With an increase in demands, the B2B industry is growing day-by-day. The internet has witnessed a tremendous increase in B2B sales because orders taken by calls, fax and in-person is no longer in trend. Sellers have changed their approach from traditional methods to B2B eCommerce solutions.
According to Digital Commerce 360, The sales via. B2B commerce sites and marketplaces increased by nearly 18% to reach $700M in 2019 from $600M in 2018.
The medical and pharmaceutical industry is increasing their reliance on the B2B portal since they are shifting their approach from the traditional approach of sales representatives to the B2B eCommerce sites.
According to B2B Wave, 71% of medical supply distributors with a B2B portal site report that their customers utilize mobile and desktop devices for access.
Out of the many platforms for B2B available, it is important to select one which builds website with user-friendly online experience and suits the requirement of your business. Consider the following factors before making a choice:
1. Reorder option
In B2B business, vendors tend to order the same product over and over again. Example: a vendor will need plastic packaging and tapes to pack its products each month. Hence, you should provide flexibility to the customers so that they can order the same products without starting their buying flow from scratch. This will reduce the efforts and time of the customer (since they are already aware of the products they are purchasing) and also encourages them to increase repeated orders.
2. Access control flexibility
Each business has a different way of operations and like other operations, B2B also follows a structured hierarchy. B2B operations include multi-tier employees with distinct roles for each employee. Select an platform that has provisions to manage access control, user roles and payment module accessibility.
3. Custom catalog
Unlike B2C, the prices of products differ from one customer to another. B2B eCommerce deals with customer-specific pricing and product catalog. See to it whether the platform you are selecting can provide a custom catalog.
4. Reduce your business time and costs
B2B customers are also similar to other customers when it comes to purchasing online. Nobody likes to delay their process.
Hence automate invoice generation, order processing and stock management so that human intervention is minimal. This also reduces the margin of error and increases the efficiency and credibility of sellers.
5. In-depth analysis and reporting
When B2B sellers view graphical representation and statistical data for multiple customers, it is easier for them to analyze which vendor is providing regular sales, profit/loss ratio and area of sales (demographics). Based on statistical analysis and data, the B2B seller can modify its sales and market strategy.
Hence, look out for analysis and reporting information in the eCommerce platform for B2B business.
6. Payment options
B2B orders are different than B2C orders. Merchants purchase large orders and repeatedly. Your platform should incorporate flexible payment options like paying one or several invoices or partial payments.
7. Integration with supplier applications
The products that are sold on B2B platforms are purchased from a manufacturer/supplier. There are abundant products with multiple formats (excel/csv/list of SKUs etc.) or applications. There exists a need to integrate supplier’s ERP/POS (Point of Sale) or PIM (Product Inventory Management) with B2B eCommerce since manually adding products will be a huge hassle.
8. Options for scalability
It is important to extend an eCommerce website with additional features as business grows. New functionalities need to be implemented either as per customer demand or business needs.
When you opt for an eCommerce solution, see to it that whether the end product has room for scalability or not.
9. Responsive design
With the increased use of smartphones day-by-day, people are accessing the internet from their mobile devices (smartphones and tablet devices). Hence, your B2B site will also receive major traffic from mobile devices. Do check whether the eCommerce platform for B2B sites delivers a mobile-friendly portal.
The website on your mobile device should look equal or more appealing than the desktop version.
According to Statistas (Jul 2020), “Mobile accounts for approximately half of the web traffic worldwide. In the second quarter of 2020, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 51.53 percent of global website traffic, consistently hovering around the 50 percent mark since the beginning of 2017.”
10. Ease of use
Simplicity is key to open door for sales. Accessing complex websites is a major cringe to customers and a major reason why customers abandon websites. Make your B2B eCommerce solutions a simple and easy to use portal with easier navigation and quick ordering options.
According to Aumcore, 80% of mobile users claim they are most likely to buy from companies with easy to navigate mobile sites and apps.
11. Customer Experience on B2B should be similar to B2C
B2B experience is just B2C in disguise. The basic elements of both the same and have been used in one another for years. The core fundamentals are good UX design, interpreting customers’ journey and receiving feedback on a detailed level. The same quality is implied in B2C also. The only difference is, B2B has a layer of complexity since they have to deal with multiple personalities in a single account rather than a single account in B2B business.
When it comes to B2B eCommerce implementation, it is a known fact that most B2B businesses are not experts in the industry. Hence, the implementation partner needs to guide them with their expertise in the eCommerce strategy.
ThyCart has extensive expertise in implementing eCommerce Solutions for brands all over the world. We are a cross-functional expert team who has collective experience in site implementation, digital marketing and analytics tracking; We will guide you throughout your journey and will provide support in all phases.