To stay competitive, you have to be willing to evolve. While many businesses have embraced eCommerce, everyone hasn’t fully optimized the opportunities that it offers. One such area is in the field of B2B (Business-to-Business) sales.
What is B2B eCommerce?
B2B eCommerce involves the sale of products from one business to another using an eCommerce website. Typically, this allows the purchasing business to buy products without having to interact with a salesperson.
Why is B2B eCommerce important?
In today’s economy, it’s necessary to have a digital platform in order to sell your products. More and more, business customers are expecting that they can order products online and then have them shipped directly. This is especially true because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The effects of the pandemic have changed the buying habits of almost everyone. Now, more than ever, brick-and-mortar stores are becoming less important than online stores. But it’s also important to expand your marketing to focus on B2B customers. If you diversify your business to take in both individual consumers (B2C) and large businesses, you’re going to expand your opportunities to make sales. This is also why eCommerce is so important. Now, you can expand your sales area outside of your immediate geographic area and ship your products worldwide.
What are the benefits of B2B eCommerce?
There are multiple benefits to expanding your business plan to include B2B eCommerce:
- B2B eCommerce is expected to total $1.8 trillion by 2023. This works out to as much as a 5% increase of all B2B sales in just five years.
- Millennials expect to be able to shop online to make their purchases. One analysis shows that 73% of buyers for businesses are millennials who are used to making purchases online.
- Another major benefit of B2B eCommerce sales is that single B2B sales average around $500 while a single B2C sale averages around $150. Additionally, B2B sales tend to have a higher repeat business. By branching into B2B, you not only increase your individual sales, but you also open up to more repeat sales.
What are the best practices for B2B eCommerce?
There are several steps you can take to add B2B sales to your eCommerce site. These include:
- First, make your entire catalog available online. This kind of access is essential to ensuring that you are taking full advantage of your eCommerce potential. Your website should be easy to navigate through each of the product categories. But you should also be able to search the catalog for specific products. Finally, you need rich descriptions of your products to help sell them and include reviews of your products to show the quality of your products.
- Integrate your website with your ERP so you can have real-time updates on products in stock. Automate the process so that order fulfillment can be handled quickly and efficiently. Offer multiple delivery options and when orders are fulfilled, provide your customers with the ability to track their packages.
- One of the best things you can do for your eCommerce site to increase B2B sales is to add a visual configurator. In this way, your customers can customize their products to fit the specific needs of their business. But the visual configurator adds to this because it lets the customer see exactly what they’re ordering. As their product is updated and customized, the visualization updates in real-time. This is a great way to show exactly what they’re ordering. It’s also a psychological sales tool as the customer becomes invested in the product by seeing how their choices change the product.
Stay Ahead of the Competition By Giving Your Customers What They Want
If you truly wish to make your business more competitive, that means diversifying your sales to include multiple markets. The current pandemic and sales trends over the past few years all indicate that relying on one market may be too limiting if something should happen to those customers. By expanding into B2B sales, you’re ensuring that you diversify enough to increase your company’s sales.