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For small and large companies alike, eCommerce is rapidly becoming the driving force of the B2B economy. In fact, it’s now impossible to ignore, and experts agree that to successfully compete in the years ahead, B2B businesses must embrace online ordering.
Still reluctant to dive in?
According to ecommerceDB.com, the global B2B eCommerce market was valued at US$12.2 trillion in 2019 — over 6 times that of the B2C market.
That’s a pretty large pie not to have a piece of.
B2B companies of all sizes and industries have taken the leap into the world of eCommerce and experienced great success. And with the right online B2B order management solution behind you, your business can achieve that success as well.
A B2B eCommerce storefront allows your business to efficiently and effectively:
- Expand its customer base
- Grow sales
- Lower operating costs
5 telltale signs your B2B business needs eCommerce
- Your sales are constantly on the rise.
- Your competitors sell online.
- Your customers order repeat products.
- You want to reach new customers.
- Your customers are asking to buy online.
How your company can benefit from B2B eCommerce
Quicker and easier customer communications
Communication is integral to every customer experience — even online — and when you communicate well with customers, your chances of success in business increase exponentially. The right B2B eCommerce solution helps you build stronger customer relationships by quickly, easily and effectively managing how you interact with customers about orders, shipping, product availability, promotions, company news, and more. For instance, you can exchange order-related messages with customers; connect with your email marketing solution; update customers on order status and shipping costs; and even create your own personalized email templates.
Better sales rep engagement
A B2B online order management solution is a highly effective tool that helps your sales reps do their job faster, serve customer accounts better, and close more deals because it lets them do the work! With an eCommerce portal, your sales reps can take orders directly from your customers and then input them to your store. They can also add and edit customers as well as generate sales reports, making both the customer account management and customer order management processes seamless and efficient. And they can do this 24/7 on any device (e.g., desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone).
More efficient order management
B2B order management is the process of tracking your customers’ orders and then managing the necessary fulfillment processes for those orders. B2B online orders tend to be more complex than the average B2C order, so having the right online order management solution in place can dramatically improve the operational efficiency of your business by relieving you of much of the manual administrative work. With an eCommerce portal, you can view customer order details; send/receive customer messages about orders; send automatic order status notifications to customers; create printable PDF pick lists; and much more.
Selling online through a B2B eCommerce portal means the entire invoicing management process is automated, making it super easy and saving you a great deal of time. Your online storefront can accept online or offline payments; integrate with third-party payment solutions (such as PayPal, Stripe, Square and Authorize.net); integrate with popular accounting systems such as QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks and Xero for quick, hassle-free invoicing done automatically, 24/7; and integrate with a variety of third-party solutions related to sales and marketing, customer relationship management (CRM), inventory, shipping, and so much more.
Simplified account management and inventory management
Traditionally, you could spend endless hours managing your customer accounts and keeping track of inventory, but not with eCommerce! With a B2B eCommerce portal, customer management is a breeze. You can add and edit customers; send email invitations to new customers; view detailed reports for each customer; and assign customers to specific price lists. On the inventory management side, a B2B eCommerce portal allows you to import products quickly and effortlessly; add product descriptions and images; add supporting documents like product manuals and certificates; create customized price lists; and, if you wish, set minimum order quantities.
Easier sales performance evaluation
Compiling and running sales reports is a necessary task with any B2B business, but it is often the task that is procrastinated with the most. Apart from the many benefits we’ve already discussed, a B2B online order management solution also makes the process of report management quick and hassle-free. With an eCommerce portal, you can easily track your monthly sales, view customer sales reports, review sales rep performance as well as specific product sales performance, and even create custom reports — all with just a few clicks and keystrokes!
A B2B eCommerce solution not only streamlines your business’s daily workflow processes and maximizes its efficiency, but also makes your business easier to discover and more accessible to new customer markets.
According to Forrester Research, the growth of the B2B eCommerce sector shows no signs of slowing down, and in fact, shows every indication of continuing to grow.
With projected growth like that, now might be the time to embrace digital transformation with an online storefront of your own.