As the global economy continues to struggle and businesses around the world are feeling the pressure of an uncertain future, it’s more important than ever before to find ways to save money and time. One of the best solutions is investing in a powerful B2B ecommerce web platform such as Cloudfy.
Cloudfy is designed to provide manufacturers and distributors with a simple, cost-effective solution that can help them reduce operating costs, streamline their processes and scale their business over time. With advanced features like real-time product search, rapid order fulfillment, inventory management and automated invoicing, Cloudfy offers powerful tools that can help businesses save time and money.
With over a decade of experience working with business-to-business (B2B) companies around the world, here are eleven steps recommended by the Cloudfy team.
- Be customer-centric – the businesses most likely to succeed in difficult times are those that effectively explore and meet their customers’ needs. While focussing on pricing might seem like an obvious step, improving customer service and adding value are likely to help you build long-term brand loyalty.
- Communicate effectively – a practical strategy to maintain your cashflow is to make sure you communicate regularly and consistently with your customers and stakeholders. There’s never been a better time to build up your first-party subscriptions list so you can provide valuable information to your customers.
- Take search engine optimization seriously – as budgets are placed under increasing pressure your B2B buyers will be searching online for the best deals for their company. As well as paid-for online advertising you will need to make sure search engine optimization (SEO) for your B2B ecommerce site is a priority. If some of your competitors choose to cut back on their online marketing activity, you will benefit from being easily discoverable online.
- Plan for growth – while simply surviving might appear to be imperative, things will eventually recover. Improving efficiency will help you to manage current pressures and prepare for the future. You can position your business for growth as financial pressures ease by taking advantage of opportunities to automate and streamline your business processes through business systems integration.
- Improve productivity – your teams can do more when they are working well together, so consolidating data through business systems integration will also provide a single source of truth to make sure everyone can be productive. It allows you to avoid duplication and unnecessary manual data entry and, when combined with your B2B ecommerce platform, business systems integration will also streamline your sales processes and improve customer satisfaction.
- Support your employees – when you give your team members the right tools for the job, you will send a clear message that you value them and what they do. Engage with them to find out what will make a difference, listen to their recommendations, and share your future plans so they can be confident you have things under control. As more transactions are completed online make sure your employees are correctly incentivized and recognized for their contributions.
- Improve your order to cash process – making customer payments easy and efficient and automating your credit control processes will help protect your cashflow. Offering flexible payment options via your B2B ecommerce platform will make it easy for your customers to pay and keep track of their accounts.
- Be agile – with each digital transaction you will collect a lot of useful information about your company finances and customer behavior. Rather than waiting to see what market trends and reports are telling you, collect and evaluate real time data about your customers’ purchases and preferences. You can use analytic tools to convert this into actionable insights for your production, marketing, sales and after sales teams. You can then respond quickly, effectively and confidently using data-based decision making.
- Focus on customer retention – retaining your existing customers will be more cost-effective than searching for new customers during these challenging times. Look carefully at what your data tells you and introduce a customer loyalty program or update your existing one to add quality and value for your customers.
- Collaborate – you can realize the benefits of scale when you collaborate with others including your suppliers and perhaps your competitors too. Online marketplaces can give you access to new audiences and locations, so explore opportunities to provide value-added complementary products and services.
- Take the long-view – distinguish between short-term tactical activities and your longer-term strategy. You could, for example, buy inventory at a reduced price if one of your competitors is cutting back on their purchasing in the short-term. However, for the future you might want to become more efficient with an integrated inventory management system.
Take the first step today
Cloudfy B2B ecommerce software is designed to help simplify your manufacturing or distribution business to save you money and allow you to scale as your business grows.
With our extensive experience of B2B sales Cloudfy offers a comprehensive suite of powerful ecommerce tools as a cost-effective software as a service (SaaS) solution.
To find out more book a free Cloudfy demonstration.