BigCommerce B2B: Custom Buyer Roles Now Available

June 21, 2024

BigCommerce B2B Edition has revolutionized the way businesses manage their online sales processes by introducing powerful features tailored for B2B ecommerce. One of the most significant advancements is the ability to create and assign custom buyer roles within the platform. This feature empowers B2B merchants to streamline their operations, improve customer experience, and maintain control over their sales workflows.

In this article, we will dive deep into the custom buyer roles feature in BigCommerce B2B Edition. We will explore what buyer roles are, how they can benefit your business, and provide a step-by-step guide on creating and managing custom buyer roles. Additionally, we will share best practices and tips to help you maximize the potential of this powerful functionality in your BigCommerce B2B store.

Understanding Buyer Roles in B2B Edition

By default, BigCommerce B2B Edition provides three predefined buyer roles for Company accounts: Junior Buyer, Senior Buyer, and Admin. These roles allow account managers to control access to different areas of the Buyer Portal and restrict purchasing abilities.

Overview of Default Buyer Roles

  1. Junior Buyer: Can submit Shopping Lists for approval to other buyers. Junior Buyers cannot make purchases independently, making this role suitable for employees who require approval for business purchases.
  2. Senior Buyer: Can approve Shopping Lists from other buyers or create their own. Senior Buyers can also place orders and view Company order history. This role is ideal for managers who regularly make purchases on behalf of the business or oversee a team that creates purchase lists.
  3. Admin: In addition to the capabilities of Senior Buyers, Admins can manage other aspects of the Company account, such as setting up business addresses, adding new users, and paying invoices. This role should be assigned to individuals responsible for managing the entire Company account.

Purpose and Importance of Custom Buyer Roles

While the predefined roles provide a basic level of access control, they may not accommodate the specific workflows required by some B2B customers. This is where custom buyer roles come into play.

Custom roles allow merchants to create personalized B2B experiences tailored to their clients' unique business needs. By configuring custom permissions, merchants can support specialized actions and restrict access for their corporate clients, especially those with larger Company accounts and many staff users responsible for specific aspects of the purchasing process.

Creating custom buyer roles enables B2B customers to streamline their operations and interact with the merchant in a way that suits their business requirements. This level of personalization fosters a more engaging and efficient B2B eCommerce experience, ultimately strengthening the relationship between the merchant and their clients.

How to Create Custom Buyer Roles

Custom buyer roles enable your B2B customers to support specialized workflows for their staff members. Use the steps below to create a custom role.

Navigating to the Right Settings

  1. In the B2B Edition dashboard, navigate to SettingsCompany users and roles and click the Roles tab.
  2. Click Create role, or Duplicate an existing role from the list to work from a template. You can duplicate both predefined and custom buyer roles.

Steps to Create a Custom Buyer Role

  1. In the Create role page, give your new role a name. Select the permissions you want the role to have, or check the box next to Permissions to assign all permissions to the role. You can use the search bar to locate specific permissions in the list, and collapse permissions sections by clicking the side arrow ().Note that certain permissions have prerequisite permissions which must first be enabled. See Buyer Permissions for more information.
  2. When enabling a permission for a custom role, specify the scope of the permission by selecting the Level. For example, you can specify whether buyers assigned to the custom role can view their own orders, or all orders in the Company account. The following permission levels are available:Some permissions have a limited selection of levels. See Buyer Permissions for each permission's available levels.
    • None — This is only used when a permission is disabled for the buyer role.
    • User — The buyer can only view or manage records associated with their own user account.
    • User Team — The buyer can view or manage all permission-specific records in the account.
  3. Save your changes. The role can now be assigned to buyers in any Company account.

Assigning and Managing Custom Buyer Roles

Predefined and custom roles are assigned when creating a new buyer user account, or by editing an existing account. B2B Edition users and buyers with the appropriate permissions can assign or reassign roles to buyer users via one of the following methods:

  1. Editing individual users
  2. Bulk editing via CSV file
  3. Assigning from the Buyer Portal

Assigning Roles to New Users

While viewing a Company's account information, you can view the associated buyers and edit their user accounts. Assigning roles this way is helpful when you want to apply a custom role meant for a small group of buyers.

From the Companies area of the B2B Edition dashboard, locate the desired Company. After clicking the Company name, navigate to the Company User(s) tab and select the Edit action for an existing buyer, or create a new one by clicking Create User.

In the Edit user pop-up, select the desired buyer role from the Role dropdown and save your changes. The next time the buyer user logs in, they will have the Buyer Portal permissions available in their role.

Alternatively, you can locate specific buyers in the Users tab of SettingsCompany users and roles. This allows you to view users across all Companies, and provides an easy means of assigning select roles to buyers across multiple Companies.

In the list of users, locate the buyer user account you wish to update. Use the search bar to find a user by their name or email address, or to filter by Company account or currently-assigned role. Select Edit from the Action menu to be taken directly to the Edit user pop-up in the Company account's details.

Bulk Editing Roles

If you want to assign buyer roles in bulk, you can export Company account information to a CSV file. This is a great way to apply a global buyer role to multiple users across different Companies.

In your CSV file, locate the Company User Role column and update their buyer role. When assigning roles via the CSV file, keep the following considerations in mind:

  1. Make sure that the role name is spelled correctly. If the entered name does not match the role's name, the buyer will keep their current-assigned role.
  2. If you are creating a new buyer user account via CSV import, misspelled role names cause the buyer to be assigned the Admin role.
  3. If the Company User Role is left blank, buyers are automatically assigned the Admin role.

After you've made your changes in the CSV file, import it from the Companies area of the B2B Edition dashboard. Once the import is complete, go to the Notifications area of the dashboard and check the Company Upload Summary Notification for any import errors.

In addition to assigning roles from the B2B Edition dashboard, buyers with the required permissions can manage user roles from the User management area of the Buyer Portal. While editing a buyer user account, they can select a predefined or custom role from the User role dropdown.

Best Practices and Tips

Here are some best practices and tips to keep in mind when creating and assigning custom buyer roles in BigCommerce B2B Edition:

Ensuring Unique Role Names

When creating a new custom buyer role, ensure that the role name is unique and descriptive. This helps avoid confusion and makes it easier to identify the purpose of each role. If you attempt to create a role with the same name as an existing one, you will encounter an error.

Similarly, when renaming an existing custom role, double-check that the new name does not conflict with other roles. This ensures a smooth experience for both you and your B2B customers.

Using Permissions Effectively

Custom buyer roles allow you to fine-tune the permissions granted to each user, enabling them to perform specific tasks within the Buyer Portal. When configuring permissions for a role, consider the following:

  1. Assign permissions based on the user's responsibilities and requirements. Avoid granting unnecessary permissions to maintain security and prevent accidental changes.
  2. Pay attention to prerequisite permissions. Some permissions may require others to be enabled first. The B2B Edition dashboard will automatically select prerequisite permissions when you enable a specific permission.
  3. Choose the appropriate permission level (User or User Team) based on whether the buyer should have access to only their own records or all records within the Company account.

By carefully selecting permissions and their levels, you can create roles that empower buyers to perform their tasks efficiently while maintaining control over sensitive areas of the Buyer Portal.


Custom buyer roles in BigCommerce B2B Edition offer a powerful way to personalize the purchasing experience for your corporate clients. By tailoring permissions and access levels to specific user responsibilities, you can streamline workflows, improve efficiency, and enhance the overall B2B ecommerce experience. Implementing custom roles effectively requires careful planning, clear communication with your clients, and ongoing management to ensure that each user has the appropriate level of access.

As you explore the possibilities of custom buyer roles in your BigCommerce B2B store, remember that expert guidance can make all the difference. If you need assistance optimizing your B2B ecommerce setup, contact MLVeda for their extensive BigCommerce expertise and tailored solutions designed to help your business thrive in the competitive B2B landscape.

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