One of the many reasons to have your B2B eCommerce store is to outperform your competition. All you need to begin with is a website that has the basic eCommerce store features. You can reach geography your sales reps aren't available in with this. As a business owner, you can either increase sales or reduce the cost to further grow. B2B eCommerce site hands you both benefits.
The modern B2B buyers are conditioned by B2C experiences to seek the same ease of shopping when dealing with distributors, manufacturers, retailers, and brand owners. So, it becomes imperative for the traditional brick and mortar wholesale businesses to have a B2B eCommerce store. The availability and convenience benefits of online commerce have expanded beyond the consumer market and into B2B (businesses selling to other businesses).
Today, we'll take a closer look at the critical milestones for setting up a B2B eCommerce store and discuss how to launch a solid B2B eCommerce site that reinforces your brand and drives sales.
Start by identifying your Goals & Performance Indicators.
There are many benefits to B2B eCommerce. However, going online cannot be a goal in itself. B2B eCommerce acts as a means of reaching your business goal. Before building a roadmap to business digitization, define your expectations. Whether you are looking to curb expenditures, increase your client portfolio, expand your market, or optimize existing operations, you will need well-defined and measurable goals.
Example e-commerce goals include:
Increasing revenue and/or the number of customers
Reducing order errors and increasing the efficiency of the ordering process
Freeing up time for your support and sales teams
Lowering overhead costs
Improving your customer experience
Prioritize the goals after identifying them and define the key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure progress. Set clear eCommerce KPIs that align with your strategy and goals. Having clear KPIs will ensure that you can spot any gaps that require your attention and measure the success of your e-commerce store project while also ensuring there is a clear focus on your eCom goals.
KPI examples include:
average order value
percentage decrease in order errors
percentage of orders taken with the web store
sales cycle length
Set requirements for you MVP or Minimum Viable Product
Wisely choose your B2B eCommerce features. Use the business goals to define the requirements for a website once you've identified them. That is a minimum viable product (MVP). The MVP is a proven way to develop a site with a basic set of features allowing you to understand your user's expectations then factor customer feedback into full site development and design.
To include every single eCommerce functionality at once in an MVP is unreasonable. You will get your webstore to market faster by rolling out a phased approach, which in turn results in a faster ROI. Communicate the benefits and value of your brand to the target audience and focus on the essentials. We suggest including the following:
Advanced Product Search
Simple Checkout Process
Request a Quote
Apart from just preparing MIS, making their stock purchases, and negotiating with your sales representative, B2B customers have too much on their plate. They can give bulk orders, get tired prices based on quantity, split deliveries, negotiate or ask for a quote online, pay, see their credit limit, and many more if the inventory details are available with the delivery schedule. Also, the essential B2B eCommerce website features such as past orders lists, the advanced search for finding for their required products with specifications, application of appropriate filters, and more helps your customers to buy in the same B2B process. The only change is in the way they place the order.
You can always fine-tune your B2B eCommerce website in time with an MVP and offer a bigger range of services. Based on feedback, for example, you may add additional shipping options or payment options. During the planning process identifying potential integration, points facilitate future implementation benefits. So decide what integrations are important now and the enhancements you want to add later on.
A high level of data security is required to sell online. Plan to secure your site using SSL certificates, set up permission rules, and provide user authentications at a minimum. Work with your card processing services if you handle online payment transactions, and be sure you are PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant.
Efficiency Tracking and CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
It's necessary to be able to track and understand your customer experience when building your B2B website. Visitors will quickly leave your site if you don't provide a positive experience. Meaning it's crucial for your business to capture customer interactions and customer data. Check & see if your eCommerce site easily integrates with a CRM (customer relationship management) since these interactions are usually recorded in a CRM. This will ensure your marketing and sales teams will have access to all client data across every touchpoint.
After the Launch
To see how you can enhance the site's architecture and/or design, ask your customers to provide feedback on the new purchasing method. Keep track of customer feedback and comments. Be ultra-responsive to their inquiries and requests, and don't stop working on the site to improve it and continue to evaluate results against your KPIs. Constantly A/B test your site's content and functionality to maximize the site's performance. Monitor changing buyer patterns, market trends, and new technology to build on your website's success.
For your B2B business, an eCommerce store is a sure-shot way to see your business grow in a single quarter after launch. And, we have reasons to prove the same.
Choose a competent and experienced software provider. Prepare well. We are a "top eCommerce development companies in USA" that can help with this. Then make the decision to go live with your e-commerce implementation. You can learn, test, and continuously optimize your web store once live as your knowledge and experience grow.