Finding Your Feet in the Cloud: Quick Tips for Adopting B2B eCommerce

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The B2B eCommerce market is poised for exponential growth. Within the next financial year, it is expected that over 50% of all B2B purchases will be made online. So, if you haven’t already invested in a great B2B eCommerce platform, such as Unleashed’s, now’s the time to think about getting yours up and running.

Before you do, however, you need to understand and quantify what you want to achieve through your B2B eCommerce site and how it will help your business. Once you have identified your goals and objectives the next important step is working out how to achieve positive customer adoption for the sites ongoing success.

The following are a few quick tips to help you get started.

Start with internal adoption

Employee adoption is always the first step to encouraging client adoption. When your internal team has the confidence that online is the best, they will become champions in encouraging customers to adapt to change.

Get employees excited about what they are talking about by having them involved in creating tools that explain upcoming features to customers and how B2B eCommerce can add value to them as clients. These could be such things as basic fact sheets, fun pop-ups or ‘how to’ videos and tutorials.

If your staff has confidence in your eCommerce channel, it will reflect in any dealings they have with your customers. They can show clients the site, from any platform and talk them through customer service inquiries, and discuss and respond to any client concerns.

Soft launch

Soft launch your new site with a few of your loyal clients. Use the launch as an opportunity to listen to your customers, seek their feedback and get them involved in the project. Introduce a support system via personnel, online, phone or chatbot to help customers get set up.

Gathering then acting on feedback will not only improve the process but will drive participation and engagement by giving valued clients a sense of ownership. They will be more likely to use your B2B portal if they’re invested in it.

Create anticipation

Think about ways to incentivise customers to drive them to the platform and to purchase online. If B2B eCommerce is new for your business, you have an opportunity to build excitement for the channel prior to going ‘live’. Develop a drip email marketing campaign to introduce the platform over time.

The first email may introduce the idea of online ordering, the next a ‘coming soon’ notice telling clients of the new features your site will offer, communicating what is coming and when it is coming. The next would be the actual, ‘go live’ launch notification and a final email would follow up with a special offer.

Train and educate

Educate all stakeholders about the initiative, its goals and objectives. Educating stakeholders about your upcoming B2B portal can help them manage expectations, and they will be more willing to adopt B2B eCommerce is they are more familiar with it.

Anyone directly or indirectly affected by the implementation should be provided with education and training that includes information about the impact the new channel will have on them, what is expected, what support will be provided and issue resolution processes.

Training also an essential step in addressing channel conflicts with functional teams such as IT, sales, finance, management and external channel supply chain stakeholders.

Unleashed offers support for our B2B eCommerce platform through resources such as help files.

Customer experience

The only way to truly build great customer service into your B2B eCommerce adoption is by listening to your customers and delivering a platform that caters to their requirements and needs. Provide easy access to all relevant product and order information including inventory levels and shipping dates to create a user-friendly experience in your B2B eCommerce channel.

Benefits of B2B eCommerce

Multichannel customers are more valuable to you than single-channel ones. You generate more revenue from online customers, which in turn, produces a much higher lifetime value client. For those clients you are offering a better opportunity for them to discover new products and delivering 24-hour access. These benefits and much more will create a lasting relationship with your customers.

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Melanie - Unleashed Software

Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.

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