Organize Your Store
After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
- Describe the function of a store in Salesforce.
- Explain how products fit into the data model.
- Relate a catalog to a store.
- Associate categories to catalogs.
How Does the Store Work in B2B Commerce?
The first order of business when it comes to understanding the B2B Commerce data model is understanding the role of the store. The store in Salesforce is the central place to organize the experience you want to have for your buyers.
What does that mean, exactly? Here is what's associated with a store in Salesforce by default, before you start associating other objects to it.
- A store experience
- Default and supported languages
- Default and supported currencies
That’s… pretty much it. The just-created store is the hub around which the various spokes that you add revolve. This framework gives you maximum flexibility to add what you need to for your business case.
Once it’s set up, a store is a container for all your commerce data including catalogs, categories, price books, and products. All B2B stores use Experience Cloud sites for the front-end buying experience to showcase your products, arrange information for buyers, and process orders. You can create multiple stores to serve different business areas or regions.
How Do Products Fit In?
What are we missing in our stores? Oh that’s right, that little thing called “products.” Let’s see how products fit into our data modeling.
You can add products to the org in different ways. If you have product information living in another system, you can mass upload them with a tool like Data Loader. Or you can add them one by one, as needed.
Whatever Ursa Major Solar defines as a product is stored as a record in the Product2 object, with its own SKU (store-keeping unit).
Other objects make up the final information buyers actually see in a product record, including product media and translations. Each product is also tied to a price book record that records its list price. The Price Book object stores information on the price of a product through a price book entry.
Product records are also full of other types of information, like descriptions and media, that allow buyers to make informed decisions.
Relate a Catalog to a Store
So you have products, and you have a store. Now you need to be able to show said products in the store. The organizational model that ties products to stores involves catalogs, whose building blocks are categories and subcategories.
Let’s start with the catalogs. Once you have a store, you can then relate a catalog to it. If you have several stores set up in your org, you can associate the same catalog to different stores.
Catalogs are the organizational principle allowing you to offer products in your store. A single catalog includes categories and subcategories (up to five levels), and only one catalog can be associated to a store. Let’s take a look at a visual. Remember our data model? Here’s what we just talked about.
So we’ve got a store; it’s associated with a catalog, which is in turn associated to categories. To keep the data model simple we’re just showing 1-1-1. But know that it can get much more complex.
Let’s see what this looks like in the case of Ursa Major Solar, a Southwest-based supplier of solar components and systems. Though it is based in North America, it sells its products globally, and to customize the experience for American and Italian buyers, they set up two different stores in its org: one for the US and one for Europe (Italy).
At the end of the day, the products Ursa Major Solar sells are the same in both stores, but the other bits of B2B Commerce associated with the store (remember we mentioned those earlier?—language, currency, experience) are going to be vastly different. So when a buyer accesses the Ursa Major Solar store in her region in Europe, she sees the same products as a buyer would when accessing the store in the US Southwest. But the default language and currency is different. Magical, right?
So, we have stores, a catalog, and categories. What if each store needs to show different products? In that case, Ursa Major Solar can create two different catalogs and then associate each catalog to a different store. Here’s what that would look like.
In this example, not only does each store have its own specific experience, default currency, and language, it also has a specific catalog of products.
The beauty of the B2B Commerce data model is that it’s flexible. You can do whatever you need to meet your business needs.