For years B2B companies have been printing catalogs which they then mail or distribute to retailers across the globe. Apart from the fact that this process takes quite some time time – from the compilation of the catalog and printing to the actual time it took to arrive on the desk of the retailer – this is also a rather costly process. What’s more when minor amendments need to be made to any of the offered products, B2B companies either have to go through the entire process of preparing a product catalog all over again or are left with an non-updated version of their current catalog.
Enter the “Digital Revolution” which led to major shift as ecommerce and, most importantly for wholesalers and distributors everywhere, B2B ecommerce started to take form and shape. As such, nowadays businesses are increasingly shopping online the same way the most consumers do. In fact, according to Forrester, the online B2B market is forecasted to grow from $899 billion at the end of 2017 to $D1.2 trillion by 2021. Even more: by 2020 the B2B ecommerce market is expected to be double the size of the B2C market.
If you’re a food wholesaler, you may be taking all B2B ecommerce with a grain of salt. Yet, B2B ordering platforms may actually make your sales process and overall business more profitable. How? Food is most of the time highly perishable, and even when it is not, it is of utmost importance that it is delivered to the client in the freshest state possible. This interacts with the whole buying-selling cycle in many integral ways. For example, from the time each retailer places an order to the time his/hers chosen goods are delivered, the delivery window is usually rather short.
Additionally, the food service distribution business is one of the most competitive ones with businesses constantly trying to ensure and enhance their customer satisfaction. One way to do this is by keeping their retailer’s shelves fully stocked at all times. This way making sure that their retailers can place orders easily and that these orders are processed efficiently and effectively. Another way food suppliers try to keep customer satisfaction levels up is by delivering fresh, high-quality food consistently, multiple times during a week.
In this respect, wholesalers who are still using more traditional ways to do business (including printed catalogs, barcode scanners, etc.) find it quite very challenging to give their business a competitive edge as their habitual ways are quite time-consuming in the digital era, where time and space are being reconceptualised. And this is where B2B ordering platforms come in!
If you’re a food wholesaler there are many reasons why you should consider opting for a B2B ecommerce platform. In fact, there are many logistical reasons, and here are a few:
The right B2B ecommerce software can help you simplify the ordering process, making it both easier and faster for your customers. How this happens? B2B ordering platforms allow for the reduction of the number of channels an order is traditionally processed through. This results in higher accuracy rates per order. At the same time the preparation and delivery window of each order becomes considerably shorter.
Yes, good communication is the bread and butter of all business relationships – especially when it comes to B2B sales. Through an online ordering system, your customers have access to real-time information about your product availability, their order status and –even– their due payments. This makes your communication with them more effective, eliminating all the going back and forth between you and them.
If you’ve been around the B2B ecommerce software blog, you’d have probably noticed that most B2B ordering platforms also offer reports. Indeed, data can be more easily collected and computed through a digital platform. Yet you may be wondering why your wholesale food business might need these metrics? By monitoring your sales, you can easily craft discounts and offers tailored to your customer needs. This way you can effectively support and vamp up your sales strategy: custom and tailor-made offer can lead to high levels of customer satisfaction, resulting in increased loyalty towards your business.
So taking your business online can boost your sales. Yet, this is not the only reason you should consider a B2B ordering platform. In fact, digitizing your company activity can also benefit your business’s overall effectiveness. This is how:
By using an ecommerce software you can effectively monitor your customer’s activity, run forecasts, and quickly adjust shifts in demand. For example, if certain customers like to order specific products from you (i.e. cookie dough), you can put together a promotional scheme directed to this selected clientele. Eventually, your data-driven insights can help you increase your sales volume and, therefore, to your business’s growth
The right software can help you establish a standardised communication infrastructure between you and your customers. In fact, the right B2B ordering platform can allow you to instantly personalize your product catalog for each of your customers. Also, it can turn into an one-to- one ecommerce portal, which can act as an e-store landing page, offering an immediate opportunity for your store’s visitors to make a purchase. Eventually, this makes it easier for your business to match market demand with production capacity.
A B2B ordering platform can also make your business more profitable operations-wise. First, telecommunications and data-entry costs can almost be eliminated when using an online platform. Also, you can manage your daily workflow in a centralized location, making it easier to meet both current and future demands.
If you are a small or medium-sized business, you should be looking for a smart, easy, quick, and especially cost-effective way for your order management. B2B ecommerce can provide you with a beneficiary solution for both you and your customers.