Support Article - Configuring Price Lists for B2B and B2C Scenarios


1 Introduction

Intershop Commerce Management (ICM) provides an important functionality for managing and maintaining product prices in sales channels in a smart and easy way. The so-called Price Lists feature is used to promote specific products, target-specific customer segments and bulk upload price modifications pertaining to a specific channel.

Price lists are manageable in different ICM contexts:

  • Catalogs | Price Lists: Manage all aspects of all price lists for the current channel.
  • Customers | Specific Customer | Price Lists: Manage price lists to which this customer or his customer segments are assigned.
  • Customers | Customer Segments | Specific Customer Segment | Price Lists: Manage price lists to which this customer segment is assigned.
Please be aware that price lists can be configured in the ICM at sales channel level only. Application-specific product pricing is not possible by default.

The below flowchart describes the different types of price lists that can be configured in the ICM for this purpose:

As can be seen on the left side, two standard price lists are available by default: List Prices, which lists all products along with their defined list price, and Cost Prices, which lists all products for which cost prices have been defined. These lists provide direct access to product prices, facilitating the management of list and cost prices for products. Alternatively, list prices and cost prices can also be managed directly in the Pricing tab of the product detail view. 

  • Example of Standard Price List:

  • Example of Cost Price List:

The right side of the flowchart shows Special Price Lists lists, which are used for the following main purposes:

  • Define Scaled Prices
    • The prices contained in price lists are expressed as scaled prices. A scaled price can vary depending on the order quantity. The scaled price can be expressed as fixed price (e.g., 12.99 USD) or as percentage discount (e.g., 10 %). For each active currency, a separate scaled price for each ordered quantity can be defined.
  • Define Customer-Specific Prices
    • Price lists can be used to define special prices targeted at specific customers or customer segments. As part of setting up price lists, it is possible to define to which target group, i.e., customers or customer segments the price list applies. Hence, the prices that a price list defines are only valid for the users that are members of the target group assigned to the price list.
    • Furthermore, it is possible to assign price lists to customers or customer segments also when editing customer or customer segment details.
  • Define Time-Limited Prices
    • For each price list, a valid-from and valid-to date can be defined. Hence, price lists can be used to define special prices valid during a limited period of time.

1.1 References

2 Basics and Configuration

The configuration of Special Price Lists in ICM is divided into the three tabs General, Prices and Target Group. General is used to configure the basic price list properties such as Name, ID, Description and Validation Period. The Prices tab is used for the management of product prices and the Target Group tab serves for assigning customers / customer segments to the price list.

2.1 General

On the General tab, a Name, ID, Description and a Price Type need to be specified in order to make this price list identifiable. Furthermore, it is possible to make the whole price list with its special product prices valid for a fixed time period.

If you click on the Apply button, the price list will be created and added to the Sale Price Lists list (Catalogs | Price Lists).

2.2 Prices

The Prices tab enables a product-specific price handling for all available products in the channel. Based on different currencies, each product in the price list can have different types of special prices assigned to it.

Make sure that a list price for every product is available before maintaining any % discounts. A negative percentage can also be used to assign a price increase. 

2.2.1 Adding a Special Product Price to a Price List

To add a special product price to a price list, perform the following steps:

  1. Use the product search to find the product by its Name or ID.
  2. Select one of the three drop down options (with price defined for the currency, with no price defined for the currency, all) to restrict the search result.
  3. Click on the Add Price link next to the desired product which opens a scale prices wizard.

  4. Define special prices / discounts for the required quantities.

    Each product in the same price list can have multiple special prices assigned to them but for different quantities.

  5. Optionally, add a validation period to make this special price available at a certain time.

    Please be aware that the validation period of a specific product must not be after the Valid To date and not before the Valid From date of the price list.

2.2.2 Modifying an Existing Special Product Price Within a Price List

To modify an existing special price of the product, do the following:

  1. Use the product search to find the product by its Name or ID.
  2. Select one of the two drop down options (with price defined for the currency, all).
  3. Click on the Price link to modify or on the Delete link to delete the special price next to the desired product.


2.3 Target Group

The Target Group tab defines which customer segments and customers receive the special prices from the price list in the shop.

3 Special Product Price Assignment in Product Detail View

As an alternative to the product price management in a price list, it is possible to define special prices targeted to price lists directly in the product context. Therefore do the following:

  1. Go to Catalogs | Products and open one of the products.
  2. Switch to the Pricing tab and click New in the Special Prices section.
  3. Select one of the existing price lists where the special price for this product should be added and click Next.
  4. Choose one of the available currencies and click Next.
  5. Add a special product price to the price list (see Adding a Special Product Price to a Price List in this article).


4 Price Lookup

If a customer is part of multiple customer segments, situations may arise in which more than one price could be offered to this customer. To resolve conflicts like this, Intershop Commerce Management offers two price lookup strategies:

  • Best Price
  • Custom Lookup (default)

4.1 Best Price

According to the "Best Price" strategy, the system will select the best price from all price lists which can be applied to the current user, regardless of the price list ranking.

4.2 Custom Lookup

With the "Custom Lookup" strategy, the system checks all available price lists top-down, starting with the highest ranked price list, until a price could be determined.

5 Import/Export XML & CSV

Price lists can be easily imported into the system in the form of an XML or a CSV file. Furthermore, existing price lists can be exported as XML from the menu path Catalogs | Import & Export. For details on what a CSV or XML file should look like, see Concept - Pricing: 3.3.1 XML Import / Export.

6 Price List Database Tables

  • PRICELIST and PRICELIST_AV: Stores general information of each price list.
  • PRICELISTUSERGROUPASSIGNMENT and USERRGROUP: Stores customer and customer segment assignments.
  • PRICESCALE*: Stores special product pricing and validity.

7 Business Use Cases

7.1 B2B Scenario: Annual Order Value Dependent Discounts for Business Customers

This scenario describes a discount model that depends on the annual order value of all business customers. The more the business customer buys from the shop each year, the more discounts he gets in the following year. In this example, business customers are now divided into four groups:

  • New Customer with an annual order value of more than 0 USD receives 0 % discount on all products.
  • Bronze Customer with an annual order value of more than 5,000 USD receives 3 % discount on all products.
  • Silver Customer with an annual order value of more than 20,000 USD receives 5 % discount on all products.
  • Gold Customer with an annual order value of more than 50,000 USD receives 10 % discount on all products.

Assuming that list prices are defined for all products and the above-mentioned customer group assignments have already been done in the ICM, three price lists needs to be created.

It makes more sense to import these three price lists in this case. However, this section describes how to do it directly in the ICM.

For the Bronze Customer price list:

  1. Open the ICM and switch to the B2B Sales Channel. 
  2. Go to Catalogs | Price Lists and click New in the Sale Price Lists section.
  3. Fill in all required fields in the General tab and click Apply.
  4. Go to the Prices tab and define the appropriate discount in percent for each product.

  5. Switch to the tab Target Group tab and assign the Bronze customer segment to the price list.


  6. Repeat steps 1 - 5 for Silver and Gold Customers.


7.2 B2C Scenario: Display a Comparison of Retail Price to Sales Price

A popular model in B2C is displaying the retail price compared to the actual sales price. The price list feature is able to display both prices by default as follows:


To achieve this case, it is necessary to maintain list prices as retail prices for all affected products.

It makes more sense to import these three price lists in this case. However, this section describes how to do it directly in the ICM.

In the ICM, perform the following steps:

  1. Open the ICM and switch to the B2C Sales Channel. 
  2. Go to Catalogs | Price Lists and click New in the Sale Price Lists section.
  3. Fill in all required fields in the General tab and click Apply.
  4. Go to the Prices tab and define the sales prices for all affected products. 


  5. Switch to the Target Group tab and assign the customer segment Everyone to the price list.

8 When to Choose a Price List and When a Promotion

Promotions are one of the many parts in a channel's marketing campaign and are more specific to products and product categories as assigned in their discount conditions.

Promotions instead of price lists can be used in the following scenarios:

  1. Promoting a product with searchandizing activities
  2. Promoting a product with appropriate content elements in the front end of the web-store
  3. Promoting a product via promotional campaigns

The biggest difference between price lists and promotions is that price lists define product prices over time. Discounts can be given per customer group or on different products. For bulk updates of special prices, discounts of products including their validity period and target groups use the Import feature which is not available for promotions. The target groups of each price list are independent of each other and can be prioritized while the target group of promotions is based on the campaign which is associated with it.

Disclaimer

The information provided in the Knowledge Base may not be applicable to all systems and situations. Intershop Communications will not be liable to any party for any direct or indirect damages resulting from the use of the Customer Support section of the Intershop Corporate Web site, including, without limitation, any lost profits, business interruption, loss of programs or other data on your information handling system.

Customer Support
Knowledge Base
Product Resources
Tickets