The main benefits of B2B e-commerce are:
Benefit 1: Tap more business opportunities with local Distributors Worldwide
Benefit 2: Improve B2B e-commerce wholesales by reaching local sellers online
Benefit 3: Lower your costs
Benefit 4: Get customer feedback
Benefit 5: Reach new markets worldwide.
Benefit 6: Achieve data-centricity with ERP-integrated B2B e-commerce
What’s the difference between B2C and B2B e-commerce? Briefly, there might not seem to be many differences between B2C and B2B e-commerce. The basic needs that a web store must meet is the same for consumers and professional buyers alike: they need an online sales channel that’s available 24/7. But that is where the similarities stop.
B2B Professional buyers have a number of additional needs that business-to-business web stores have to meet in order to provide a viable alternative to simply calling, emailing or even faxing your sales department. This includes:
B2C Consumer web stores offer a standard price for each product — often with bulk or member discounts. In contrast, many B2B companies have come to individual pricing agreements with their clients, and that needs to be reflected in their online sales channels.
Single buyers vs. decision-making units
B2C Consumers often make purchasing decisions by themselves, or maybe in collaboration with one or two others. B2B Professional procurement, on the other hand, can be much more complex, and this complexity can be difficult to reflect in B2C web stores. B2B e-commerce platforms are specifically designed to support various roles so you can safeguard your client’s procurement processes and DMU structure.
Product search functionality
While consumers may search based on a brand name or product description, seasoned B2B buyers often search using article numbers to ensure that they get exactly the right item. Depending on their industry, there may only be one specific part suitable for their business needs. B2B web stores are designed with all these search needs in mind.
Historically, many B2B companies have operated using catalogue models. Although frequent buyers eventually learn where their required products are, looking up products, writing down orders and phoning them through is still a highly time-consuming process. Having an online presence through which buyers can find, order and pay for products makes this process much more flexible and user-friendly, and as such a B2B ecommerce website has become an appealing and even demanded capability, that can have a direct impact on order value and customer retention.
It can also benefit a B2B business by delivering administrative efficiencies, for example by giving customers direct access to stock levels so that time is not spent unnecessarily dealing with orders that can’t currently be serviced. A well-designed B2B ecommerce platform should also provide customers with all the information they need to make a purchase decision without requiring one-to-one customer service, driving further efficiencies.
B2B companies must also recognize the shift to digital channels that has been taking place for years, if not decades, across the entire retail sector. Whether you have an ecommerce website or not, you are competing in a space that is primarily online, with associated customer expectations. Buyers today are increasingly likely to search online for the products they need rather than go directly to a specific supplier, so it is important to make sure you:
Appear prominently in the search results.
Support the customer in making a purchase decision.
Open the door to future purchases through positive brand interactions.
Finally, as recent months have shown, traditional sales channels can be rapidly and radically disrupted by unforeseen events, reinforcing the need for multiple customer touchpoints to maximize accessibility and convenience.
Dr.Burcu (Ella) Keskin