Choosing the Perfect B2B Ecommerce Solution
Ecommerce is a huge part of how consumers use their purchasing power today, and it’s becoming increasingly important as time goes on. However, despite the many benefits associated with using an online platform to manage sales, B2B companies – businesses that market their goods and services to other businesses – have been slower to adapt to this type of operation than those that market directly to consumers (B2C). One reason for this phenomenon may be the plethora of B2B ecommerce platforms available; it’s an important decision to have to make, and having all of those available options can be overwhelming.
Essential Considerations When Choosing B2B Ecommerce Solution
We have outlined some critical elements to consider when choosing the B2B ecommerce solution that’s right for your business and that will help win over the B2B buyer.
You know your audience better than anyone else, so no matter what business to business ecommerce platform you choose, it is imperative that it offers the flexibility to customize to meet the specific needs of your buyers. You might want to offer digital price quoting or show catalogs tailored for a specific customer. You may want to establish a different buying experience for your B2B customers versus your direct-to-consumer sales, or offer both products and services, or even subscriptions with automatic renewals on your online sales platform. Or you may want to allow your customers to add notes to their orders to open the lines of communication with your sales representatives. No matter what your needs are, make sure your B2B ecommerce solution makes allowances for them.
If your goal is to grow your business – even if that goal is in the distant future – you will want to make sure your B2B ecommerce solution can grow with you.
Protecting customers’ personal and payment information is of the utmost importance to every business. So, it is essential to understand what, if any, safeguards are built into your B2B ecommerce platform to prevent security breaches. Some platforms leave that responsibility with the business itself. Some B2B ecommerce solutions also offer the ability to confine specified pages or purchase abilities to pre-registered customers.
Ease of Use
Consumers across every industry are looking for quick and easy online purchasing options, but functionality is especially important in B2B ecommerce transactions. Time is money and businesses do not have either to waste! You will want your platform to offer quick ordering. You may also want to offer your customers the ability to save order information to make it easy for them to reorder in the future. Many B2B companies prioritize self-service functionality on their ecommerce sites, allowing customers to locate shipping information, track orders, approve quotes, view inventory availability, and manage other aspects of their accounts outside of normal business hours. It is also imperative that your B2B ecommerce solution supports mobile shopping and purchasing. Business owners are on the go, and you must ensure your products and services are available to them across all their devices. Adding these features can help turn a browser into a buyer.
Pay close attention to how your B2B ecommerce platform will showcase your goods and services. Offering detailed product information, like specs, drawings, zooming ability, 360-degree and varying angle views, user and configuration manuals, comparison charts, bulk pricing, and reviews can make the difference in securing a sale.
Cloud-based B2B ecommerce solutions often build and host your ecommerce site for you. Conversely, you would have to maintain a hosted or on-premises B2B ecommerce platform yourself. You will need to consider your internal capacity and skillset to make the right choice for your business.
It is essential that your B2B ecommerce solution work seamlessly with your other business functions and systems. It must work alongside your sales representatives and your enterprise resource planning and point of sale software. Analyzing this ahead of time will help save time, money, and potentially a lot of headaches further down the line.
Choosing the right B2B ecommerce solution requires critical thought about the needs of your business, careful consideration, research, and time. But it is an investment that is worthwhile to achieve your short- and long-term goals, increase sales, reach new buyers, and build awareness of your brand. You don’t need to be an expert in B2B ecommerce web design to make it happen. We can help. Please contact us today.