More and more manufacturers, suppliers and wholesalers are starting to realise the benefits of doing business online.
More than half of B2B companies saw increases in the volume and profitability of their average online orders in 2017, compared to 2016.
However, many traditional B2B customers expect to phone, email or even fax their orders.
Here are just some of the compelling reasons for B2B businesses to encourage their customers to go online.
- Return on investment
Even if you already have a carefully developed, fast, effective and easy to use B2B ecommerce site, existing customers who don’t use it to place their orders will affect your return on investment. Persuading them to become online buyers will increase your ecommerce sales and improve your business efficiency.
- Customer engagement
One of the first steps you can take is to get your sales, marketing and customer services teams to help your customers to make the move.
They can set up their account and show them how easy it is to place their usual orders. They can then demonstrate other additional online information and services and highlight the round-the-clock availability of online ordering on multiple devices.
Presented as an added value service, this is an opportunity to check-in with your established customers and a chance to introduce new products.
Many B2B buyers value the relationship they have built with your sales and customer services teams. It’s important that they don’t see online buying as a barrier to that personal service, when they need it.
By making sure that their buying history, pricing and preferences are included in their account, they will continue to feel that you value their custom.
When your ecommerce system is integrated with your business systems, your team can share a view of their online purchasing with them at any time and help them out when needed.
To make sure your customers see the online buying process as a benefit, you can add special offers, promotions and valuable content online. This will encourage them to make this their channel of choice and to continue using it in the future.
Once they are confident with online self-service you can focus your resources on introducing new products and services that will allow your business to grow.
B2B ecommerce is growing fast and Frost and Sullivan predict that more than a quarter of all B2B purchases will be online by 2020. Currently about one in five B2B businesses sell online.
Taking the lead with ecommerce means you have a competitive advantage to offer to your customers.
Equally importantly, you will need to keep up with your competitors who already do business online, or who are planning to start.
Online orders can be seamlessly passed to sales, finance, stock control and distribution systems. This will make the whole process faster and more efficient. It will also significantly reduce the risk of human errors. All together this will improve your customer’s experience.
You can also offer online order configuration systems so that your customers can input the bulk of their requirements before requesting a quote. This will save time and allow your team to focus on providing the best solution for their needs.
Find out how to make moving to online selling fast and effective with Cloudfy. Get in touch.