Ecommerce is expected to account for 17% of all business to business (B2B) sales in the US by 2023. However, many B2B sellers are only just starting their strategic ecommerce journey.
Choosing the right B2B ecommerce platform for your business is critical. You need to be confident that it will:
- be a good fit for your overall business strategy
- integrate with your existing business systems to deliver cost and efficiency savings
- meet your buyers’ needs
- be future-proof.
We believe that a software as a service (SaaS) solution is the best way to meet all of these requirements. Here are seven reasons why.
- Delivering strategic benefits
Early B2B ecommerce sites were seen as an alternative way to work with existing customers. Modern B2B ecommerce is a strategic approach to customer service, new business acquisition, increased revenue and improved performance. One of the outstanding qualities of SaaS is that updates are delivered in the Cloud to ensure your solution is always at the leading edge of technology and can grow with your business.
- Information anywhere, anytime
Your B2B buyers expect a consumer-like experience on your B2B ecommerce site with real-time information, easy purchasing and tracking options. Linking your SaaS solution with information from your back-office production, warehousing and logistics processes can provide all of this information immediately. There’s no need to arrange batch uploads or to wait for manual data entry.
You can go a step further to realise the full benefit of your ecommerce platform and to deliver the best possible customer service. Integration with your enterprise planning, sales and product management systems will allow you to synchronise processes and information. You can automate activities such as order fulfilment, inventory control and product catalogue updates. With a single source of accurate information to run your business you can improve performance and customer service.
Not all SaaS solutions are the same, so it’s important to confirm that your choice includes integration with all the major business systems. It should also offer a powerful application programming interface (API) so that any tailored requirements can be easily developed, now or in the future.
- Cost effectiveness
SaaS provides you with a full ecommerce solution on a subscription basis. You don’t have to use your valuable capital to buy hardware and you won’t have separate costs for maintenance. Your subscription will cover your licence, hosting, security, maintenance, and support. You don’t even need to pay for capacity that you don’t yet need. SaaS is scalable and can grow with your business when you need it.
Your SaaS ecommerce solution is hosted and maintained by your provider so you will have most of your ecommerce functionality straight out of the box. You won’t need to plan, design and deliver a bespoke ecommerce platform, which means that you can launch a site in weeks rather than months. With an easy user interface and pre-built themes, you don’t even need to have your own IT and marketing teams.
SaaS ecommerce is easy to maintain. Your provider will deliver updates and upgrades in the Cloud and will have enough resilience to make sure that capacity issues don’t affect your site’s availability.
- Security and compliance
Online security, including payment card industry (PCI) compliance, is essential. Your business should not be exposed to security breaches or cybercrime attacks and your buyers’ information, including their payment details, must be protected at all times.
Because delivering online services securely is the core business of your SaaS provider, you can be confident that they have the highest levels on online protection. Overall security and PCI compliance should be included, especially if sensitive personal data is held on their servers.
Making the right choice for your business
We recommend SaaS as a cost-effective and flexible strategic solution for B2B ecommerce.
However, to choose the right ecommerce platform for your business you will want to carefully research the options available to you. Please contact us as part of this process and we will be happy to give you a free Cloudfy demonstration.