Visionary Technologies has become a market leader in New Zealand for LED lighting technology, which it sells to business customers such as architects, electric trades, and similar. Together with their implementation partner, Typed Development, they used Medusa to deliver a new digital commerce experience for their B2B customers, creating a frictionless buying journey without intermediaries while automating their backend operations.
Simplifying the customer journey
Visionary develops, manufactures, and markets all its LED products in-house from its production facilities in New Zealand. Since its inception in 2012, the company has been at the forefront of providing high-quality lightning products at a fair price. Their competitive pricing has been made possible by their decision to forego wholesalers, which is a conventional industry practice.
With Medusa, the company has been able to automate manual buying processes that were otherwise handled by their sales team and go directly to their B2B customers. The result has been a simplified customer journey with a shorter time-to-market while freeing up time for the sales team to acquire new customers instead of handling orders.
Advanced commerce needs
As with many B2B-focused webshops, Visionary had additional requirements to their commerce backend aside from handling traditional commerce tasks such as products, carts and checkout, orders etc. Specifically, they required:
- Unlimited Product variants: The store should be able to support products with up to 300 variants, all with different prices, product pictures, etc.
- Customer login and authentication: The store should only be accessible for authenticated users of companies Visionary works with.
- Multiple employees per customer: Each B2B customer has multiple employees associated with them who all need to be able to purchase on the platform on behalf of their company.
- Special pricing and discounts: Visionary wanted a loyalty engine where customers earn discounts and special benefits based on their spending levels.
- ERP synchronization: Upon order completion, Medusa needs to synchronize orders with Visionary’s ERP system for order production and fulfillment.
While exploring available options, Typed Development quickly realized that most SaaS ecommerce solutions did not offer the required flexibility for the job. Instead, they adopted Medusa’s commerce modules, giving them the right commerce logic to get started quickly and the flexibility to meet Visionary’s custom requirements.
“We spent 3 to 4 days tweaking Shopify to handle our product complexity with little luck. Afterwards, we went to Medusa and within 3 hours we had one of the most complex variants set up, and using the Next-starter we had a basic store going within half a day.
Founder of Typed Development
Linking customers and companies
Visionary wanted the employees of their B2B customers to be able to handle purchasing on their own in the online store. This would allow Visionary's sales representatives to devote less time to handle customers' manual orders and instead focus on acquiring new customers. Additionally, existing B2B customers would enjoy a more seamless purchasing experience, enabling their employees to complete orders online easily.
To allow employees of B2B customers to make direct purchases, Typed Development has added an employee layer to Medusa. This ensures employees are associated with their respective companies when logging into the store. Once logged in, they can browse products and make purchases on behalf of their company. After an order is placed, the order information is sent to a custom ERP system for production and fulfillment. In this setup:
- Employees own carts, which allows them to create orders.
- Companies own orders, which means they handle payments via invoices upon order completion.
Aside from the employee account, each company has admin accounts that, aside from creating orders, can add new employees and view all order and billing information.
Building a custom loyalty engine for Medusa
Visionary wanted to reward loyal customers based on their online spending. To support this, Typed Development built a loyalty engine using Medusa’s Pricing Strategies, which allows them to override and discount prices based on the customer group to which the customer belongs. This way, Typed Development could group customers into loyalty tiers based on spending, with each tier having certain product discounts associated with it.
The custom loyalty engine itself consists of two primary tiering mechanisms:
- Upgrade tier: This tier is determined by accumulating all customer spending to determine their loyalty tier. When a certain spending level is reached, the customer is upgraded to a new tier with better discounts.
- Retainer tier: This tier is determined by customer spending in the past 12 months. Customers must meet a minimum spending threshold during the period to stay in their current tier. This prevents customers with low or no spending from remaining in their tier. The spending for the retainer tier is reset when a customer reaches a new tier.
This loyalty engine has created a transparent discount system that is fully automated to control the different discount tiers of each customer.
Towards full automation
By the end of 2023, Visionary expects to handle over 1,000 monthly orders through Medusa. With its B2B ecommerce foundation already in place, the company is now focused on digitalizing and automating even more of its processes.
Order fulfillment using Visionary’s ERP is one process they look to optimize. Currently, it requires a lot of manual copy-pasting of order data from Medusa into the ERP. Instead, Typed Development hopes to use Medusa’s new Admin Widgets to extend the current order overview in Medusa, allowing Visionary to control delivery services and fulfillment for post-order creation directly within Medusa and afterward move that information into the ERP.
Typed Development believes that the decision to go with an open and extendible solution like Medusa gives them the flexibility needed to easily build these custom automations that will benefit Visionary’s sales operations in the future.
“We feel that Medusa gives us a lot of capabilities to actually go in our own direction in terms of customizing and changing things, while allowing us to look through the code as well. It is easy to use and really gives us full control over the setup.
Founder of Typed Development
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