B2B ecommerce is seriously big business. The global B2B ecommerce sector is forecast to be worth £5.2 trillion by 2020. As digital savvy Millenials take over senior buying and procurement positions, businesses need to be ready to meet and service their needs.
Historically, B2B digital marketing has been slow to evolve, falling behind its B2C counterpart. However, in recent years there’s been rapid growth in B2B ecommerce sales, so it’s a proposition that deserves serious consideration.
We live and work in fast moving, flexible times. Employees now take on multiple roles and are working flexibly (in time, location or both). B2B ecommerce allows 24/7 online ordering, so now customers can buy when and where they want. Which means there’s no reason to miss out on vital sales because the phones have switched to answerphone at 5:30pm!
A world of possibilities
Intuitive UX design and thoughtfully linked products can help customers discover new products or services. It’s simple enough to repeat the same order over and over, but by moving the process online you can showcase so much more. Using customer data or AI, B2B customers can be introduced to new products, ranges and services, giving you significantly more cross-selling touch points.
B2B ecommerce also makes international sales a breeze. Work hard on the SEO strategy, identify and understand your keywords and before you know it, a new audience of B2B customers are discovering your website, products and/or services while you’re getting your (well earned) shuteye!
I feel the need, the need for speed
Although not necessarily appropriate for all sectors, quick order systems can save a good deal of time for both you and your customers. If a customer knows exactly what products they want, then a reliable, easy to use, quick online ordering system can get their order through to you in minutes. We recently designed and developed a similar online system for a client who had never offered a B2B ecommerce option to their customer base – they took orders over £110,000 online in the first month!
B2B ecommerce saves you and your staff oceans of time because it removes the need to re-key a sales order (giving you time to focus on other areas of your business).
Sounds great, but I don’t want to launch a new website
No need. Nearly all B2C ecommerce websites can be adapted and developed to offer a B2B ecommerce platform!
Typically, B2B ecommerce is accessed via a trade login area and once they’re logged in, your customers can access and view:
- Personalised price lists and promotions
- Delivery information and B2B minimum order values
- Customer specific payment options (card, PayPal, invoice etc.)
Using API and plug-in integrations, it’s possible to sync B2B ecommerce sales to an ERP, stock, sales or accounts system: no manual order entry, or updating of stock levels required! Combine this with a robust hosting plan and you’ve got a reliable, safe, accessible, and convenient sales channel that works hard 24/7.