B2B e-commerce marketing is already setting new thresholds for better user experience and effectiveness. To compete with the B2B commerce leaders, businesses need to adopt B2B-first e-commerce technology to implement new ideas and strategies to acquire prospective buyers before they move to their competitors. In this blog, we have enlightened the features that separate a B2B platform from B2C, and why using a B2C Platform for your B2B E-Commerce is a bad idea. Let's get started :
You may already have a B2C online store where you can have direct-to-consumer orders, or you may be selling on Amazon, Flipkart, etc. as part of your online D2C distribution plan. But how are you going to establish a store that your retailers or business customers can visit? More significantly, What features, will you require to fulfill those orders?
B2C vs B2B eCommerce Solutions
At first, many businesses initially look to B2C e-Commerce solutions like Shopify or Magento, which offer a great set of customization, but the truth is that these platforms aren't equipped to handle the requirements of wholesale ordering.
Why aren't Shopify and Magento suitable for B2B eCommerce?
Since they were designed specifically for B2C commerce. Even though they have already put themselves under a lot of strain serving the B2B market, it is still insufficient. These platforms are severely missing the following features:
- Purchaser-specific rates
- Complex payment terms
- Exclusions of products
- Sales Rep workflows
- Complex industry- or company-specific product variant arrangements.
- Case boxes and bundles
- MSRP and MAP information, and many other things.
These features require a significant amount of expensive programming, which doesn't seem to provide a good return on investment, particularly for small- to medium-sized businesses.
Why should you not customize a B2C e-commerce platform for B2B?
First, it is necessary to understand that B2C platforms like Magento and Shopify are not in your control. One little change in the software of the B2C e-commerce platform will destroy everything you did for B2B distribution requirements. When you again settle for new changes, a new update will be there.
Additionally, your IT team or hired developers will need to perform a significant amount of custom work to reconfigure the entire system and plug all the B2C holes in order to retrofit a B2C e-Commerce solution to work for your B2B commerce requirements. This strategy is expensive and challenging to maintain. Most of the time, your resources will go towards maintaining that B2C platform running for you like a B2B platform. This can result in two choices:
- Continue wasting a tonne of money on the changes.
- Stick with the older version. Never let your online B2B ordering platform improve or develop.
What is an ideal B2B e-Commerce platform?
B2B e-Commerce platforms are geared towards increasing productivity and business effectiveness from current customers who have already expressed an interest in making a purchase from you.
In the past few years, the B2B eCommerce industry has shown a massive advancement. However, there are many other reasons why a business must have a B2B eCommerce website. B2B eCommerce platform helps you to enhance your sales and businesses in many ways. Let's have a deep dive into them.
7 reasons why sellers need a B2B e-commerce website:
1. It helps in acquiring potential customers anytime anywhere.
In the 1980s and 90s brand awareness and word of mouth were crucial factors in the decision-making process to buy something. B2B buyers at that time were heavily dependent on their networks to buy something.
But now, with continuous advancements in technology, things have changed. People search online for any product, service, or information. If you don't have a website, you will lose the chances of potential customers finding your business. With a B2B eCommerce website, you can easily target potential customers anywhere in the world at any time. B2B e-commerce platform is now simpler than ever - thanks to the access to new stores, regions, product catalogs, and divisions that it provides.
If you’re running a B2B business and think that your potential customers aren’t looking you up on Google, think again.
2. Fast-track Order Fulfillment with Cloud-Based eCommerce Systems
B2B sellers who trade online have the opportunity to streamline their order fulfillment process. But How? It provides a cutting-edge cloud-based eCommerce platform for processing orders and monitoring inventory.
Nowadays, order administration tools are included in cloud-based eCommerce platforms. The entire supply chain is viewed as an interconnected ecosystem by Modern Order Management Systems (OMS), which enable suppliers to automate their internal workflows from order to satisfaction.
Other digital catalog software that reduces order placement errors and enhances inventory tracking can be integrated with OMS. Hence, this improves customer relationships by providing prompt support and order delivery. Now, B2B sellers can assure their clients of quick, accurate, and transparent dispatch.
For instance, QuickBooks Commerce is a fantastic cloud-based e-commerce system that enables wholesalers and B2B eCommerce companies to handle a wide range of supply chain ecosystems, orders, and inventory from a single integrated platform.
3. Enhance Analytics for Better Insights
Combining business tools such as ERP, PIM, Procurement, CRM, etc., enables businesses to view all models from a comprehensive angle. This enables business providers to quickly identify all the obstacles and make essential business choices to manage their activities effectively.
Essential Keys to improving analytics through branding:
- Maintaining constant contact with clients through social media channels and providing them with unique content.
- Enhancing user experience with appealing content, graphics, and online purchasing platforms.
- Make your B2B eCommerce platforms mobile-friendly.
- Developing a brand narrative that not only promotes your goods to customers but also fosters relationships with repeat customers.
4. Offer business-centric support
Customers prefer services that provide a better user experience. It means that businesses can acquire more customers and hence more revenue by offering a better user experience.
Consumers these days prefer to research products before purchasing. Customer self-service portals with reviews, product descriptions, shipping and handling details, purchase histories, and dispatch tracking data are accessible through B2B eCommerce websites.
By utilizing the personalization features of B2B eCommerce platforms, business owners can customize storefronts and customize products in accordance with customer preferences. The teams that interact with customers also have access to information about each customer and their transactions. Customers can get fully individualized and customer-focused support from this.
Retail customers and B2B buyers will have an outstanding customer experience on B2B eCommerce websites thanks to features like rich content, intuitive design, and interactive functionality.
5. Retain the Repeat Customers
Every business makes efforts to acquire new customers and retain the existing ones. Aside from this, it is also very important to maintain maximum revenue from both new and existing clients to enhance business growth and achieve set goals.
According to the research of Hubspot, “93% of customers like to make repeat purchases with businesses that offer outstanding user experience and customer service”.
So, why not make it simple and increasingly consistent for existing customers to buy from you?
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) and Net Promoter Score (NPV) should be used to create a consumer profile. Keep an eye on ongoing customer behavior and repeat purchases. This will assist you in determining the needs and potential issues of your clients. Once you start tracking addressing them, sales rise, and revenue rises and you become their top service provider.
An e-commerce platform enables customers to repurchase goods and services using a without any extra effort to connect with a representative. This leads to time savings for both clients and businesses.
6. Enhanced Sales Engagement
A B2B e-commerce website provides better accessibility to orders, pricing, and customer history even when they work from remote areas. In this manner, they can work without being confined to the office cabin and even take calls while they're out and about.
Additionally, you can update your customers with the automated inventory management and order tracking features of an eCommerce website. This increases transparency speeds up delivery and enhances the customer experience. The internet catering service CaterSpot is a well-known illustration. It has partnered with tech behemoths like Google, Uber, and LinkedIn due to its multi-channel tracking capabilities and a high degree of transparency.
7. Keeping up with buying trends
Customers are technologically savvy these days. They receive hundreds of emails in their mailbox, and according to MailChimp open only 21.23% of them. What are the odds they will open yours? Even if they receive your email, what would make them choose you over your competition?
A B2B eCommerce website can be your opportunity to showcase your expertise, method of working, and past successful collaboration with potential buyers. It would give them strong social proof and improve the chances of these buyers considering you for business. No need to go through the long path of emails, calls, and faxes. If your eCommerce website is good enough, a client can even purchase from you in a couple of seconds. And then your sales team can focus on finding new customers.
Overall, using a B2C platform for your B2B E-Commerce is not a good idea. An ideal B2B e-Commerce platform eliminates all the complexities and nuances of the B2B sector. At Tecorb Technologies, we have made sure that all the requirements of B2B business are covered within the scope of any customization required.
Connect with us to launch your B2B e-commerce store and reinvent your wholesale business online for enhanced ROI and exponential growth.