For many manufacturers, developing a b2b ecommerce strategy is not an immediate priority. These companies say that ecommerce won’t benefit them because they’re only selling to wholesalers and distributors. But in reality, those manufacturers who have successfully launched a digital sales channel are seeing increased revenues, lower operating costs and higher margins. So how does b2b ecommerce deliver these advantages?
According to Gartner, the average b2b buyer is 57% through the purchase decision before they engage with a supplier’s sales rep. By adding ecommerce into your sales mix, you’re adding value for your customers right from the early stages of the purchasing process, providing buyers with easy access to the information they need to research the products they’re interested in – and encouraging them to buy from you.
An ecommerce solution also helps you raise your company profile and drive brand awareness. By ensuring the pages of your site are search engine optimised, you can make your site easier to find, increase traffic and communicate your products and proposition to new audiences. In addition, with an ecommerce platform and the help of easily accessible online analytics, your investment in technology and marketing activity is measurable – so you can see how well you’re performing and where you could be improving.
With increased visibility of your business performance comes clearer insight into what online buyers are searching for, as well as product sales trend data. This information can be used to inform the development of sales and marketing strategies, including for example, the creation of new product lines, the setting of pricing structures, and the refinement of brand positioning.
By deploying the right ecommerce platform, manufacturers are better able to target new markets and expand existing product lines. What’s more, because you have direct access to end-user customers, there’s big potential to increase margins. Greater engagement with a larger, broader pool of customers and prospects can also be a catalyst for product or service innovation – which leads to market differentiation and competitive advantage.
Whether buyers are accessing your site on desktop computers, tablets or smart phones, a best-in-class ecommerce solution simplifies the entire sales process, enhances the customer experience and creates new company-wide efficiencies through integration with business and accounting systems such as Sage and Pegasus.
Adding an ecommerce channel to your existing sales model to create a seamless omnichannel approach not only helps to boost sales and margins, it also strengthens existing customer relationships and opens up opportunities to access new markets. Ecommerce supports a smarter streamlined approach to business that saves time and cost, while adding value for your customers.