Online selling has become a way to grow revenue and drive new customer acquisitions. So, whether you are just starting off, already selling, or still considering online B2B selling, you probably already have an idea of the a difference an online B2B portal can make. But are you aware of just how much a personalised and professional web store can do for your organisation? Read on to learn more about why B2B is shifting from outbound sales to online inbound strategies with a B2B portal.
The B2B industry is moving online
B2B eCommerce is predicted to reach $1.2 trillion in the U.S. by 2021 and the industry is twice as big as B2C, and just like the B2C industry more sales are shifting to the online arena. Manufacturers and wholesalers are the two industries generating this monumental market growth online. However, they are currently relying on outdated systems that are slowing them down. B2B buyers are demanding a shift to modern processes for a better experience. This is leading to major shifts in how B2B companies are selling and the technology they are using. In particular, cloud-based eCommerce platforms today have order management systems built in or they can integrate with other software. Sellers can now combine order data across all their channels. B2B sellers can leverage their systems to automate order fulfilment and inventory stock updates along with handling complex processes like partial delivery and multi-warehouse shipping. Going online is not as big of a headache as you think, by automating and streamlining these various processes, your company can cut down on unnecessary costs and make your business more efficient.
The right B2B eCommerce software can not only streamline and automate processes, it can also capture unique insight into key data for your sales and marketing operations. This is especially helpful when you have an integrated eCommerce setup. This is where you have your other systems integrated so your business can calculate meaningful sales data for each of your clients. With key data available, your business can for example accurately create customer segments and enhance your marketing efforts, making it more targeted, tailored and more effective.
Tap into other markets
B2B portals do not need to rely on the availability of a sales team because your digital sales channel can be available 24/7, 365 days a year. By eliminating the challenge that time differences often pose in the order process, B2B eCommerce makes it easier than ever to serve a wider international market.
Not only does a great online buying experience keep your clients coming back, it may help drive further sales. A positive review from another buyer can go a long way. By offering a great B2B portal, you can turn your clients into evangelists. With clients leaving a review or testimonial, their enthusiasm and satisfaction can have a profitable affect on your business – with reviews and testimonials producing an average of 18% increase in sales.
B2B owners may have reservations about going online and creating their own sales portal, however your customers are already there, and if you are not then they may buy from someone else. It may be better to stop relying on online marketplaces too. They might provide you an easy way to start selling online, but can potentially strip you of your brand identity. This method is limited in developing and promoting your own brand, as online marketplaces make it difficult for buyers to notice that they can buy online from you. A major problem can be reduced margins and losing data about your customers.
It is time to be strategic and leverage B2B online marketplaces as an additional sales channel, not a substitute for your own branded eCommerce site, and that is where your own B2B portal will be advantageous so you can manage your brand to the best of your ability.