When an organization or company is shopping around for technology solutions, there is usually a few key things on their mind. How can technology increase our capacity to do business? How can it save our company resources? This article will address those very questions concerning B2B e-commerce to help learn and evaluate how B2B commerce can help your business.
Why Invest in B2B E-Commerce
Most companies that are exploring B2B e-commerce fall into two categories those looking for a better way to sell a product to their wholesale customers and those companies who try to keep up with their competitor offerings. Before you can begin to evaluate a service properly, you first need to understand what you are looking to get out of B2B e-commerce.
1.Convenient Ordering For Your Customers
Personalized and barrier-free online ordering offers B2B customers the ability to order products with their price any time anywhere. No phone tag, buried emails or missed communication with reps. When a customer knows what they are looking they can order it online.
“57% of B2B companies believe commerce is rapidly shifting from offline to online, a point that seems to be validated by the significant investments B2C giants like eBay, Amazon, and Google have made in the space.” (Magento: The Changing Landscape of B2B E-commerce)
B2B e-commerce offers customers the choice of product discovery and purchasing without interruption. This is similar to the way consumers have become accustomed to buying products online without any human interaction. The option is key here when a customer needs assistance there should always be someone to help them, but they are ready to order the product they should be able to do so on their terms.
2. Faster and More Accurate Order Fulfillment
Cloud-Based B2B e-commerce delivers orders faster with greater accuracy. Digital orders can be delivered directly into a suppliers ERP system or other channels through the integration of systems. By automating order delivery, the suppliers reduce the number of times an order is manually entered, reducing the potential of errors and increasing fulfilment time. This allows for a fast, accurate and transparent order process.
Online catalogues and ordering offer your current customers and new customers convenient access to product information. LinkGreen offers a public catalog (without pricing) that can be accessed directly from a wholesalers website. This public catalog allows leads to discover products and request pricing so they can order. This method reduces the cost of acquisition on each new customer and drives faster sales.
4. Better Product Information Management
Eliminating excel sheets from your sales process not only save time but reduces errors caused by the outdated or inaccurate product and pricing information. Reduce costly pricing and product errors by centralizing all data management in a single hub. A B2B solution with a PIM offers a user-friendly way to maintain and distribute accurate information through all sales and marketing channels. A PIM or information hub allows you to update information and have it propagate throughout all your sales and marketing channels.
Potential Cost Reductions
So there are clearly plenty of reasons to consider investing in B2B e-commerce but important to note that the impact of B2B e-commerce is multifaceted. There are plenty of ways that an online ordering technology can reduce cost and increase revenue; here are a few to keep in mind.
Printing Costs - Access to online ordering reduces your businesses need for print catalogs and paper order froms year over year. As more customers and sales reps adopt online ordering into their ordering process the less your business will need to invest in print.
Data Entry Cost - During high season wholesale businesses often hire additional administrative staff just for order entry. The automated delivery of online orders into your ERP system eliminates redundant administrative work and increase your business capacity to receive and fulfil orders.
Managing Backorders - Online ordering provides your business with the ability to communicate inventory information to your customers during the ordering process. You can automate suggested alternatives and other communications directly to the customers.
As you continue evaluating solutions for your business consider that LinkGreen offers customized B2B online ordering strategies for each company. Our team of wholesale experts will work with you to understand your specific needs and work with you to create a strategic technology plan.