B2B eCommerce-based Digital Transformation becomes a strategic priority in the post-pandemic period for Manufacturers and Wholesalers. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, 70-80% of the B2B Buyers prefer a Digital Self Service Platform nowadays and they use it for Identifying, Evaluation, Ordering and Reordering from New/Existing Suppliers. These B2B Buyers spending 50K to even 1 Million USD on Digital Commerce Platforms. B2B eCommerce Sales reached more than 1 trillion USD and growing at 10% Per Year. With the right strategies, Manufacturers and Wholesalers can get a fair share in this Highly Potential Ecosystem of B2B eCommerce.
8 Growth Strategies for Manufacturers & Wholesalers with Integrated B2B eCommerce
Choose The Right B2B eCommerce Platform
Choosing the right eCommerce platform is the most important decision which a manufacturer needs to make.
- It should support your B2B requirements specifically.
- It should be scalable to support your future growth aspirations.
- You need to find a proper balance between complexity, budget and Go To Market Time.
- You need to choose between Self Hosted Open Source or SaaS-based ecommerce platform, keeping in mind that it can be customized as per your current and future needs.
Many merchants invest months in the evaluation of the eCommerce platform. You also keep in mind the Go To Market Time and ROI from the platform, delaying the launch by months also delays your Digital Adoption which may not be a good idea. Whichever is meeting your requirements the most, go with that one. This will minimize the additional development and modifications you will need to do. It will save you time, effort, and money.
Site Design (UI/UX)
According to a recent survey by BigCommerce, 76% of B2B Buyers say that Site Design is the most important factor in a buying decision.
Awesome user experience and appealing user interface are critical decision factors when it comes to the success of your B2B eCommerce strategies. If your website is difficult to navigate or confusing to use, B2B buyers are unlikely to revisit it. In such cases, the inbound lead generation capabilities will be impacted, and you may lose a lot of potential buyers. Understand the buyer persona you are dealing with, their needs, and their pain points. Take note of their requirements and what problems they are facing. Build UI/UX deep focused on buyer problems, their persona, and needs. Use PWA and/or Responsive Design to optimize Site performance across all devices.
SEO and Site Optimization
According to a recent survey by BigCommerce, 89% of B2B Buyers use the Internet to find products and 73% of B2B Buyers use Google to Find Products. Therefore, Site Optimization and SEO are the most important factors to make your products discoverable to B2B Buyers during Google Search.
You need to create content for the most relevant and most common words your audience is searching for. If you haven’t done SEO to date, start with the basics of technical SEO such as sitemap, interlinking patterns, and optimize website loading speed. You need to put Unique Category Pages in the main URL to drive Organic Ranking.
Use Self Service Features for B2B Buyers
One of the key factors that B2B Buyers like in an eCommerce Platform is Self Service Features. Buyer Self-Service Features also eliminates the need for buyers to contact your Service Team.
- B2B Buyer Registration and Approval Process need to be online to grant them quick access. They can upload necessary documents during registration which can be verified by the eCommerce Admin. Contact Persons should receive a login email automatically to access the portal.
- If you follow Quotation and Negotiation in your conventional Business Cycle, this feature should also be present in your Digital Commerce Platform
- Orders placed by Employees of B2B Buyer Company often need verification and approval internally. Your Digital Commerce Platform should have features of Buyer Side Order Approval Process so that you receive and process Approved Orders only.
Simplify Transaction Process
While B2C Transactions are powered through Payment Gateway and Online Payment, B2B Business Scenario is vastly different. Often the Payment Methods used in B2B are Purchase Order and Credit limits.
- You need to ensure that your B2B Commerce Portal has the provision to use Purchase Order as a Payment Method. Buyers should be able to enter their PO# and attached signed soft copy of PO to place the Order
- Alternatively, you can use a Credit Limit for each B2B Customer. Each Distributor can have an approved Credit Limit which they can use during Checkout. Once the Credit Limit is used, B2B Buyer can pay the remaining balance through Online Payment
Personalized User Experience for B2B Buyers
According to a recent survey by BigCommerce, 50% of B2B Buyers said that they place orders based on the personalized user experience they get in the eCommerce Portal. So, Buyer Specific Personalization is the key to B2B Commerce Success.
- Your Portal should be able to provide Customer Specific Pricing, each customer should be treated as per a defined commercial relationship and they should see the Product Prices in a Different way
- Volume Discount and Period Discount also differs based on Customers. So rather than offering generic Volume and Period Discounts, offer Customer Specific Volume and Period Discount based on their Average Order Value, Ordered Quantity and Ordering Frequency in the past
- Specific Product Categories/Products should be visible to only relevant customer/customer groups. So, category visibility also needs to work on Customers/Customer Groups
- Quick Order capability based on Screen Controls and /or CSV Import. Frequent Large Quantity and higher Average Order Value B2B Buyers prefer a Quick Order Feature in the eCommerce Portal itself.
Enhance After Sales Service
Trust, personal relationship, responsiveness, quality improvements and value for money the most important factors for a strong relationship with your buyer. Buyers expect the vendor to score high in these five aspects before they make a purchase, and even after they’ve made the purchase.
- Your eCommerce Portal should have the ability to store Serial/Batch Numbers against each SKU
- B2B Buyers should be able to easily return the products if the product is faulty
- B2B Buyers can register for Warranty through the portal
- B2B Buyers should be able to create Service Requests from the Portal, within or after Warranty. There can be an additional Service Fee payable online for Service Requests After Warranty.
Quick and Efficient Delivery Process
Optimize your supply chain and shipping processes to ensure faster delivery. Businesses buy from you so that they can sell to their customers. If your delivery process is quicker and efficient, it will make the entire business cycle faster. They will be able to fulfill their customer demands quickly.
Order Processing is often performed by the Back Office team who use ERP systems such as SAP, Microsoft, Sage etc. So, your eCommerce needs to be seamlessly integrated with your Back Office System so that the Order Processing can start quickly, Delivery with tracking number when generated in ERP should reflect immediately in eCommerce Platform and B2B Buyer receive email and other updates related to Order Tracking.
The above strategies are targeted towards a quick Improvement of your B2B eCommerce Business Cycle. Rock-solid B2B eCommerce strategies will result in exponential business growth in the long term.
INSYNC Commerce is a B2B eCommerce platform that is designed for manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers to cater to their needs of better digital adoption, quicker digital launch and rapid growth. The platform offers end-to-end built-in integration with other business applications such as ERP, CRM, POS, etc. to provide a seamless eCommerce experience.
Get started with your B2B eCommerce store and gain a competitive edge in the market! Also, connect all your business applications under one single platform to automate the business process!