Modern businesses face competition on a global scale, so why are so many still limiting their ambition locally? With new B2B Ecommerce solutions available even small companies can unlock a worldwide audience for their products, and it’s easier than you think! Here are 3 key ways you can leverage B2B Ecommerce systems to grow your business.
1: Access a large, growing market
Many companies just don’t realise how massive the opportunity is in the B2B space, and how quickly it is growing. Frost & Sullivan estimate that by this year the US B2B market alone will be $1.9 trillion, with $6.6 trillion globally – double the B2C market.
The market is also still comparatively open, but you need to move fast! Surveys show that although 60% of manufacturers and 38% of wholesalers asked did not have an Ecommerce site, 75% of them were planning on creating one within 2 years.
75% Of B2B companies without Ecommerce sites building one in the next 2 years.
Replicate the B2C experience
The trends in B2B ecommerce are changing, and with the proliferation of large online retailers who are fast becoming all-pervasive in our consumer lives, buyers are increasingly expecting the functionality, look and feel of these sophisticated shopping experiences to be replicated at work. The millennials who are climbing the corporate ladder and now working as buyers are the first generation who use online resources as their primary source of buying information and will typically be further into the buying cycle before resorting to contacting a sales team. By replicating the experience they can get through B2C Ecommerce, B2B companies are make the buying process as easy and attractive as possible for potential customers. We predict that in 2020, improving customer service will be one of the key moves B2B Ecommerce traders will have to focus on.
2: Reduce your costs by making transactions easier
Order processing costs can be a major hindrance for businesses using older systems. Manually checking, inputting and processing orders takes time, diverts employees from other tasks, and this all means higher costs and a lower margin on every single sale. A modern B2B Ecommerce platform can cut all this down to a bare minimum allowing you to streamline the process. A system that operates as a B2B store front while interfacing with your ERP system can help manage stock levels, order processing and shipping all in the background, freeing up time and resource for other business opportunities, and reducing associated costs.
Make buying as easy as possible
Consider what a customer must go through to make a purchase from you – is it as easy and convenient as it should be? By using a system dedicated to B2B Ecommerce you can make the buying process as painless as possible, with capabilities such as:
- View real-time stock levels and replenishment times
- Manage their account with just a few clicks.
- See current, past and popular orders
- Pay for their orders
- and more
Many systems also offer traditional payment on credit terms, or a have a payment portal built in. By having a system that controls this automatically rather than having a finance team who must manually monitor and chase invoices, your business can make big savings and improve the customer experience at the same time.
Automate and serve customers 24/7
Lastly, and perhaps most significantly for international customers, modern B2B Ecommerce systems can also handle many of the administrative specifics that make export more difficult. Dealing with different currencies, taxes and other things may put some companies off from dealing with customers abroad, but these tasks can now also be handled automatically, and can be performed outside of your normal business hours, so you are no longer constrained by time zone differences across the world.
From showing unique login screens to each customer to their own personalised price lists, a purpose built, B2B ecommerce system gives your business customers what they need to make orders easily, with a fraction of the administration needed before.
20% Growth in direct sales from manufacturers since 2017
3: Reach your customers directly
In international trade even more so than domestically, companies can find themselves hampered in their efforts by gatekeepers who are operating a now outdated business model. In the past, large distributors or import/export businesses were in place and were much better placed to operate in their locale, meaning the producers lost margin and end-users had to deal with a ‘middle-man’. Now with Ecommerce producers and end-users can interface directly and can find one another much more easily.
By transitioning to an Ecommerce system that all your customers worldwide can order from, you can more easily identify new opportunities for sales by gaining visibility of your customer buying patterns up-close. You can see which products individual companies may be interested in and promote these accordingly, also informing them directly about any news/changes that will impact them.
The fact that you can do this all through your ecommerce platform, means that you can reach a bigger audience wherever they are in the world in a fraction of the time and cost of traditional methods.
So how can I do all these things?
The simplest way to achieve all these objectives is to find a reliable Ecommerce platform designed from the outset as a B2B system, and ideally one that will interface with your ERP system ‘out of the box’. Cloudfy is designed to be just such a system, configured to work with all the most popular ERP systems in use world-wide, deliver content in multiple languages and deliver the specific requirement of B2B Ecommerce users.
For more information or a Demo, contact us.
Or, to see how companies large and small are making a success of Cloudfy to grow their business, check out our case studies.