B2B eCommerce is the new thing for wholesalers. Research has shown that the B2B eCommerce industry in the US alone is headed for a $1.2 trillion net worth by 2021 so it seems to be something definitely worth investing in. The drivers behind this shift to eCommerce for businesses are the tech-savvy attitudes of buyers and the efficiency an online platform affords.
Perhaps historically you conducted business by attended trade expos, advertising in trade publications, or through sales representatives hitting the streets. Times have changed, and with the introduction of B2B eCommerce, suddenly your company and its products are far more accessible to a much broader customer base. This is in part due to business customers being able to encounter your products through search engine inputs, but this is also due to the nature of eCommerce itself. It is designed for a screen, be it a computer or mobile phone, so you can be wherever the customer is, which is fantastic for meeting a customer’s needs as soon as they arise.
The reality is that the more efficient and seamless the retail world had become, the more that is expected of it. Buyers are less tolerant if shipping delays happen or a mistake was made entering stock data. The bar is set high, and to compete in the market, businesses need to prioritise customer service to both consumers and other businesses alike. B2B eCommerce provides a seamless platform from ordering, payment, confirmation, shipping and tracking and in doing so, saves a significant amount of time.
Tapping into new markets
B2B eCommerce allows wholesalers to tap into new and difficult-to-reach markets that would have previously been largely off limits. This is because eCommerce platforms can be customisable. For example, displaying products with accompanying information in different languages, or displaying different products depending on cultural preference and importance. The company becomes globally accessible where the customer-base can feasibly expand to include a wider audience.
Lower operating costs
B2B eCommerce can be an opportunity for a wholesaler to decrease their operating costs. Where they would traditionally have constantly updated and printed flyers and possibly TV or billboard advertisements to get the word out, they can now run their marketing from their computer. Not only is this cheaper, but it also reaches more business customers which increases sales. There is also less of a need for sales representatives as websites become more interactive, providing detailed information about product specifications and even the ability to customise or virtually trial a product before buying it. These all achieve a reduction in operating costs which, coupled with the increased likelihood of reach and sales, is a win-win.
Increased bottom line
We have alluded to it but B2B eCommerce is a means of increasing your bottom line significantly through multiple ways. Your reach expands, allowing you to be ‘visible’ to more potential customers. Your customer experience is enhanced which creates satisfaction and builds loyalty, thereby increasing long-term sales. Your operating costs and overheads shrink, which automatically inflate your bottom line. Lastly, eCommerce provides transparency of your product list and the ability to cross-sell or up-sell extremely easily, generating additional revenue.
With so many benefits to B2B eCommerce for wholesalers, why wouldn’t you adopt this strategy in your business?