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Proactive Measures for Managing a B2B Ecommerce Platform During Peak Times 

Proactive Measures for your B2B Ecommerce

B2B ecommerce is a key tool to drive revenue growth and the model is evolving all the time. Each year your fourth quarter is probably filled with highly focused and intensive sales activity. Your teams will be driving ahead to meet year-end targets and prepare for next year.

There are some key steps you can take to make sure customer service remains fast, reliable and secure during your busiest periods. Most importantly, you can continue delivering exceptional customer experiences when it matters most.

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Cloudfy helps you stay ahead of your competitors and manage the additional business challenges you face at busy times.

Many B2B companies quickly discover that ecommerce platforms are often retail solutions offering only a limited selection of trade-specific features. In contrast, Cloudfy is a scalable ecommerce solution with powerful tools designed for complex B2B sales. You can streamline your business operations and keep things running smoothly, no matter how busy you are.

Cloudfy is purpose designed to meet the needs of manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors. The easy to use dashboard allows you to automate processes and reduce administration. There’s also a powerful range of self-service tools and out-of-the-box business system integrations to meet your toughest B2B business challenges.

Busy buyers can place their purchase orders through your Cloudfy B2B ecommerce site or the customer ordering app. The information goes straight to your enterprise (ERP) system without any further manual data entry. You’ll reduce errors and speed up processes during busy periods.

While many B2B companies adopted ecommerce as a necessity during the pandemic it’s unlikely they’ll return to traditional sales methods. In fact, manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers are recognising the benefits of B2B ecommerce more than ever. Inflation, supply chain disruptions and staff shortages will all add to B2B companies’ operational challenges during periods of high demand. Your B2B ecommerce platform allows you to overcome these and other peak season issues and improve customer service.

B2B ecommerce provides access to global audiences, even for small and medium-sized enterprises. With a software as a service (SaaS) solution scaling your business has never been easier or more cost effective. Now you can capture data for near real time customer behavior analytics and insights, improve planning, decision making and marketing.

However, intense competition in a fast-growing online market makes it hard to stand out and attract loyal long-term customers. Your buyers research extensively online and expect to find specific recommendations and high quality service to suit their needs. These are priorities all year around but are key to winning new business and retaining customers during your peak season.

Here are five B2B ecommerce strategies you can adopt to effectively increase online sales during busy times.

Effectively increase online sales during busy times

Deliver high quality customer experiences

Your buyers value personalized experiences at work as well as for their personal shopping. Many companies find it challenging to deliver the same fast and seamless purchasing journeys online in a B2B environment. However, accurate data about customer behavior and preferences allows you to help buyers do their jobs more efficiently. You’ll increase sales and gain new loyal customers.

Another good business growth tactic is to encourage additional purchases from your existing customers via your B2B ecommerce platform. Integration with your customer relationship management (CRM) system allows you to promote more frequent or higher volume purchases. You can also gain insights into effective strategies to target key customer groups and products during peak season.

Make sure your content is clear and relevant and designed to simplify your buyers’ online journey. Give customers incentives to allow you to send promotions and relevant offers. Actively reach out to those who haven’t purchased recently with extra seasonal ordering discounts.

Prioritize logistics and shipping

Prioritize logistics and shipping

Complex B2B shipping and logistics requirements are always a significant challenge during peak season. Cost effectively satisfying your customers’ time-critical deliveries will give you an advantage over your competitors.

Prioritizing effective and transparent communication helps you manage customers’ expectations and minimize status enquiries during your busiest period.

Advance preparation at your warehouses and fulfillment centers helps mitigate potential supply chain issues and meet increased demand. Accurate financial reporting and forecasts help you optimize inventory storage, improve your warehousing processes, and streamline onward deliveries. Working with the right logistics partner helps to efficiently handle local custom and tax requirements, order tracking, and last-mile deliveries.

Your buyers value delivery choices options that increase flexibility and reduce costs. Find out what will be most useful, such as personally collecting and returning products to local distribution hubs, for example.

Ensure security

Payment fraud is a major concern for both traditional and ecommerce B2B sales. Fraudsters know that B2B companies process high volume high value orders, making them attractive targets. Your customers want reassurance that your strict fraud prevention procedures aren’t under pressure at busy times.

While fast payments are a modern-day requirement, they increase the risk of criminal activity online. Make sure your B2B ecommerce platform security measures include firewall protection, intrusion detection, prevention systems, and regular security updates.

Implement business system integration

Implement business system integration

Data silos hinder business growth. Integrating key business systems with your B2B ecommerce platform streamlines and simplifies your operations. During your busiest times it is much easier to meet high demand cost effectively when systems and departments work together. You’ll have an accurate view of your inventory and order levels to improve stock control and order fulfillment. You’ll also avoid overstocking which places unnecessary pressure on cashflow during your peak season.

Automating business processes saves time and money and transforms your order-to-cash (O2C) cycle. Replacing manual processes reduces ordering errors and improves efficiency. You can invoice your clients directly from your ERP or create rules to trigger invoices within your B2B ecommerce platform. Alternatively, integration with your payment gateway allows customers to pay during checkout. By designing automated workflows to suit your business, you can confidently meet high demand and improve customer satisfaction.

Simplify product returns

Administering refunds and handling the product return process adds to your costs and takes away resources from order fulfillment. Poor processes can affect future sales and damage your reputation. In contrast, a clear returns policy backed up by effective logistics can improve customer retention.

Improves processes by asking for reasons why products are returned. These might include faults, purchasing the wrong product, or ordering too many. The answers are useful indicators that quality assurance could improve or product descriptions and minimum order quantities aren’t clear.

Find out how to simplify, save and scale your peak season operations with Cloudfy’s scalable B2B ecommerce solution.

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