B2B companies can learn a lot from B2C retailers. According to research, ecommerce is expected to thrive in both markets, but B2B sellers are lagging behind when it comes to implementing successful ecommerce solutions.
Manufacturers, suppliers, wholesale distributors and brands selling to other businesses need ecommerce solutions that deliver on the demands of their B2B customers. Like B2C retailers, they need to have insight into customers’ needs in order to expand their business.
B2B eCommerce Growth Means Greater Opportunities and Challenges
The B2B market size is estimated to be twice the size of B2C. According to Forrester, B2B ecommerce is projected to top 1.13 trillion, accounting for 12.1% of all B2B sales in the U.S. by 2020.
The future is bright for B2B companies, but with more business comes more operational challenges. B2B companies must seek out solutions to help them scale, reduce operational costs and maximize productivity to beat the rising competition.
B2B eCommerce with a B2C Shopping Experience
According to a new study by CloudCraze and Salesforce, B2B customers are demanding a purchasing experience similar to popular B2C online retailers. Today's B2B customers do a lot more research before making purchasing decisions. The Internet has made it possible for them to seek out and consider many sources outside of what they hear from their sales reps.
CloudCraze’s 2016 State of Digital Commerce Report outlines some of the features B2B buyers expect from a business’ ecommerce platform:
- Customized ordering capabilities
- Personalized product recommendations
- Rich content
- Peer reviews
- User friendly sites
In other words, B2B buyers are looking for the same experience as consumers shopping online: ability to customize orders, detailed product descriptions in clear simple language, reviews by other consumers, and rich content such as hi-res visuals, audio and video.
According to the report, "Companies looking to grow digital revenue must meet these specific customer needs, while implementing back-end capabilities essential to success, or risk losing business to more nimble competitors." B2B sellers need the same robust solutions that retailers use to attract buyers and beat competition.
Now is the Time for Multi-Channel B2B eCommerce
Like B2C retailers, B2B companies benefit from a multi-channel sales strategy. According to the same study by Forrester, 60% of B2B sellers report that their B2B buyers “spend more overall when those customers interact with multiple channels. Omnichannel B2B customers are also more likely to become repeat and long-term customers.”
Multi-channel selling is the new norm in ecommerce, whether in B2C or B2B markets. Having a multi-channel system is more than just offering your customers a choice of purchasing methods, but it also builds loyalty to your brand and increases revenue through repeat customers.
It is important to have a consistent brand and shopping experience across all channels, whether you sell to consumers or to other businesses.
The Need for a More Sophisticated B2B eCommerce Solution
B2B ecommerce is expected to grow at a substantially higher rate than B2C over the next few years. The question is, are B2B companies ready to handle that volume, or will their old systems hinder their ability to scale?
Successful B2B ecommerce implementation requires access to real-time inventory data, one of the most requested information by B2B customers. To achieve this, your ecommerce platform needs to be tied to a back-end ERP or inventory management solution to provide real-time inventory levels. Successful ecommerce integration will eliminate frustrations related to backordering and shipment delays, leading to happier and loyal buyers.
Jazva is an all-in-one ecommerce management system built for high-volume retailers and wholesalers looking to scale in B2C and B2B markets. With Jazva, you can set as many tiers as you’d like in addition to volume-based discounts for customer-specific pricing. We offer all the functionalities you need to run a successful B2B ecommerce business, from multi-channel inventory management to mobile-optimized B2B web stores.
Take your business to the next level. Schedule a free demo today!