6 Components of A Successful eCommerce Strategy for Suppliers
In today’s world, the thought of living without eCommerce seems unfathomable, complicated, and almost an inconvenience, yet it was only a few decades ago when eCommerce first appeared on the horizon.
Yes, the internet certainly has revolutionised the way goods are bought and sold. And with the advent of technology, innovation and literally thousands of businesses entering the online market each year, the world of eCommerce is still on the rise.
So what does it take to build a great online B2B store?
It takes much more than luck and marketing alone to build a great online store. The competition is fierce — even in the B2B eCommerce sector — so smart businesses need to arm themselves with rock solid strategies to pit themselves against their competitors.
A great B2B eCommerce strategy covers everything from initial purchase transactions to fulfillment completion, and this strategy must appear (at least in the eyes of your customer) fast, transparent, and entirely seamless. Here are six components that need to be at the top of your list.
1. Know your target market.
The internet is full of companies jostling for space with similar products. To keep your business from getting lost in the online fray, make sure you know exactly who your target market is, and then tailor your products and services to suit their needs. You need to thoroughly understand who your customers are, where they are, and how they buy. Focusing on your target audience is critical for growth and will keep you one step ahead of your competition.
2. Maintain a healthy supply chain.
No B2B eCommerce strategy is complete without the right products, delivered at the right time, and at a price the market is ready to pay. Your suppliers not only provide the right products, but they can also manage the stocks on your behalf, relieving you of that burden and the fear of not meeting demand. In short, make sure you have enough of the right suppliers; make sure your suppliers are financially and operationally sound; make sure they can provide real-time stock inventory; and finally, make sure they can deliver products quickly. To learn more about maintaining a healthy supply chain, click here.
3. Optimise warehouse management operations.
It’s one thing having your products displayed and marketed online, but those products also need to get packed up and reach their destination in the real world. This is where you need good warehouse management in addition to a great shipping service. It can be challenging to manage a warehouse with thousands of products — it requires many people to store, pick, pack and prepare products for delivery. For this reason, large companies often outsource fulfilment to third-party logistics suppliers, allowing them to focus on what they do best.
4. Boost your brand.
Brand reputation has always played a role in shaping a buyer’s preference and, in the eCommerce world, having an established brand can be an invaluable asset in acquiring customers and generating profit. According to Lippincott, a business’ decision to purchase may be driven up by as much as 40% due to branding. Ensure your brand makes you stand out from the competition, and that it echoes the true values and priorities of your customers. Click here to learn more about effective strategies to give your brand an edge.
5. Streamline shipping.
The most important aspect of shipping in B2B eCommerce is to streamline your shipping processes so that you avoid surplus investments. Typically, shipping is an outsourced service, so unless you have lots of cash in the bank, consider hiring a reliable and reputable shipping provider and then negotiate a marketable shipping cost. Once you have solidified a relationship with a shipping provider(s), integrate their system with yours so that you can seamlessly streamline packaging and delivery.
6. Keep your product catalog updated.
Your product catalog is one of the most crucial components of an effective B2B eCommerce strategy. Without it, you are back to mail orders and never-ending print runs. When putting together your online product catalog, there are a few key things to keep uppermost in mind. First, maintain the emphasis on the products themselves by making them shine with great product images. Second, categorise your products according to how your customers are likely to look and search for information in your storefront. And third, suggest related and alternative products — it’s an effective and easy way of increasing average order value.
Ready to start selling online?
Selling online is an effective way of boosting revenue and driving customer acquisitions. It’s also a way of differentiating your business from the competition. If you’re a supplier, perfecting these six key components of a successful eCommerce strategy will help you sustain a healthy, growing business for years to come.