The B2B eCommerce landscape is constantly shifting and evolving, so businesses must keep up with the trends, benefits, and opportunities stemming from digitization. For one, the B2B segment has long since overtaken its B2C counterpart in the amount spent on online transactions. Digital commerce is taking a bigger share of total B2B sales, with that number expected to rise from 14% in 2020 to 17% by 2023.
If you’re a B2B merchant, you can’t afford to sit on the sidelines. It’s not enough to create a generic product catalog and a shopping cart since your market is likely unique, sophisticated, and more demanding than that of the average B2C business.
The right eCommerce website plays a central role in the success of an eCommerce business. Unfortunately, the amount of merchants reaping B2B eCommerce opportunities still lags behind what we’ve seen in the B2C space. That’s why today, we’re taking a data-driven, detailed look into the many advantages of a B2B eCommerce strategy.
Whether or not you’ve considered B2B eCommerce as a viable sales channel for your business, the infographic below will help you get a better understanding of its importance.
By the way, if you would like to skip all of the reading and get to the full infographic itself, click this link.
Leading B2B eCommerce Stats and Facts
Business leaders are embracing digital commerce
Businesses of all types are steadily expanding their online reach. Many are making a move online to capture additional sales while others invest in digital commerce to offset losses at their physical locations. In fact, according to Marketlive, 85% of all B2B organizations recognize that their eCommerce strategy is a vital, yet underutilized revenue opportunity.
Customers are looking for you online already
“In the digital age, your most effective sales representative may not be a person but your e-commerce site accessed form the purchaer’s desktop computer or mobile device”
Yoav Kutner, Co-Founder and CEO of Oro Inc.
11 Main Benefits of B2B eCommerce
1. Scalability and growth
A well-performing online store strengthens your presence, drawing more potential clients on your turf. Thus, an effective eCommerce solution will be easily discoverable, SEO-optimized, and mobile-friendly. Another benefit of a B2B eCommerce platform is its flexibility, allowing businesses to open multiple stores and expand into B2C, B2B2C, and D2C selling modes. For example, in medical supplies eCommerce, B2B2C is utilized to maintain regulatory oversight and healthcare organizations must ensure their marketing information is consistent and compliant.
It is clear that users now prefer do-it-yourself options for researching products prior to purchase. Well-designed eCommerce websites provide them with access to self-service portals with product descriptions, reviews, shipping, and handling information, as well as their account, order history, and delivery tracking information.
By leveraging B2B eCommerce platforms’ personalization capabilities, you can even customize the way your storefront looks or which products it displays first based on buyer preferences. Most importantly, your sales team gets access to a wealth of data on each customer & their transactions, helping them offer personalized, customer-centric support.
3. Customer reach
Your customers are already online searching for the best prices, comparing products, and spending money with businesses that meet their requirements. Go where your buyers are researching purchases and leverage the power of search engines. An SEO-friendly, responsive site that is accessible on any device will rank higher on Google and increase your brand awareness.
Placing your web catalogs online allows you to not only reach more customers but centralize data, too. For example, even your physical teams will appreciate a well-organized website. They will have a single source of truth since catalog data, orders, pricing, and history will be easily accessible – whether they’re working remotely or out in the field.
4. Digital agility
B2B businesses must have the ability to launch their stores quickly, shift to new markets, or scale their eCommerce business to meet growing demand. Today’s technology makes it easy for brands to build long-term relationships or build a following of their own.
Furthermore, an eCommerce platform allows B2B retailers to grow beyond their local area and reach new customers. Unlike their brick-and-mortar counterparts, eCommerce retailers can build web stores in local languages, currencies and accept local payment methods – even if it means operating within different tax codes and legal regulations.
5. Increased productivity
A B2B eCommerce platform allows businesses to focus on building relationships with customers instead of merely taking orders. A self-service portal can take orders 24/7 and supply customers with personalized pricing, order status, and more. With automated order workflows, the possibility of errors and misunderstandings are eliminated. This empowers your staff to address things a machine cannot do – advising, consulting, and supporting leads & clients.
6. Omnichannel experience
A B2B eCommerce experience transcends selling barriers posed by physical stores. Customers don’t have to visit a showroom only to find out they can’t find what they need and leave empty-handed. Today’s customer journeys are rarely linear, as they move between devices and platforms. For example, customers can start on your Facebook’s mobile site and transfer to your website on desktop. Brands rely on eCommerce in order to offer platform-specific messages and conversion-driving experiences on their stores.
7. Flexible payment options
A typical large-scale B2B business can process a variety of terms, payment, and invoice options. Thus, not offering the right payment method can result in unneeded friction for the customer resulting in lost sales. Many B2B platforms offer built-in payment methods and integrate with payment processors, invoicing systems, accounting software, support physical checks, and so on.
An open-source approach to software development influences many software categories and innovative technologies we see today. When it comes to B2B eCommerce, open-source offers the most advanced out-of-the-box functionality for B2Bs with the added flexibility to customize it according to their needs. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers who want to grow with a future-proof platform appreciate the innovation offered by open source.
9. Accurate analytics
With customer expectations on the rise, quick thinking is everything, and businesses cannot afford to make mistakes. Making the wrong decisions about orders, fulfillment, or even stock counts will push customers to look elsewhere. With the right data at their fingertips, back-office staff can get accurate stock counts and use that to offer better service to customers.
Data integration into other business software (ERP, PIM, Procurement, CRM, etc.) provides you with a holistic view of all business processes. This allows for greater instant insight into business processes such as inventory bottlenecks and making important business decisions to quickly optimize your operations.
10. Improved sales process
Your B2B eCommerce website will quickly become your best salesperson because it can supply customers with the right information and make it easy for them to complete their order. When customers can self-serve, order, and reorder according to their negotiated terms, previous quotes, or personalized prices, you increase sales and average order values.
Your B2B eCommerce back-office must provide reps with full visibility into customer info, their order history, personalized pricing, and instant insight into stock availability. Finally, it must also be mobile-friendly and accessible to reps working remotely or on the road.
11. Stronger brand
With your very own online presence backed by an eCommerce solution, you have full control over growing and promoting your brand. While joining third-party marketplaces may be an attractive low-cost option of getting your brand online, you give up your margins and lose data about your customers. Be strategic and leverage B2B marketplaces as an additional sales channel, not a substitute for your own branded eCommerce site.
Hope We Got You Thinking About B2B eCommerce!
Although most B2B business owners are well aware of the necessity of digital transformation, the amount of merchants reaping the opportunities in the B2B online commerce space is still limited. We hope that this infographic does its part to increase B2B eCommerce awareness and help you identify new benefits and opportunities B2B eCommerce can offer your business.
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