The Soteria Metal Roofs success story
Soteria Metal Roofs, based in Ontario, Canada, is a manufacturer and distributor of modern steel roofing systems. Their roofs combine all the durability and other advantages of metal roofs with the classic look of shingles. The company is a pure B2B supplier that sells only to other roofers, and within 2 years of its founding it has already made a splash in the industry.
Many of the best business ideas come from a personal experience with a problem that needs to be solved. For Tony Iozzia, owner and founder of Soteria Metal Roofs, the problem was prices that skyrocket when products pass through the supply chain. “I was a roofer myself, and one of the biggest challenges for me was getting products at a decent price, without having to go through too many channels,” he explains. “By the time it got to me, it would be so inflated that it would be very difficult for me to sell.”
Tony sought closer relationships with manufacturers, but nothing was available that met his needs — so he decided to create the solution himself. By building his own company, he could provide top-quality roofing at more reasonable prices than the traditional supply chains in the industry.
All Soteria Metal Roofs are made from high-grade galvanized steel designed to last several lifetimes. They improve insulation against extreme temperatures, can stand up to the worst weather including hurricane-force winds, and completely prevent the common problem of animals intruding into the attic. Their roofs are manufactured in Canada and come with a lifetime warranty that can be transferred to a new homeowner, permanently increasing the value of the house. They can also be installed on top of an existing roof, which reduces expenses and waste resulting from an older roof’s removal and disposal.
With so many benefits, Tony clearly had a product that would be successful. All he had to do next was set up a system to get it to his customers.
Searching for the right software
Business-to-business buyers have different needs than regular consumers, but their preferences have evolved just the same. In today’s eCommerce-driven world, B2B customers have discovered unprecedented convenience. This makes it easier, faster, and more cost-effective for businesses to find suppliers and form a relationship.
So, bringing Soteria Metal Roofs online was the next step. Tony needed flexible software that would allow him to create the ideal B2B portal. After doing some research on eCommerce platforms, he decided on Shift4Shop.
There were several factors that helped him decide, starting with the broad list of features included in Shift4Shop. However, it wasn’t just the existence of the features, but the way they were presented. “I chose Shift4Shop based on a number of things,” he says. “First and foremost, the transparency in terms of what it provided, whereas with a lot of the competitors it was very secretive.” Tony was hesitant to try using a platform that wasn’t clear on what it offered. “I didn’t want to commit to something only to discover that it wasn’t the right solution for me.”
Since his goal was to build a B2B online store, he looked specifically for software that had the right tools to let him accomplish this easily. B2B sellers want to structure their websites according to their business model, and while this can vary depending on the business, there are several features required to make it possible.
For example, B2B eCommerce merchants will often hide their product catalog from unregistered users, and in some cases, hide their whole site. This gives the business more control over who they accept as clients, and prevents B2C consumers from mistakenly trying to place an order. Soteria Metal Roofs hides all content on their B2B portal from unregistered users to ensure they can build proper relationships with those they accept as authorized dealers.
B2B also requires special pricing. The most familiar example would be wholesale or bulk pricing, but it can go deeper than that depending on the needs of the business. Tony wanted to have a tiered pricing system for Soteria Metal Roofs, where he could offer different pricing levels to different clients. Since Shift4Shop has this feature, he cites it as another reason he chose it as his platform.
Tony was also in a position very familiar to new eCommerce entrepreneurs: he had no knowledge of how to build a website. “I have to be honest; I have zero experience,” he says. “I’ve never done anything like this.” But once he got started with his Shift4Shop website, he learned very quickly. “It was just so easy to use, and I thought ‘wow, this is incredible.’ I’m close to exactly where I want to be, with small exceptions.”
Building for the future
The future is bright for Soteria Metal Roofs. Tony is pleased with how quickly his business has picked up speed, and he gives Shift4Shop some credit for that. The included features allowed him to build his B2B website how he’d envisioned, and while he points out the tiered pricing as his favorite feature “absolutely, by far,” he’s looking forward to using more of Shift4Shop’s tools to continue to expand his business.
“It’s actually taken off quite well,” Tony says, of his business’s beginnings. “I want to get salespeople involved to push the product more, again using the platform. I also found that [Shift4Shop has] a salesperson addon that fits perfectly with my business model.” The addon he refers to is Shift4Shop’s Sales Rep Management module, which offers full management and commission tracking for sales representatives.
Tony says he would absolutely recommend Shift4Shop to a new business. He reiterates that the ease of use made a big difference, as well as the additional support available to help him learn the ins and outs of the software. “The Knowledgebase is absolutely incredible, and if there was something that I had a hard time with, I would either call or send a message, and I would get my response. It’s a great platform. I love it!”