Traditionally, B2B companies conduct most of their business offline. Customers order by mail or phone, meet with their account manager or drop by physical establishments. Yet a rapid shift towards B2B e-commerce is currently taking place. Companies are selling their products or services to corporate clientele through an online B2B webshop, or the like. The following are the advantages of B2B e-commerce!
B2B e-commerce advantage 1: customer retention
The purchasing needs of business customers and buyers are changing at lightning speed. This has everything to do with the convenience they are used to when making personal purchases. Nowadays, we can buy what we need with just a few clicks through online stores and marketplaces such as Amazon. It is no longer logical for business customers to be obliged to order during office hours or to wait for a sales or service representative to respond. The pace of this development is accelerating. Research shows that with every generation, the desire of B2B customers to be able to order online increases.
B2B e-commerce advantage 2: lower costs
When you realize that there are countless emails, phone calls and other activities involved in offline commerce, the realization that they take up a lot of time and margin hits. One of the advantages of B2B e-commerce is that your customers do the work themselves. And that makes them feel good too. Moreover, you can easily automate order management - everything that happens after the purchase. How convenient is it if customers receive an invoice directly after they have placed an order? Or if they can arrange their own returns online?
B2B e-commerce advantage 3: scalable growth
Stagnation equals regression. That's why, as a B2B company, it’s vital to keep growing. The problem with traditional, offline sales? You need more and more staff to meet the growing demands of your customers. Thanks to self-service and automated workflows, this is not the case with B2B e-commerce. Moreover, you will be able to serve other market segments or countries with greater ease and at a lower cost. With OrderCentral, it's easy to create a foreign version of your webshop, with customised language, currency, tax and shipping settings.
B2B e-commerce advantage 4: data-driven selling
The numbers don’t lie. B2B e-commerce offers the great opportunity to get insight into every single online step your customers take. The time they spend on your webshop, the average order value and the conversion and return rate? All this data can be found in OrderCentral's clear dashboards. For you to fine-tune your e-commerce strategy on an ongoing basis. Plus, you'll get help from the artificial intelligence (AI) integrated into our B2B webshops. Your customers will always receive relevant product recommendations, based on their order history, for instance.
B2B e-commerce advantage 5: better customer experience
By centralizing all customer data in a single online platform, you gain a better understanding of their wishes and needs. Your marketers, sales and service staff can then use these insights to better inform and assist B2B customers. Many B2B companies are also using OrderCentral to offer online personal support. Think of the possibility to chat with an employee. Or a service where salespeople prepare orders in the customers' shopping cart.
B2B e-commerce advantage 6: fewer errors
It is common for B2B companies to work with individual price agreements. For example, customer X might be entitled to a different volume discount than customer Y. The bigger you get, the harder it is to manage all those individual price agreements. It also frequently occurs that dated catalogs are circulated or outdated price lists are used. The result? Tedious debates about prices. Thanks to the advantages of B2B e-commerce, you can work with a single online database in which you will be able to manage all your products. In which you can of course also establish individual price agreements with customers. They'll always see the correct price for them. Moreover, your employees always have insight into the price agreements. Last but not least, you can easily update or index prices.
Curious about what B2B e-commerce could do for your business? Take a look at the OrderCentral online demo. It shows you how you can meet the needs of your target groups from a single platform in an efficient and customer-friendly way.