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User Role Permissions & Capabilities

Create a Unique Experience, Permissions, & Capabilities for Each User
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User Roles Permissions, & Capabilities

Today will be going over user roles on a high-level overview. What do we mean by users and roles? Put simply, users are potential purchasers or sellers on the site. They can typically fall into one of those two categories, but for many of our clients they have really specialized marketplaces and users might actually be in both of those roles or scenarios. They may also be in subsets of capabilities within each of those, so they may not have the full capability of one role, but maybe full permissions of another.

Define Your Starting Point

Initial Role-Based Permissions Setup

Define today as you're building out your marketplace and determining what functionality you want different users to have in different accounts such as, buyers, sellers, companies and organizations, etc. The key considerations for the features on the site and the access to certain functionalities are some of the most important things to building a successful marketplace. With that in mind, you can properly configure the governance, or the community ground rules so the marketplace can thrive without having lots of hands-on management. Although it's always a possibility to let the community run on its own based on setting up an establishing principles governance for the marketplace.

Needless to say, user roles help drive established principles, so you’ll want to think about where you’re going to be in three, five, even ten years with this marketplace. While setting up these roles and scenarios, you need to ask the question of what the different types of roles and types of access in different user scenarios that folks will need to be able to engage in. A lot of our clients that set up a marketplace wanted to have some, if not all, of their users moderated and approved depending on what kind of activities they are completing.

Different Use Cases

User Role Approval Scenarios

For example, if a new seller sets up their account you may auto-approve the seller to go ahead and join the marketplace. However, they may not auto-approve all their listings and all of their postings to the community or to the catalog. As a result, they're not going to have as much junk, if you will, in the catalog system. Because the review of the different postings of products get reviewed first and then moderated. It's not uncommon to just approve all of the users that go through the system.

There may be some ability to complete purchases on an account or purchased through POIS, special shipping options, etc. If that's the case, it's possible to set up a simple automated process that sends an email to the approved folks on the approved roles within an organization. They can get this approval notification and then simply click yes or no and, if they want, they can see more detail before they approve or deny membership.

The User Role Hierarchy Tree

User Roles & The Relation Between Them

It’s possible to set up user hierarchy within an organization in the marketplace. For example, if a large organization wants to set up purchasers within their organization, they may invite several folks to join the marketplace as sub-users where they wouldn't necessarily have full rights to the overall account, but they can submit purchases to be approved. That would be a good example of a scenario where we wouldn't want those users to be able to register themselves and create themselves. We want them to have to be approved by the managing user of that account.

Roles are capable of defining very granular or broad level capabilities. They can even be stacked, so you can have a role that contains other roles, allowing the system to be very flexible. You can define base level components, tasks and concepts and then group those into different roles as to what they can complete.

An example of a typical list of roles would commonly have are an overall account administrator, a location administrator, a business segment or function administrator, and then different roles based on either the company or locations. There may also be a financial account so they might not necessarily be able to purchase but they can see all the transactions so they can reconcile the back-office accounting system. Then you might have a purchaser, someone who would actually be negotiating for and looking for the best deals and then making purchases on behalf of the company. It’s also pretty common to have marketing roles or product management roles so they could upload products and manage products from a vendor side of things.

You might also have fulfillment to handle. If you or the users have fulfillment overseers, then they would need roles that give them access to what they need. It’s not just about giving folks permission or not, it's also about making the experience very intuitive for the user. If they aren't meeting or planning on seeing a lot of different functions, do they really want to see a bunch of other capabilities? It's not a bad idea to only give them access to what they need, making their interactions on the site clean and simple.

Unique Role Features

Role Access and Capabilities

It’s also pretty common to grant access to different functionalities within the application. This can be things based on an account or different products, pricing levels, or discounts. In addition, there may be special shipping logic based off of a special freight agreement between the marketplace or a vendor and a particular purchaser. The roles and accounts can all be business logic points that drive whether or not someone gets a different price to different option different features. Even so, they may see a different user interface and have access to different functions. Different user roles or accounts can pay differently based on rules you or the vendor set.

It's also common for different users that qualify and meet certain criteria to be established on the vendor level or at the overall marketplace level. They can have the ability to purchase an account where they've got an account balance they can build up. Similarly, they could issue pois or purchase through a payment portal. There are also other systems that often use credit card and debit card, but you can also see a lot with different electronic forms of payment through other transaction types that we can set up and configure for certain roles within your marketplace.

Learn How We Can Help

Clarity Marketplace Experts

These are all things that you discuss with your sellers and with the folks that are going to be listing products or internally, if it's going to be all internal. Think about three, five, even ten years down the road what the system will need to do. If you can plan for the future, it's optimal to have those capabilities in the system during the initial set up. This is especially true if you're looking to migrate to a system that has those capabilities you want. You’ll want to take the time to think about all the different nuances and learn about the different roles and different account users. Hopefully, this gave you a better understanding about users and roles. Below are a handful of helpful resources where we go into detail about the many facets of what makes up a marketplace. If there is anyway Clarity could help, we welcome you to send us an email, give us a call, or even set up a demo so you can see firsthand what all the possibilities are.

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