Business-to-business eCommerce is growing rapidly and those companies that have already adopted it are seeing a wealth of benefits. So if you haven’t already made the move, here are some of the reasons why investing in a B2B eCommerce platform could be the most rewarding thing you do in 2019.
Firstly, B2B buyers and the B2B purchasing processes have changed dramatically in recent years. Increasingly, Millennials are responsible for B2B purchasing and rather than buying through traditional channels like trade counters or sales reps, most prefer to research and buy online.
Research from Google in 2015 reported that around 50% of B2B buyers were Millennials, while another study revealed that this new wave of purchasing professionals expect the same kind of personalised buying experience from the digital channels they use, as a traditional sales rep might provide. Studies also show that around 90% of B2B researchers use the Internet to find the information they need for their work, while nearly a third of B2B buyers now make 50% or more of their purchases online. All this places great importance on having a strong eCommerce presence for your business
Today’s top-performing eCommerce platforms integrate seamlessly with business and accounting systems like Sage or Pegasus to deliver a high quality, customised buyer experience. From account specific pricing, individual order histories and payment terms, to tailored special offers, deals and promotions, platforms from technology providers such as Aspidistra help B2B sellers to engage with and retain customers.
Interestingly, such platforms can also help to improve the efficiency of your sales team. It’s easy for reps to use your eCommerce site to access product information and real-time stock levels. What’s more, there’s no need to produce large, expensive printed catalogues, and more time for reps to focus on selling higher ticket items and resolving any customer issues.
With the right B2B eCommerce platform, you can streamline the buying process and makes procurement faster and more efficient. Spending on B2B eCommerce has increased substantially and investment in technology solutions to support these demands has grown at a speed that’s twice that of B2C eCommerce. Indeed, according to Shopify, over 80% of B2B companies understand that B2B eCommerce offers a vital income stream with massive potential that is yet to be fully exploited.
This potential manifests in many different ways. For example, the best eCommerce platforms support a significant increase in order value, conversion rate and margin. In fact, analysts estimate that the average B2B order value is over three times that of the average B2C order. There are other benefits too. When you deal directly with your customer end-users through an eCommerce platform, you’re able to learn more about their needs so that you can adapt your products, services and promotions to fine-tune the customer experience.
In summary, B2B eCommerce is here to stay. It’s transforming the way businesses sell and buy products and services, and by investing in 2019 in a smart eCommerce platform you can quickly begin to capitalise on the potential of selling online – and rapidly gain competitive advantage.