Sometimes a supplier and a trading partner will determine that some portion of the customer's shopping experience should actually take place on a Web site built and managed by the supplier rather than the trading partner. The customer begins shopping in the trading partner's buyer application, and then at some point the customer is lead directly to the supplier's Web site to perform some aspect of the shopping that is presumably more detailed in nature. For example, the customer may choose the size and color of an article of clothing or configure a computer system. After this detailed aspect of the shopping session is complete, the customer returns to the trading partner's buyer application to complete the purchase.
When this type of shopping paradigm is implemented properly, it should provide the customer with a smooth, intuitive experience. This can be a challenge. The trading partner's buyer application needs to provide a user interface for "jumping" to the supplier's Web site that won't confuse the customer, and the supplier's Web site needs to welcome the customer directly into the next step in their shopping experience. For example, if customers are brought to the supplier's Web site to configure computer systems, they should see a page that shows the system they have chosen and has the controls they need to choose their CPU speed, hard disk size, and so on.
Ideally, when customers complete their tasks on the supplier's Web site, they should not be surprised about returning to their shopping basket in the trading partner's buyer application. Much of the smoothness of interaction between the sites can be achieved through proper naming of the user interface controls (and their associated text) that lead from one application to the other. For example, the button (or other control) in the supplier's Web site that returns the customer to the trading partner's buyer application should not be named Check out. Depending on the scenario, it would be better if the button were named Return to Buyer Application, or something similar.