With more than a decade in business, BB Wheels is a small, family-owned business located in Albany, Minnesota. With a mission “to become your preferred online shopping destination for wheels, tires, and vehicle accessories,” BB Wheels takes pride in offering personalized service with high-quality products at unbeatable prices.
But apart from selling direct-to-consumer (DTC), BB Wheels has also found a foothold in the B2B space.
To learn more about their B2B success, we sat down with Dean Goebel, President of BB Wheels, and Chelsey Eggert, Director of Operations, to find out what BigCommerce features their business is leveraging, how they work with B2B customers and more.
Selecting the Right Tool for the Job
Shelley Kilpatrick: You’ve been on BigCommerce a while, but back when you were evaluating platforms, what were some of the deciding factors for choosing BigCommerce?
Dean Goebel: “With the complexity of how we built our products and the sheer size of our catalog, BigCommerce was the best option. There were other platforms that may have worked, but they were very customized, expensive and would have required people with a fairly large technological skill set.
“We like to hit the ‘easy button’ wherever we can, and BigCommerce gave us what we needed, at the right price point and allowed us to launch and move quickly.”
SK: Speaking of moving quickly, how has BigCommerce enabled you to grow your business?
DG: “The big benefits of BigCommerce have been that you’re always iterating on the backend; the infrastructure is always being improved and maintained. The second is your app universe. Being able to plug high-quality add-ons into our website, quickly and efficiently is a big deal.”
Chelsey Eggert: “The fact that BigCommerce makes sure that everything’s secure and we don’t have to worry about maintenance, makes it so that we can take care of products that we want to push out and our customers — that really helps.”
Shifting Gears to Selling B2B Online
SK: Switching gears to talk about B2B, how does BigCommerce help you sell to these buyers?
CE: “We have a fair number of dealers who purchase from us and resell the products. They’re on a wholesale account with us. Additionally, sometimes shops have their customers buy through us, and then they install the products.”
“Wholesale customers can buy through our regular website, but we also offer different discounts, depending on volume and what they are doing, than what’s offered to the average buyer. Some of the BigCommerce features we use to set this up on the back-end include customer groups and price lists.”
SK: Do you do anything specific to market to B2B customers?
CE: “I don’t think we’ve ever specifically tried to market to B2B buyers. Generally, it ends up being a local auto shop that calls us — they’re doing a custom build for a customer who wants a specific set of wheels — they’ll talk with one of our fitment experts and that’s how the relationship starts.
“Then, either they will come to us and say, ‘Hey, do you guys have a dealer account that I can get signed up for?’ or if we see that there is a trend that they keep coming back, we’ll mention it to them. ‘Do you want to sign up and be a dealer?’”
DG: “We’ve always had pretty decent SEO, but we do spend a lot of money on various targeted marketing through our shopping campaigns. A lot of those buyers are really the same, because they’re looking for a wheel, and then they see us showing up all over the place and they’ll call us, and we establish that relationship.”
Putting Customers in the Driver’s Seat
SK: How do you give B2B customers the best of both worlds — the online experience and the human touch?
DG: “If you notice our website, we really try to make an effort to make the buying process as easy as possible — we try to remove as many purchase roadblocks knowing that we’re going to have a higher incorrect fitment order rate, but that’s where the human touch comes in. This is part of our special secret sauce, where we make it easy to buy, understanding we may need to work with the customer post purchase to get the correct fitment for their specific application.
“After the order is placed, we have a fitment expert on the backend that is manually reviewing our wheel orders, validating fitment. We then reach out to the customer and say, ‘Hey, this wheel’s probably not going to work for your vehicle. You probably need this bolt pattern or this offset’ — and people love that.
“People love the fact that, ‘This internet company called me to tell me that I ordered wrong, and they’re looking out for me to do the right thing.’ That type of experience is what we try to do with our dealers as well.
“It’s just a lot of common sense. Treat them right. Give them good pricing and ship things really fast. At the end of the day, it works out.”
Explore the B2B Ecommerce Solution from BigCommerce
Are you a direct-to-consumer (DTC) business looking to get into the B2B space? Schedule a demo for BigCommerce B2B Edition, and our ecommerce experts will be happy to assist you in the transition. And for extra insights on all things B2B, check out The State of B2B Ecommerce: 2022 Trend Report.