Grow B2B E-commerce Sales by Fixing These Issues
In simple terms, Business to Business or B2B is a business conducted between two or multiple businesses such as retailers, wholesalers. Etc.
In the last couple of years, B2B E-Commerce sales have seen transformative growth. It is no wonder that just like B2C, B2B buyers are also expecting an e-commerce experience that facilitates them to conduct purchases just like the B2C websites offer.
That being said, we are already witnessing an exponential growth of B2B businesses and obtaining year-long commerce fail solutions to cater and receive quality experience while conducting business online.
As per the statistics in 2019, 13 % of all the B2B sales were gathered digitally, and it is estimated that by 2023, B2B online sales in the US can see exponential growth and reach up to 1.8 trillion dollars!
That is insanely huge!
Image Source: Statista
By 2023, it is estimated that the retail E-Commerce sales in the Asia-Pacific region would be more significant than the rest of the world put together. With this, you can easily calculate how fast the e-commerce market is growing. The global pandemic and the rise in online shopping have played a crucial role in taking E-Commerce to its new height.
We are familiar with the effects of digital e-commerce in B2C and how easy it has made it for us to do transactions anytime, from anywhere and in any way we want. A similar experience can be curated for B2B E-commerce.
Operating B2B & B2C are pretty different. In simple terms, the former is like driving a bus, while the latter is like driving a car.
There are numerous vital differences, like audience size, target audience, etc., requiring different strategies to address the market need and cater to the customers better.
B2B and B2C E-commerce have different challenges, and their solutions to fix your business, target audience, and market changes, will be different.
Let’s discuss this in more detail.
The B2B E-Commerce is quite different and complex than the usual B2C E-Commerce transaction and Business methods.
It would be best if you adopted other solutions to fix the issues so that you can provide the best experience to the customers regardless of the customer type.
Considering how fast B2B is evolving and its importance in the digital market, it is essential than ever to understand its importance and implement the same.
It seems like too much to take in, right? No worries, to simplify, users want the same convenient, trouble-free and smooth B2B e-commerce experience that the B2C users receive. However, in doing so, certain challenges need to be acknowledged, analysed and worked upon.
So to make things easier for you, we will highlight major & essential B2B E-Commerce issues that the businesses are facing currently.
Along with the simplified solutions to these issues that could help you improve and grow B2B E-Commerce sales cater to a better experience.
Ready? Let’s dive in!
Issue no. 1: Complex B2B buying process
In B2B, clients are businesses rather than customers; that being said, there are different layers involved when dealing with a company/business, whether from reviewing a transaction to approve one.
Since there are many people involved, they play different roles and responsibilities. Let’s paint a clear picture; for example, an inventory manager will finalise the product based on its specifications, then a financial representative will take a look at the prices, negotiate and approve the final spending. In some cases, there is another layer of a decision-maker who will close the deal.
It makes the buying cycle lengthy, complex and sometimes time-consuming. It’s not only making decisions; however, B2B transactions require quite a bit of paperwork as well, since you deal on a large scale and certain legalities could be involved as well.
Since you’re dealing with the business, things need to be documented in order to ensure a safe transaction. As a business dealing with other companies, to grow your B2B E-Commerce sales, you need to provide each person involved in the transaction cycle with the respective information that he or she may need to execute the task and move forward with it.
It is not just about passing on the information but about how you are catering for them. The entire process, which might seem lengthy and unavoidable, should go seamless. The respective people involved should not feel overwhelmed or lost while taking care of their responsibility.
Since, unlike B2C, it is not just only a one-click purchase solution, you need to make sure that the entire transaction process is streamlined, organised and less complex.
If there is quite a bit of layer involved, the complexity could become overwhelming and could be a lot to catch up with. To keep things streamlined, you need to have solid support, necessary tools, and strategy in place to provide the businesses with the required information and a smooth business experience.
Solution: Opting Integrated Tools
Many B2B retailers are still using outdated technologies and paperwork methods while dealing with e-commerce transactions. There are numerous tools, software, and applications available in the market that are safe, secure and can make your life easier to keep track of each step taken while dealing with B2B E-Commerce purchases.
While conducting a B2B transaction, especially online, you deal with quite a few people, and taking things manually won’t work.
In order to keep things aligned, you need a powerful tool like customer relationship management software. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is simply a one-stop solution for the growth of your online business.
With the CRM software, the businesses can keep their customers and future prospects, keep track of the data of their interactions and share the information with the parties and their colleagues.
It allows businesses to manage effective relationships with the customers and help them grow B2B E-Commerce sales by keeping things organised.
Thus, by integrating the website and the transactional background with customer relation management, you can manage your resources and plan out the strategy that works best for your business without burring yourself into extensive paperwork to keep records.
Issue no. 2: Shipping Tracking & Handling Bulk Orders
Like normal B2C, in B2B, the businesses need to receive their orders conveniently, in the required condition and on time.
However, unlike B2C, in B2B, the average order value could have a considerable difference, which means users purchase in bulk from B2B; thus, the purchase volume is generally more significant.
In the B2B marketplace, the businesses often do transactions that require a bulk shipment. Since the order value is quite significant compared to the standard B2C shipment, they require certain logistic and strategic planning. You need to ensure that the respective purchase reaches its new owner in great condition and on or before time.
Since it is easy to ship smaller orders by road or any other fast delivery method, shipping bulk orders is troubling.
Solution: Outsourcing & opting for shipping management software
Business giants like Flipkart, Amazon, IndiaMART, etc., have established certain logistic companies as their subsidiaries. Outsourcing the product could be a good option here as well.
It is essential to have a professional logistic team in the play who could handle bulk B2B marketplace transactions and focus on business growth.
Additionally, providing your customers with multiple shipping options will give them freedom of choice.
However, please keep in mind to integrate the shipping management software like Sellbrite with your website or the platform you use to keep track of your shipment pricing and delivery time.
Bonus tip: You can also offer specific bulk discounts, vouchers to your B2B customers in order to gain their attention. However, do note that you do not get overboard and burn a hole in your pocket by doing so.
Issue no. 3: Improper Inventory management
Not correctly monitoring the inventory and a gap in supply & demand management will affect your business’s reputation and could be a significant roadblock in your goal to grow B2B E-commerce sales.
An “Out of stock” label can annoy or putt-off your customers and could give your competitors a great chance to reap benefits from it.
Today, many customers would prefer to immediately reach out to the other sellers as soon as they see that you are out of stock on your E-Commerce site or offline business.
Managing your inventory is a crucial process. If you want to grow your business and provide various quality products, you have to have inventory management in place.
Still, some B2B E-Commerce businesses follow traditional inventory management systems. They could become outdated, and sometimes they require a lot of resources and are relatively expensive.
Since in B2B, you are dealing with bulky orders, not correctly monitoring your inventory could make your customers impatient, increase shipping costs, delay order fulfilment, and increase operating costs. All this could be lead to a terrible customer experience and a negative impact on your business.
Solutions: Opting a Suitable digital B2B E-Commerce solution platform
There is various feature-rich e-commerce software available in the market that helps keep track of your stock inventory to ensure you are well prepared in advance.
To march hand in hand with the evolving technology, it is crucial to throw the laborious, outdated system and methods out the window. And embrace the new technologies that could make your life easier and keep track of your inventory more efficiently and smartly.
It is highly recommended to opt for a suitable B2B E-Commerce solution platform that offers solid back and management support.
The backend and management support will help you manage your inventory better, control the payment management, keep things in a process, and automation support. This could potentially increase customer loyalty and could give a used push in increasing your sales.
This will not only help in increasing productivity, decrease operating costs, save time but will also give a boost to your operational efficiency.
Thus by doing so, you can focus more on your strategic prospect and very little about your inventory management going Haywire.
Issue no. 4: Unsatisfactory Shopping Experience
Giving your customers a pleasant shopping experience is a critical factor that many businesses choose to ignore.
Many B2B E-Commerce businesses do not pay much attention to provide a pleasant shopping experience and choose outdated E-Commerce platforms that result in a poor shopping experience and unhappy customers.
If you can cater for your customers better, interact with them and make their shopping experience convenient, they will definitely keep you and their good books.
Let’s just say that you have invested a great number of resources in marketing and advertising and were successful in gaining more customers.
However, due to the loopholes in providing a streamlined shopping experience, you might lose some of those customers, which could hinder your performance and decrease the conversion rate.
If you will give your customers an unappealing shopping experience directly impacting your customer retention, who would want to return to a business that didn’t satisfy their needs?
Solution: User-Friendly Website and customized approach
Whether it is an online or offline B2B business, it is important to provide a user-friendly shopping experience to enable your customer language with your product and perform the required steps.
It is essential to know what your audience is the king and then customizes your website and approach the product.
Before selecting a design and optimizing your website, it is crucial to evaluate the pros and cons for the specific requirement matching your stores and business’s ideology.
The easier you will make for the customers to find your product, browse through them, know more about it and make a purchase, the better it will be for your website and conversion rate.
Instead of stuffing your website with content, you should be careful about the elements you will represent on your website that will be the face description of your brand and product.
You can customize your existing E-commerce Website and play with different elements. To name a few:
- Adding categories to categorize different product
- Adding suitable, relevant and multiple CTA on your website could help you in gathering more conversion.
- Make sure you make your website responsive to provide an equal and pleasant customer experience on mobile and desktop.
- You can add explanatory videos about your product, what it does, how to use it, and its benefits.
- Provide the users with crystal clear navigation. So they can browse through as to where they want to go when they land on your website.
- Personalized content. If your business deals in multiple locations, make sure to make your page responsive in such a way that it is translated into different languages based on the location it serves
- Safe and secure online transactions.
- Hassle-free and up to date product delivery tracking
Do keep in mind that you have to provide a compelling user experience on desktop as well as on mobile.
Mobile commerce (M-commerce) is growing exponentially, and providing a poor mobile shopping experience can burn a hole in your pocket, and you can end up losing more than 45% of your sales. Who would want that!
That being said, you can not afford to sideline the shopping experience on mobile devices.
You can provide users with a personalized approach to make them feel valued. After all, a happy customer is a repeat customer. In order to do so, you run various PPC ads such as search & remarketing so that you can provide your customers with a personalized shopping experience based on their previous experience and their current marketing searches.
We live in a competitive world, and people often miss out on creating a one-on-one relationship with
their customers. Holding onto the existing customer is as crucial as gaining you once.
You can do so by opting for different tools and technology that can help you automate the entire customer journey.
The competition is stiff in the e-commerce market, and if you are not optimizing and adopting yourself with the ongoing technology, you could end up losing customers and, worse to your competitors, who are marching along with the continuous technology in order to grow B2B E-Commerce sales for their business.
Bonus tip: There are various tips and tricks which you can out in order to hold your customers for a little while; you can offer different lucrative options like loyalty reward points, personalised thank you messages, etc
Earlier manufacturers, or B2B businesses, were not concerned about how their products are marketed, advertised and sold.
Their main focus was limited to the supply chain and increasing their sales value.
However, due to the rise of competition, evolving technology, B2B businesses must embrace the E-Commerce approach.
If you opt for a new path or modify an existing one, you are bound to face the challenges; however, you can overcome those challenges and perform better with suitable step measures and strategies and grow B2B e-commerce sales.
Further, if you’d like to grow your business and require consultation on the best e-commerce platform for your business, feel free to connect with us.
Happy & safe selling!