All indicators clearly show that the market value of B2B e-commerce will grow rapidly.
Why implement a B2B platform? How it works? What gains can be achieved through it? Is entrepreneurs offering products and services for business have reason to fear the implementation of such a solution?
1) The B2B platform – corporate website is not enough!
Differences between B2B and B2C sales are obvious, but in the Internet commerce this discrepancy become blurred. Thinking about B2B e-commerce you have to keep in mind that PEOPLE, not FIRMS, make purchases. The dynamic rise in popularity of the use of e-commerce clearly shows that this form of shopping has already been understood and accepted by consumers. Nay! It was a liked by millions of users around the world. If we like to do private shopping via the Internet (we consider them to be quick and convenient), we would like to do it in the same way for the company, in which we work, or which we are the owners. It is not clear to companies that offer their products and services in the B2B format. You often can find only the e-business cards, or – in the better case – website with CTA, “ask for the offer.” We ask sending an email or calling. The product is good, but after the monthly sending dozens of e-mails and phones, we change the supplier on this, which proposes a similar product, but in the form corresponding to the needs of the XXI century customer – similar to the B2C online store. The treatment of the company’s presence in the Internet solely as a form of advertising is anachronistic. Implementation of e-commerce B2B platform can combine the features of promotional solutions, sales and improve customer service. What exactly do I mean?
Proper implementation of e-commerce enables you to streamline many aspects of the daily work inside the company as well as external work with the client.
This can be achieved through a comprehensive integration of information systems used in the enterprise – CRM, ERP, SRM, OMS, SCM and others. This will unify in one process over the entire shopping – from ordering through invoicing, and payment and receive orders. You do not need of course to integrate everything, although any action in this direction approaching the company to optimize the cost of customer service. In addition to cost reduction, integration of systems in the B2B e-commerce faster and easier to place orders and make payments. In addition to cost reduction, integration of information systems in e-commerce B2B, makes it easier to place orders and make payments. The B2B platform is also convenient for customers. In one place, they will have the necessary information about their orders, so they will effectively plan their sourcing
3) The customer has to be satisfied.
……as well as employees who support him! Wizards, visualizers and calculators in online stores are nothing new. Implementation of them in the B2B platform can greatly improve the shopping, as well as facilitate the work of employees in the sales department.
Imagine a company that offers products to order from the many possible variables – each component has an impact on the final cost of the order. Until now the company had an information website with the tab “ask about the offer.” Traders receive phone calls and e-mails, turn on a spreadsheet, searched prices, calculate total costs and send the offer. He not dealt with practically anything else. The company employed a “smart calculator.” By implementing e-commerce B2B platform with the appropriate module and integrations, each customer can “create” the expected product, know immediately the full specifications and pricing. Traders can take care of acquiring new customers or to take care of existing customers – he does not need to be a “calculator” any more! Is the customer satisfied with this solution? Of course – it saves time, and if you want to know more about the details, nothing stands in the way – you can call or write an e-mail … YOU CAN, but you don’t have to!
Thanks to the implemented solution, business partner has access to individualized offer, recommended products, invoices and contracts. Company’s marketing department can take care of personalizing communications and tighten cooperation with the customer. Sounds good? So why relatively few (so far!) companies use this solution?
4) It is expensive. It will not succeed. It is not necessary.
Such concerns you may have in the case of filling a lottery playslip, but not for the implementation of the B2B platform. Why? The chance of winning the lottery is negligible compared to the costs incurred, and professionally implemented and optimized e-commerce B2B, almost guarantees tangible benefits.
The creation of an integrated platform seems to be expensive only for companies that fail to see the potential of this solution. Benefits manifested in two aspects: sales growth and cost savings. B2B E-commerce can be adapted to your needs and capabilities – including finances.
Implementation will be billed in the thousands, not the hundreds of euros / dollars, but I am convinced that companies which opt for such an investment, quickly appreciate its benefits.
“Being expensive ‘in this case is a very relative term.
The fact that this solution is useful, and customers are willing to use it, has already been sufficiently demonstrated. And if the implementation does not work out? The risk in this case can be minimized by appropriate research and gaining knowledge on different platforms. The next element of reducing the risk of failure is the choice of the appropriate developer. With the previously gained knowledge, it will be easier to check the competence and the implementation of existing platforms can serve as proof of his skill and effectiveness.
5) Develop your competitive advantage!
B2B ecommerce platform is the recommended solution for medium and large companies that want to maintain or improve its market position.
These solutions are becoming more popular among owners and customers, what should not surprise anyone who had the opportunity to enjoy a well-configured and optimized implementations of this type. This is another idea to develop effective competitive advantage for companies that do not want to stand still.