Although trade in the b2b sector has often traditionally relied on long-term contracts and close personal customer relationships, the proliferation of online services and b2b buyers’ own experiences as consumers mean that there is an increasing expectation of a seamless, personalised experience across all digital interactions.
Digital transformation in manufacturing, distribution and wholesale companies is driving new ways of working and creating new opportunities. Organisations that do not embrace this change risk losing competitive advantage.
In the past, many b2b companies have struggled to create a single, seamless experience for buyers because they have been unable to break down silos of information that have built up in backend systems. These companies can’t share data and statistics between people, departments and channels, and their legacy systems can’t deal with new pricing, product availability, bundled offers and customer personalisation.
Organisations moving to b2b ecommerce need to develop engaging experiences for buyers, with features such as real-time data, easy-to-use options for repeat orders, access to order histories, account-specific pricing, and tailored offers and promotions. These features should be available and optimised for use across all desktop and mobile devices.
In fact, Forrester reports that 60% of b2b companies say buyers spend more when they can interact across multiple channels – so choosing a system that enables you to connect all your data points to deliver an omnichannel, personalised experience is key. What’s more, in an increasingly mobile-first business environment there are many opportunities to support strong and lasting customer relationships and provide a truly aligned experience across all touchpoints.
Perhaps the most important part of the journey to transformation is to find a way to establish a single view of your customer across the business. This is essential to providing a consistent, joined-up buying experience and requires an ecommerce platform that integrates with business and accounting systems such as Sage and Pegasus. Integration enables critical information to flow across all areas of your organisation, and to your customer.
With the right ecommerce software, manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers can overcome the challenges of transformation and enjoy the benefits of greater efficiency, increased margins and increased customer loyalty.