7 Reasons Your B2B Needs an eCommerce Platform
eCommerce’s steady rise became an industry-shifting development across many sectors. Reports showed that eCommerce sales rose by 27.6% in 2020, totaling $4.280 trillion aggregately. The COVID-19 pandemic significantly influenced many to adapt to digital solutions to stay afloat amidst lockdowns.
But even as the world enters a new normal, eCommerce adoption continues to increase. Moreover, there’s reason to believe that trend will not stop in the foreseeable future. And while most eCommerce sales are in the business-to-consumer (B2C) category, there has been a steady growth in B2B implementing eCommerce platforms.
7 Reasons to Get into B2B eCommerce
1. Wider Audience
The first reason why B2B eCommerce is a good strategy is that it gives B2B brands and businesses access to a broader audience. Digital marketing should be a staple for any business, regardless of the market. And any chance to improve one’s digital footprint should be seen as a win.
B2B eCommerce is a good digital strategy. For example, there are now many online opportunities for distributors as bulk product sales on more significant marketplaces for resellers have gone up. That trend will continue as websites like Amazon, Alibaba, and Walmart push for bigger order sizes and create features to support them.
2. Ride the Generational Shift
The next generation of professionals is now starting to take over managerial and leadership decisions, including buying decisions. Studies show that 73% of millennials are now involved in B2B purchasing decisions. In addition, these younger executives are more tech-savvy than their predecessors. They will generally prefer solutions with an eCommerce nature.
B2B businesses need to start marketing to a younger crowd in the coming years, and B2B eCommerce is the perfect strategy. An eCommerce platform will improve brand awareness and liking amongst these more tech-inclined decision-makers, leaving the edge of memorability while the trend is still going upwards.
3. Automated Processes
A notable advantage of using B2B software is providing automation of repetitive processes. In business, removing the human factor from processes is key to improving accuracy and efficiency. B2B eCommerce platforms automate various parts of the purchasing process, including payment collection, order information collection, fulfillment, and so on.
With this, companies can also close deals faster. In addition, it removes any unnecessary friction that manual processes can cause and lowers error incidence when taking orders.
4. Productivity and Scalability
There are many benefits of B2B eCommerce, and it’s hard to deny that productivity and scalability are some of the most alluring of them all. When companies are productive, they’re profitable. And profitability with the suitable systems in place could result in scalability.
eCommerce has undoubtedly leveled the playing field for businesses. That’s because it gives smaller businesses a fighting chance at entering mass globalization. With an eCommerce platform, the world truly is one’s oyster as it allows a B2B business to market and offer its products and services to people from anywhere in the world.
5. Improved Client Experiences
Through using a B2B eCommerce platform, businesses can also improve client experiences. The first way it does this is by giving all clients a platform to provide a seamless buying experience. For example, ordering through an eCommerce website is more seamless than exchanging emails. And there are business clients that could prefer this mode of buying.
Secondly, eCommerce platforms come with a provided support system. This feature will allow B2B businesses to respond to any client concerns faster. A B2B company can also improve sales with client support, given that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for better service.
6. Better Sales Management
Let us say a B2B business is in the service category, such as a consulting firm. When one hires someone with an economics degree, salary offers tend to be relatively high. So to optimize an economics consultant’s performance, one should remove as many non-consulting tasks as possible. Through an eCommerce platform, consultants can outsource sales management and CRM.
Sales management is crucial because it ensures that hot leads and new clients don’t fall through the cracks. A B2B eCommerce system can act as that sales funnel for a service-based B2B organization.
7. Gain Access to Advanced Analytics
These days, data is a vital part of business improvement and operation. They give insight into what works and what doesn’t. Data can show decision-makers a more quantitative measure of their performance, which allows them to pivot and adjust. Using a B2B eCommerce system can give B2B businesses access to advanced analytics that can report things like traffic, conversion rates, average purchase size, cost of advertising, and so on.
How to Start an eCommerce Platform for B2B
There’s unquestionably a lot of benefit to having a B2B eCommerce platform for your company. So if you’re convinced your B2B company needs one, here is how you can get started on that journey today.
1. Find a service that specializes in B2B sales
B2B and B2C sales indeed have their differences. Hence, look for a platform that specializes in B2B eCommerce. The top B2B eCommerce platforms will provide a lot of contextual support for B2B businesses like order and warehouse management, advanced client support, assistance in payment processing, and so on.
2. Roll out in tranches
Rolling out a B2B online platform will not happen overnight. It’s a process, but one that can be incredibly worth it when B2B businesses set them up right. Unlike setting up a B2C online store, a B2B shop will need more contextual support. B2B eCommerce solutions will usually include a consultation before onboarding to provide B2B providers with a system that suits their needs best.
After setting up the system, roll it out in tranches by providing the necessary support and training to all staff involved. It’s essential to give your team the necessary training before officially launching anything. Consider doing a dry run or soft launch before going all in on an eCommerce strategy.
3. Educate your market
If your company has clients that have always followed a more manual approach to B2B purchasing, your company will need to educate your clients on the new process. Provide client support from the onset and communicate why B2B eCommerce is beneficial to the client.
We cannot stop digitization, and clients will soon realize that. But product and service providers will need to be at the forefront of educating the market.
Growth in B2B eCommerce
When all has been said, the main reason why B2B businesses should start an eCommerce channel is because of one thing: business growth. eCommerce gives any company or organization a chance to grow their revenue, decrease costs, and serve their clients better.
B2B eCommerce reached a valuation of $7.65 billion in 2020 and could hit $13.63 billion by 2027, as reports show. That collective growth also means more opportunities for companies to take their share of the pie. eCommerce is a significant part of the future of business. It would do good for businesses to start gaining that momentum today, whether you’re in a B2B or B2C category.