but found our strength in B2B and wholesale technology,” Josh said.
Over the years, Zoey evolved into a sophisticated yet easy-to-use B2B and wholesale ecommerce platform. The intuitive solution, which requires no coding experience, helps merchants save both time and money while streamlining the purchasing process. Now with a free trial period and streamlined migrations, merchants can get up and running with Zoey both quickly and confidently.
A Comprehensive Solution That Saves Merchants Time and Money
Merchants may be able to access open-source platforms like Magento for free, but they still have to wrestle with the headaches and costs inherent in providing hosting, servers, and maintenance. With Zoey, users can free themselves from those infrastructure burdens.
Josh said merchants that sign up for a monthly subscription with Zoey are getting a truly all-in-one package. “We do all the hosting, support, technology management, and security updates, which enables our users to focus on the day-to-day operations of their businesses,” he said.
The company is an excellent fit for the midmarket customer that has built up an initial customer base and is ready to graduate to something more powerful. “That’s been the trend since day one,” Josh said. “We’ve always had a pretty robust solution set as reflected in our supported features — our goal is to support those who have successfully launched their online business and are ready for the next stage of growth.”
Josh said Zoey attempts to strike a careful balance between a guided SaaS approach and the flexibility of an open-source platform. “Given our company’s legacy of building on Magento, we firmly believe in allowing the customer to have a certain level of control and power,” he said.
That’s also why the company offers tools like its Visual Design Editor, which allows for easy site management and updates without prior coding knowledge. The tool unlocks design capabilities for those who might not be developers but still need to run their business on a day-to-day basis.
“Our midmarket customers often do not have a dedicated technology expert or webmaster on staff,” Josh said. “With Zoey, they don’t have to hire a third-party development company and pay them thousands of dollars a month to manage their website, yet they’ll still have flexibility and control settings if they want to do something specific.”
A Free Trial Period and Streamlined Migrations
Zoey’s free 14-day trial allows merchants to get familiar with the platform at no cost or credit card requirements. After that period, Josh said the company offers simple migration tools that enable users to launch their new store using information from their current store.
For example, users coming from the Shopify platform can automatically transfer information on products, product images, collections, customers, orders, invoices, and shipments into their Zoey store with the click of a button. Similar tools are available for customers transferring from Magento and BigCommerce. They are also compatible with Cart2Cart, which can carry over data from a variety of other common eCommerce solutions.
Customers who migrate from custom platforms can transfer information through a manual migration with the help of the platform’s bulk import and export capabilities. “Once the information is in our system, you’ll be able to configure your design, make sure it matches your branding, set up your payment methods, add custom shipping options — all standard ecommerce tasks,” Josh said.
Zoey offers a comprehensive guide to help customers create and manage their ecommerce sites, and in-person help is just a support ticket away. Josh said the company boasts an average one-hour response time.
“We’re a small team with a passion for making sure that our support is very strong,” he said. “Supporting other businesses is baked into our DNA.”
Driving Efficiency by Putting Merchants First
Zoey was built for the many roles involved in an ecommerce business to give customers an advantage over other B2B solutions.
From a marketing perspective, the platform allows users to maintain site promotions and generate informative reports using intuitive tools. Zoey’s sales tools empower merchants to send customers custom quotes, build orders, and track transactions within a single dashboard. And the platform’s customer service solutions provide the ability to set up a focused dashboard in which teams can be assigned specific customers.
For many of Zoey’s customers — especially those making the move from manual systems or EDIs — these tools offer unprecedented efficiencies. “The platform is designed to make it much easier for our customers to sell, and then with that extra volume, with that saved money, they can grow more quickly,” Josh said.
Josh said many companies are turning to SaaS software to expedite their startup processes. “We went to a B2B conference about 18 months ago and found ourselves sitting in the room with extremely recognizable companies, and a lot of them are experimenting with SaaS software as a way to get up and running faster because there’s less overhead required,” he said.
The platform’s built-in integrations with leading ecommerce apps, most recently including Fundbox, CartStack, and Avalara, also simplify the process — and Josh said updates are continuous.
“We know the core features that the B2B market needs and many of them were built into Zoey, but the brilliant part of SaaS is that we can release updates almost every day,” he said. “Some of them aren’t exciting, such as bug fixes, but we continue to rethink how B2B transactions can be facilitated more efficiently and work with our customers to launch new solutions.”
A Firm Commitment to Ongoing Improvement
To that end, Josh said customers are always welcome to request new features through the company’s support portal.
“Our customers are very much a part of the feedback loop — they help us understand what areas we can improve and implement impressive changes to our mutual success,” he said.
Josh pointed to one of the company’s newest features, Table View, as evidence of the effectiveness of those collaborations. The tool allows customers to see all versions of a product available in a table format, making it easier to enter quantities for each of the items.
For example, imagine a selection of T-shirts that come in different sizes and colors. With a standard B2C shopping experience, you might select a small red shirt and place it in the cart. But if you’re selling wholesale, you might want to add 10 small red shirts and 12 medium blue shirts, and put all of them into the cart at once.
“With Table View, you can type in all of the quantities and add them all to your cart in one shot,” Josh said. “We’re constantly looking at ways to streamline the ordering experience and really make it a pleasure.”
Zoey is also working on options for running B2B and B2C transactions on the same site. “That’s the holy grail — truly marrying the ability to place either type of order and segment your customers,” Josh said.