eCommerce has transformed the way people discover and purchase products. But, it’s not just your everyday consumer who’s shopping online, but businesses too.
B2B eCommerce is not just a trend, it’s a $17.9 trillion market that your company can profit from. In fact, B2B eCommerce is actually 5 times bigger than the B2C eCommerce market.
The benefits of B2B eCommerce for your customer and your company
Well, first of all it offers your customers the ability to order when and where they want. It also brings them insights in for example product availability or gives them transparency in their order and payment statuses. Therefore, a B2B eCommerce platform is a 24/7 self-service portal for your customers, allowing them to reach out for human interactions only when they need it.
As a company, B2B eCommerce can bring you a lot of benefits. First, it removes limitations that come with physical distance, allowing your company to sell literally all around the world. There is no need for local sales offices in each country anymore. B2B eCommerce also frees up time from your people by automating certain processes like repeat order taking or handling customer service requests.
Finally, B2B eCommerce is a great driver to collect more and better customer data. This data can then lead to more and better insights on the needs and behaviors of your customers. These insights on their turn will lead to greater ideas that will generate more sales eventually.
Stepping into success with B2B eCommerce
First you need to answer fundamental questions like what channels do you want to play in? And do I have the right resources and capabilities to be successful in B2B eCommerce? For example, as a company, you need to decide whether you’re going to develop your own B2B eCommerce platform, leverage existing B2B marketplaces like Amazon Business or do both.
Selling online in B2B eCommerce also requires you to think about how to drive traffic to your online store(s) as well. Whereas you traditionally would rely heavily on sales people, now sales can be driven by (digital) marketing & promotional activities like paid advertising and social media.
B2B customers can be very demanding in terms of service. When B2B customers shop online, they expect the same type of seamless online experiences and personalization as they are experiencing in their private lives. These expectations also have an impact on how you organize your fulfilment as well as customer support. Customer expectations like next day delivery or customer support outside of regular business hours requires you to think carefully about it.
How to harness technology for B2B eCommerce success
Finally, there is the technological aspect with B2B eCommerce. Whether you build your platform or leverage marketplaces like Amazon Business, new technology will be needed to sell online and to capture the vast amounts of data that come with it.
When understanding what capabilities are needed, it is time for the actual implementation of B2B eCommerce. As with other larger transformations, driving change from a traditional, offline driven business to much more of a digital, online B2B business requires proper planning and a solid change management approach.
To help businesses like yours succeed in B2B eCommerce, we've created two new B2B eCommerce training. These courses cover everything from the most essential drivers behind B2B eCommerce success, to zooming in on best practices in B2B eCommerce that you and your company can learn from.
Explore our latest courses on B2B eCommerce and make the first step in mastering the art of B2B eCommerce.