Business-to-business eCommerce – more than just a revenue driver

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As well as increasing turnover, b2b eCommerce can also help manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors capitalise on many other opportunities to drive business performance. For example, providing customers with self-service options simplifies the purchasing procedure and improves your company’s operational efficiency by automating tasks that staff would have previously undertaken.

Dealing with estimates, completing order forms, checking prices and stock levels, and advising on the status of deliveries are some of the jobs that can be handled automatically through a b2b eCommerce solution. This saves your business time and resource while reducing the chance of errors that can come with manual activities. What’s more, research shows that over 90% of b2b buyers prefer self-service – it gives them more flexibility, more control and speeds up previously time-consuming processes.

Today’s smartest b2b eCommerce platforms integrate with business and accounting systems such as Sage and Pegasus to provide real-time information and a raft of intelligent features designed to streamline the buyer’s experience and keep customers loyal. The ability to quickly reorder products based on past purchases, personalised product offers and tailored pricing and discount structures support cross-selling, up-selling and bigger baskets at the checkout – which in turn helps to increase order value and improve margin.

The latest b2b eCommerce solutions also provide sellers with access to rich data sets on customer activity and website performance. Analysing this information gives you the opportunity to test different marketing strategies, refine your target audiences and messaging, adjust your sales promotions, and review product ranges and prices. With sales channel digitalisation, it’s easy to uncover a depth of insights that help you make informed decisions about where to focus resources in order accelerate return on marketing and technology investment.

With nearly 90% of b2b buyers starting their product and vendor search online, adding an eCommerce channel to your sales repertoire can open up the business to a whole new world of potential customers. Ultimately though, it’s the quality and consistency of the experience you’re able to offer across all channels (or the omnichannel experience) that will set your business apart. Just like B2C customers, b2b buyers now demand a fully integrated buying experience across the entire purchasing journey, however they engage with your business – from face-to-face to online and mobile.

Optimising your online experience for mobile is not just critical for b2b buyers who increasingly research and order from their phones when they’re on the move, but also for your sales teams. When representatives are out visiting customers, it’s much easier and more efficient for them to take an iPad to share product catalogue information and sales material on the website, instead of reams of printed material. It’s just another way that the right b2b eCommerce platform can add extra value to your business.