5 Tips on Building your Next generation B2B Ecommerce Strategy

People are finally talking about B2B ecommerce. Many analysts believe that it will be much stronger and more complicated than B2C. However, it will also last longer. Currently, there are 3 times as many B2B transactions than its counterpart. Stores, dealers, suppliers and distributors are looking for ways to find and purchase products online. That’s why analysts are taking the evolution of B2B ecommerce seriously, and you should too.

If you are running a small or medium sized business, you need to invest in an ecommerce platform that supports the experience B2B buyers are expecting and optimizes your business operations.  72% of SMBs get at least a quarter of their revenues from online channels. With millennials representing more than half of the workers now, you need to provide quality online channels to meet their demands.

  • Focus your sales staff on unique situations. In today’s digital world, you need to rise to meet the shift in buyer’s behavior by supporting complicated transactions such as navigating complex products and services, helping set up installation needs, negotiating prices and selling high-consideration products. Order and sales processes should be supported by digital tools an channels, including chat functions, email, and collaborative software.
  • Choose a stand-alone B2B ecommerce solution. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to all companies. You need to choose a solution according to the depth and breadth of your skill to manage integration processes, legacy technology infrastructure and other factors. Weigh out the benefits of each solution to decide which the best for your business is.
  • Prepare for more competitors. Opening yourself to the online world also opens your business to more competitors. Your online experience will be compared to larger global enterprises, including your customers’ previous online shopping experience. When choosing your technology partner, evaluate their capabilities both as a client and customer.
  • Consider cloud-based solutions. Cloud-based B2B ecommerce solutions can help ease your IT burdens. They help you stay abreast of the latest innovations. They are also easier to scale and faster to market.
  • Explore the role of marketplaces. Online marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba are an effective way to drive traffic, online presence, and sales. Your customers are already buying from these channels. So, make you do your research and decide what best for your business as part of your digital strategy.

In a fast-moving, omni-channel world, efficiency is important. You need to cost-effectively optimize your workflow and productivity to avoid falling behind the competition. By choosing the right B2B ecommerce solution, you can deliver the best customer experience and ensure you stay streets ahead of your competitors. Click here to learn more about our B2B ecommerce offering.

5 Useful Tips for Successful B2B Ecommerce

B2B ecommerce, or business-to-business electronic commerce, refers to the selling of products between businesses via online portals. It is used to improve the efficiency of companies. Seventy percent of all B2B businesses acquire their customers online. B2B ecommerce allows them to gain clients and book new orders without relying on existing customers or using extensive sales force. It serves as a critical sales channel for many firms.

To ensure B2b ecommerce success, you need to tailor your store to the needs of your buyers. You should promote your products and set up automated processes as well. Most of all, you have to have full control over who can view your store. Here are 5 useful tips to help you grow your business and strengthen your customer relationship.

  • Know your customers and create a robust product catalog. Center everything around your audience and think about the employees in your target industry. Then, make it easier for them to research by creating a detailed catalog. Help them find the products that fit their needs and empower them to customize orders to suit their individual needs.
  • Use highly descriptive listings. Show value and benefits through your product listing copy. Use descriptive language, high quality images and videos to show off your offerings and appeal to everyone in the chain of command. Use an excellent Product Information Management (PIM) solution to ensure accurate and complete data.
  • Consider longer sales cycles. Do you have specific products and multiple people that play a role in your purchasing process? Then, your sales cycle can last from a few weeks to even more than a year. Manage all your contracts to keep track of your leads and to improve customer experience.
  • Create omni-channel presence. Customers today are getting more tech-savvy. Make sure you provide the same experience across multiple channels for seamless shopping experience and deeper customer engagement.
  • Provide personalized features. Personalization builds engaging and cost-effective user experience. It is important in meeting your customers’ individual needs. Include product recommendations, best seller lists and wish listing to help them save time and improve your buyer-seller relationship.

More and more people prefer to purchase online than in-store. If you are looking to make your B2B ecommerce business a success, these 5 useful tips can help you. Successful B2B ecommerce requires alignment of physical store locations, salespeople, warehouse, and marketplace storefronts to ensure holistic and efficient business operations. Click here to check out our B2B ecommerce solution.

Why Integrating B2B E-commerce is a Key Success Factor

The B2B e-commerce market is still maturing. It has started to accelerate, but the adoption is a little slow. A significant amount of growth may be evident in the next five years. Although B2B is in the early adopter phase, it is important for businesses to change to stay relevant. Today, investments are only being made by market leaders. They consider e-commerce as critically important for sales.

Key Facts:

  • B2B e-commerce worldwide sales is expected to reach $6.7 trillion by 2020.
  • B2B sales will account for 27% of e-commerce sales.
  • By 2020, total B2B e-commerce sales in the US is predicted to reach $1.1 trillion.

However, B2B e-commerce is not only essential for sales. It also changes what employees do. It focuses on customer service, product development and marketing. Businesses that leverage the technology improve both customer experience and overall operations.

“British Airways equip their cabin crews with iPads to enable flight attendants to re-book in-flight passengers on new connecting flights (if necessary). The maintenance staff also use iPads to track maintenance issues and order replacement parts. The airline has expedited its supply chain to keep its planes operating on time, build customer loyalty and improve overall operations.”

Mobile devices have also gained stream among B2B buyers. B2B e-commerce customers have mobility in mind. For them, mobile is more than just a channel. It allows them to do something within the immediate context.

How to Integrate B2B E-Commerce with ERP Systems
Integrating your B2B e-commerce site with your internal systems streamlines your operations and simplifies your customers’ buying experience. It offers significant benefits such as increasing business opportunities, improving sales, reducing costs and helping your reach more clients.

To ensure your ERP integration is a success, consider these four tips:

  1. Define data to be integrated. Know what data to include, what source, where it will be sent to and how often it will be updated. Integrate some of these data initially and add others over time.
  2. Map your customer registration workflow. Data integrations can affect the registration process. Make sure you map out the workflow for new customers before any integration to make the process as simple as possible.
  3. Build a data migration plan. New integrations have initial, necessary one-time data migration steps including loading product data and ensuring all products have valid SKU, migrating users from previous e-commerce site, and mapping your existing e-commerce customers.
  4. Plan for failure. No matter how well you plan, data does not reach its destination all the time. It is important that you have a backup plan. Set up alerts to notify specific individuals for certain types of error.

With so much data available in B2B e-commerce, there is no room for vague estimates. You can improve your customers’ buying experience and web store functionality. Keep in mind that the sales process is considered as an essential part of your company’s success. Optimizing this process and getting it more efficient is the key. Leveraging B2B e-commerce is a smart thing to do. Click here to learn more about our e-commerce platform.