Historically, e-commerce has been confined to the retail and business to customer sector. While we have always been wholesalers online, they have been slow to take up eCommerce opportunities as a means of sales growth and online business production.
These days, developing an eCommerce business is typically associated with big retail chains and digital companies, but it can also be used further up the retail chain.
Many e-commerce platforms make it possible for suppliers and wholesalers to use the internet and eCommerce to make it easier for customers to order goods.
Electronic ordering systems are quickly gaining popularity and are being used by more and more companies in an effort to remain up to date with the latest trends. It also reduces human involvement in the supply chain – which may or may not be a good thing for your industry.
eCommerce For Wholesale Use
eCommerce has already been adopted extensively by retailers to sell their products to end-users, but the commercial wholesale sector has also been slowly adopting eCommerce technology to facilitate more straightforward trade between companies.
Enterprise eCommerce is a slightly different version of the e-commerce interaction that most users are accustomed to, but the principles behind the two systems are very similar.
Specialised eCommerce platforms that are designed for business to business trade use is a simple but effective way to give your business the edge. It enables B2B operators to remain relevant in the ever-changing business landscape and make it more convenient for customers to purchase products from your company.
How Does eCommerce For B2B Transactions Work?
eCommerce platform companies, like Shopify, have introduced versions of their platforms that include functions that can be used to automate the ordering process.
Enterprise e-commerce platforms allow purchasers to order products from suppliers electronically. They can even be integrated with CRM systems to facilitate fully automated transactions.
One of the advantages of using an e-commerce platform for B2B sales is the reduction in the number of employees that are required to serve your customer base. The result is lower overhead costs and fewer errors.
B2B eCommerce also allows customers to order products from your company when it suits them.
This is important to keep in mind since the traditional way of doing business limits when and how orders can be placed. In a modern world where convenience reigns supreme, a business that offers convenient ordering and procurement methods is much more likely to succeed than one that doesn’t provide the same services.
Adding eCommerce To Your Sales Channels
eCommerce platforms can be added to your existing sales channels with minimal effort and cost. Most e-commerce platforms offer the ability to integrate with your existing website and other sales infrastructures so that you do not have to make sweeping changes in order to make use of digital sales methods.
Each platform is unique, but most provide the essential functions that are required to facilitate B2B transactions, including various payment methods and stock management.
E-commerce is suitable for most businesses and can be used to sell a variety of products and services to customers. Most platforms offer customisation options so that you can promote your unique brand without needing to re-invent the wheel or spend a fortune on getting your business ready for digital-age transactions.
Engaging in Social Proof
Business to business outfits should be looking for ways to increase social proof, just like any other retail outlets. This includes encouraging feedback and reviews on services, interaction with social media and professional forums and industry sites.
It’s especially important for those in wholesale to demonstrate that they have a good track record and reliable product and services platform. Since many business customers will not enter your premises, you need to provide the convincers via your own branding and professional position online.
Peer reviews, whether in print media or from reputable publishers online, are also an invaluable tool through which you can expand your brand reputation and reach.
Social proof for me please may also be an option if you’re typically working online in teams that interact with social media.
LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and specific niche industry sites should also be targeted as an opportunity to build your brand reputation online.
Do Your Homework
Before tackling a B2B eCommerce service, It’s important to do your planning. You need to be able to map out your plan for growth, customer service, eCommerce and payment integration, as well as an overall content marketing plan for your online platform.
Expenses can run high very quickly and so budgeting each step in the development of your enterprise as well as the marketing channels through which you’ll operate, needs to be carefully coordinated and costed.