The landscape of B2B e-commerce is always evolving and changing, which makes it crucial for businesses to be able to keep up with the new opportunities and trends that digitisation has created.
B2B has long since overtaken B2C in regards to online transaction spending, and digital commerce continues to take a larger share of overall B2B sales, with that figure being expected to rise even further from 14% last year to as high as 17% within the next two years, according to Statista.
B2B merchants therefore cannot afford to be left behind when the B2B buying experience is about more than just order placement and encompasses everything from customers researching products to the likes of distribution and warehouses and so on. The right e-commerce platform can play a major role in business success.
Benefits of a B2B E-Commerce Site
1. Expand Your Reach and Grow Your Business
In comparison to B2C platforms, B2B platforms have a number of advantages for organisations due to the inclusion of extra layers and processing capabilities related to warehouses, distribution and customers.
The reality is that an organisation’s potential customers are likely already online looking for the best prices, making product comparisons and spending their money on businesses that are able to meet their needs.
Use the power of search engines and learn where these customers are conducting research for their purchases. A site that is responsive, SEO friendly, and can be accessed by any type of device will give your business a higher Google ranking and help to increase awareness of your brand.
Having the web catalogues of your organisation placed online not only enables you to reach a greater number of customers but also results in a centralisation of data. This also benefits your internal teams, as a well-organised website provides easily accessible data relating to catalogues, history, orders, and pricing, regardless of whether they are working in the field or from home.
2. Enhance Customer-Centricity and the Omnichannel Experience
Research by McKinsey has indicated that 70-80% of B2B decision makers prefer digital self-service or remote sales interactions. A well designed e-commerce website can offer users access to product descriptions, handling and shipping information, and reviews. However, the experience can be further enhanced with self-service portals, allowing them to manage their account details, track their order history, and view delivery tracking details.
Leveraging the personalisation capabilities of a B2B e-commerce platform means that a site can even be customised to provide a different appearance and showcase particular products first based on the preferences of the individual buyers.
Even more importantly, your sales team will be able to access a vast array of data regarding customers and their transactions, assisting them to be able to provide support that is customer-centric and personalised. They are also able to view custom catalogues and pricing for specific customers, in addition to products and promotions targeted at specific segments.
B2B e-commerce experiences go beyond the barriers of selling that come with physical stores, reducing the likelihood of customers leaving empty-handed because what they’re looking for wasn’t in-store. Customer journeys in the modern world move between different platforms and devices, and brands depend on e-commerce to provide messages that are specific to each platform and experiences that drive conversions.
3. Improve Your Analytical Capabilities
With the expectations of customers only continuing to grow, businesses need to be able to think quickly and avoid costly mistakes. Customers can be pushed to go elsewhere if mistakes are made in regards to the likes of fulfilment, orders and stock counts, but back-office staff can ensure they receive accurate stock counts and provide better customer service when they have the right data easily accessible in front of them. This is made possible through the extensive capabilities of modern B2B e-commerce platforms.
4. Increase Business Productivity
Productivity is another benefit of having a B2B e-commerce platform, as they enable businesses to focus on building relationships with their customers rather than just taking orders.
Self-service portals can take orders 24/7 and give customers access to order status, personalised pricing, and more. The use of automated workflows not only eliminates issues associated with human error, but also empowers staff members to focus on tasks of higher value including consultation and support to clients and prospects.
How Can Your Business Benefit from a B2B E-Commerce Platform?
The expectations for digital experiences have never been higher, and the benefits of introducing and maintaining a B2B e-commerce platform for your organisation are almost incalculable. They play a large role in improving customer experience, driving additional revenue and enhancing efficiencies within your organisation.
Find out more about these 6 must-have features for your B2B e-commerce platform that are vital to digital commerce success.