Be it B2B or B2C, buyers are becoming more tech-savvy each day. They want personalisation, speed, convenience, and accuracy from any brand. And, because they are getting used to doing things online for almost anything today, whether for work or personal use, many B2B customers now prefer the convenience of doing business online as well.
Many B2B merchants are realising that investing into a robust and scalable B2B ecommerce solution is all but essential to their pursuit of sustainable (and tangible) business growth and, of course, acquiring new customers, so they are making a digital transformation by implementing a to stay ahead of the competition.
Advantages of ecommerce for B2B
B2B ecommerce is predicted to boom in the UK with many businesses increasing their online investment, as they adapt to the digital marketplace more than giving priority to increasing their physical store presence. Most of their change of heart comes from realising that they can improve their customer reach, and the accessibility of international customers, creating more distribution routes. They want to digitise their sales platforms and make their websites ecommerce compatible.
Contribute to industry growth
It is seen that third parties will be needed by many B2B organisations to help them address their barriers to the adoption of ecommerce, involving logistics, implementation and management. They are preparing for the boom in the global economy after years of uncertainty.
Often overlooked is the fact that the UK is a B2B nation that influences the B2B market globally. According to a 2019 report, about 40 per cent of the companies in the UK derive most of their income from B2B activities. It equates to B2B accounting for £1.7 trillion or 44 per cent of the business turnover in the country.
Bigger order values
B2B companies order in bulk, so they present higher average order values. With ecommerce, a B2B company can generate sales even after office hours. The conversion rate is likewise higher because the customers are definite about what they need, so going online and finding their supplier means they are either looking for new products or placing a new order. They are not there because they want to browse and see if anything interesting is worth buying like a B2C customer.
Sell to consumers directly
With B2B ecommerce you can sell to your customers directly. Easier processes and enhanced operational efficiencies make it possible for a company to market parts of its product catalogue to specific consumers and explore other areas for business growth.
Provide customers with self-service account management
Using ecommerce technology, you provide your customers with more power to manage their accounts. With self-service online tools, you can streamline parts of the sales process that are time-consuming. Even without interacting with your salesperson, they can complete business transactions themselves by allowing the customers to create their accounts and provide them with account-specific products and prices. Customers can update their shipping and billing addresses, update and save payment forms, check the progress of their orders, provide them with re-order features, and enhance their overall shopping experience.
Full product catalogue displays online
While visits from salespeople are still part of the entire B2B selling process, selling online extends the service. It allows busy buyers to use their time wisely. A B2B ecommerce site will let the company display their large product catalogue in full. You can provide all the information that is important to buyers, and show them the products in high resolution, allowing the customers to view them closely. You can even include 3D images or video presentations to enhance customer experience.
Automate key processes and integrate systems
Ecommerce platforms today have integrated systems allowing them to synchronise their processes, like order processing and inventory tracking. A B2B ecommerce platform simplifies many processes, making manual data entry almost a thing of the past. Costly mistakes are eliminated, and high-quality customer data are gathered and processed for better business and customer analysis. A robust ecommerce solution can also easily integrate with your company’s back-end systems so you can sync customer data, inventory, and order across all channels.
As part of system integration, you can automate order fulfilment, display available inventory in real-time, ship from multiple warehouses, provide real-time updates on shipment tracking, and handle different processes such as partial deliveries.
With ecommerce, you will see improvements in your B2B transactions. B2B buyers are moving further and further into the digital realm, and you provide them with a better shopping experience, with the ease of shopping similar to B2C, and the convenience of maximising their time.