In 2019, business-to-business (B2B) sales have never been so affected by the e-commerce phenomenon. If you are a product company aimed at the B2B industry, and you do not have an online sales platform, your market share may be greatly influenced. In B2B, the modern buyer expects to acquire products using the web.
To better help you understand the power of business-to-business e-commerce, here are the advantages of having a B2B transactional platform.
Open international doors
B2B sales are no exception, the sale of B2B products online favors the development of the international market.
When we learnt that online shopping in B2B was estimated to be $ 1.8 billion by 2023 at our southern neighbors (source), we understood that the opportunities for international growth will occur mainly due to online sales. Although Internet usage and shopping behaviors differ from country to country, e-commerce naturally becomes a facilitator for the penetration of international markets.
A B2B e-commerce sales portal intended to sell internationally should be designed for:
- Management of multilingual content;
- Currency conversion;
- Ensure advanced tax management;
- Facilitate the means of payment of concerned countries;
- Centralize information within a single administrative department.
Better understanding of acquisition, purchasing behavior and customer loyalty
Many businesses rely on the power of the web to maximize the acquisition of new customers and / or information about buying behaviors. Big data generated by traffic on e-commerce sites are invaluable sources of information, which help optimize customer acquisition and retention.
Acquisition of new customers: The proposition of a dynamic catalog allows to personalize the offer according to the profile of the customer.
‘‘71% of B2B buyers start their searches with generic (unbranded) terms, doing an average of 12 online searches before interacting with a given supplier’s site. ‘’ (Source)
Purchasing behavior: When a visitor views a B2B online commerce site, all the interactions on the site are listed: entry page, pages visited, consultation time, selected products, abandoned carts, etc. This information becomes a goldmine for companies, as the analysis of this data will help understand the gaps, and thus improve the user experience of the B2B e-commerce sales site.
Loyalty: Thanks to the information generated by the history, frequency and type of products purchased, a B2B company can easily automate strategies that allow it to stay in contact with its customers. For example, the product catalog can be personalized for each customer. That’s why, getting information that is relevant to a client’s behavior can help you to bid fairly by offering the right deals, to the right clients, at the right time.
95% of small business owners bought items for their online business. source
Simplify the sale / purchase process
Using e-commerce for the sale of your products intended for B2B allows you to simplify the logistics of operations. Connecting an e-commerce site with a commercial management software (ERP) allows you to automate or manage more efficiently all the operations involved: pricing policy, inventory management, payments, deliveries, etc.
Pricing policy: In a B2B sales context, it is rare that the pricing grid is not the same for all customers. The e-commerce site must therefore be able to facilitate the management of prices according to the diversification of customer types.
Inventory management: Obtaining real-time information relating to the availability of inventory facilitates inventory management and avoids disruption of products offered for sale.
Payments: By being able to access payment funds immediately, your business will have more liquidity and reduced spending on account receivables.
Deliveries: Delivery is the key step in online sales. Providing an experience that ensures efficient delivery, follow-up and return of the package has a real influence on customer confidence and appreciation. The automation of shipping tasks, thanks to the integration of the services of transport companies, adds to the potential of B2B e-commerce.
E-commerce allows B2B companies to offer 24/7 availability for the sale of their products.
Although B2B e-commerce platforms are very advantageous and generally make it possible to improve customer – experience, implementation often involves many questions that must be answered. The scope of the project must be carried out according to the rules of the art, and the involvement of experienced professionals, who will recommend best practices, is strongly recommended.