The B2B ecommerce market is expected to reach $6.7 trillion by 2020 according to research from Frost & Sullivan which is significantly higher than the values predicted by Forrester Research for the B2C ecommerce market. However, when it comes to adopting ecommerce as a core part of their business, B2B companies are considerably more reluctant to go online, compared to their B2C counterparts.
Below, we’re analyzing some of the reasons behind the slower adoption of ecommerce by B2B businesses and why, if you’re a B2B business, now is the perfect time to go online.
Challenge No 1: Complex Pricing
Unlike retail businesses which normally have only 1 pricing tier for their customers and may occasionally add special offers or discounts on the website, when it comes to B2B things are a bit more complicated. One of the key selling points for a B2B company can be its pricing system, which is often formed of one than more 1 tier, which can vary according to different customer or product groups, for example. That’s why, implementing a more complex pricing system online can be at times challenging and it is seen as one of the deterring factors for B2B companies that might want to go online.
Cloudfy is able to cope easily with the complexity of multiple pricing tiers, enabling retailers to tailor their pricing to different customer groups.
Challenge No 2: Sales Representatives
A lot of B2B businesses continue to rely heavily on field sales representatives who are able to drive results by engaging directly with their customers. A business may feel that ecommerce may be too impersonal to maintain close business relationships. However, the best B2B companies are finding ways to integrate their offline business with their ecommerce operation to create a powerful offer to their customers. Using systems like mSeller to enable field sales operatives to use technology to connect up to ecommerce systems via IPADs that showcase the full catalogue and place orders in real time.
As ecommerce platforms have advanced tremendously in recent years, with excellent customer service being one of the key factors behind the success of any online business, B2B company owners shouldn’t fear replacing sales representatives with a sales team which communicates using digital technologies.
Furthermore, as retailers and trade customers are becoming increasingly digitally savvy, there are increasing expectations trade buyers will experience the same functionality and service via a manufacturer/importer or wholesalers website as on a B2C online store. Adopting B2B ecommerce can prove an opportunity for improving relationships, offering additional service levels and enhancing the way you engage with your customers.
Cloudfy integrates seamlessly with systems like mSeller which is transforming businesses ability to integrate field sales team’s with their ecommerce operations.
Challenge No 3: Cultural Change
For many manufacturers, wholesalers, importers and distributors the rise of ecommerce and the challenges of integrating online with a traditional business can be daunting for many. To be successful, it will require investment for new systems and a new cultural mind-set to realign the entire business to incorporate ecommerce. This may involve bringing on board new ERP and CRM software that is fully compatible with a new ecommerce store, thinking about how sales commissions may be structured to ensure field sales teams work in harmony with the new online store and not against it. It’s also important for various departments to be able to work closely with each other, in order to provide a consistent experience across each channel. Those businesses who embrace the challenges and change that integrating ecommerce will demand are reaping the benefits that creating an incremental new sales channel will bring.
If you’re ready to overcome these challenges and you want to accelerate the growth of your business online, the Cloudfy B2B ecommerce platform represents an easy and cost-efficient solution for any B2B business that wants to start trading online in just weeks.
Offering rich functionality and features that have been created with the needs of wholesalers, manufacturers, exporters and other B2B businesses in mind, Cloudfy can help you make the switch to ecommerce in no time, while also providing you with an SEO optimized website and modern, responsive design, as well as user-friendly content management system.
To find out more about Cloudfy and what plan is the best choice for your business, contact our team today.