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  • Let you customers place and manage orders online
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  • Automate previously manual tasks, and much more!

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Combining B2C and B2B on Shopify to create a hybrid customer experience

Chris Mattingly, Co-Founder

April 4, 2022
Best Practice Guide
Combining B2C and B2B on Shopify to create a hybrid customer experience

One of the growing trends we see first hand is brands looking to combine both B2C and B2B within the same Shopify store. This means having a single website where both channels are managed simultaneously within the same Shopify store. This brings benefits such as a single place to manage content, the product catalogue, order fulfilment, and the general operation of the website. It can also bring commercial benefits, with a reduced overhead on licence and app costs, versus having to create two separate stores for B2C and B2B.

In this guide, we’ll run through how Shopify can be used in this hybrid context and what to look out for when deciding to separate out your B2C and B2B operation.

Making the case for a hybrid store

In one of our recent posts Implementing B2B on Shopify - should you create an additional store?, we highlighted the key factors that often justify separate Shopify sites for B2C and B2B. So what are the key factors that could allow you to combine them?

Notes Combing B2C and B2B
Catalogue You intend to share your product content for both channels
Content You intend to share the same content, e.g. landing pages, navigation
Stock You’re able to share stock between both stores
Storefront theme You intend to share the same look and feel across stores
Customers You intend to manage all customers within the same admin
Orders You intend to manage all orders with the same admin

That said, even if you do have slight variations in the product catalogue or content between B2C and B2B, it’s still possible to configure Shopify to manage both. In our guides below, we’ve detailed some common ways to do this.

For reporting and segmentation, Shopify has powerful built-in tools that easily allow you to differentiate customers, orders, and even analytics making it possible to manage both under the single Shopify store.

Understand the hybrid customer experience

When combing B2C and B2B within this hybrid setup in Shopify, it’s important to understand how the customer ordering user journeys work:

Channel Ordering User Journey
B2C Customers will arrive at your website, browse products, add items to their shopping cart, and then proceed to place their order via the checkout
B2B Customers will arrive at your site, login into their account, browse products at their B2B prices, add items to an order, and then proceed to place their order via their specific B2B payment terms (eg Payment on Account)

The combination of Shopify and SparkLayer lends itself beautifully to the above scenarios and you can even test this for yourself on our Demo Store.

What to look out for when combing B2C and B2B

Generally speaking, the hybrid setup is a great way for Shopify merchants to get started with both channels. As their B2B operation evolves and matures, there may become a point where it makes more sense to separate out B2C and B2B:

Area Details
Stock Perhaps you need more sophisticated ways to manage stock between both channels
Catalogue Perhaps you want totally separate products between both channels
Content Perhaps you want to tailor the content for B2B more heavily and it’s too difficult to manage under one Shopify store

The good news is that, even if you do need to separate out your channels, Shopify has plenty of ways to automate and streamline this.

Explore more

So there you have it; how to create a hybrid B2C and B2B ordering experience within Shopify. For more information about how to approach setting up B2B on Shopify, our team is always happy to help. Please feel free to get in touch with us to discuss your B2B needs.

To learn more about how SparkLayer works with Shopify, you can also explore via the links below:

Chris Mattingly

Chris Mattingly

Co-Founder & CEO, SparkLayer

Chris is an experience eCommerce specialist, co-founding UK eCommerce agency blubolt in 2006. For over a decade, Chris helped build and oversee their proprietary platform and worked with some of the UK's fastest growing retailers. At SparkLayer, Chris oversees the product strategy and - when he's not playing peekaboo with his daughter - enjoys staying active with golf, tennis, climbing, and hiking to name a few!
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