If you’ve been hesitating to move forward with a business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce site, there are some essential things you should know:
- B2B ecommerce is rapidly expanding.
- Millennials are increasingly influencing professional purchasing decisions.
- Global revenues are predicted to top a staggering $6.6 trillion by 2020.
- B2B ecommerce is growing twice as fast as business-to-consumer (B2C).
With these facts in mind, it’s probably time to implement online ordering for your B2B customers. If your brand is resisting this essential update, consider whether this might be a result of any of these common misconceptions about B2B ecommerce:
1. We Don’t Need a B2B Online Store
If you’ve already launched a luxury ecommerce site that offers your wares directly to consumers — that’s great! But you mustn’t stop there. If you aren’t also offering wholesalers, retailers, organizations, or resellers the opportunity to purchase your products online, you are almost certainly missing out on business. Companies can also accurately track ecommerce KPIs to help gain available insights into customer buying habits.
Many online brands are both B2C and B2B — and you don’t need separate websites to manage both. Personalized browsing experiences can be established for B2B clients using customer group logins on your current site. (This works well for VIPs, too!)
2. B2B Customers Don’t Want to Order Online
The days of relying on sales representatives for product information are gone. Instead, today’s tech-savvy millennials conduct extensive online research before making purchasing decisions — and they expect to be able to order online. This demographic of buyers — an entire generation of digital natives (ages 18-24) — now accounts for almost half of B2B online researchers.
Millennials, in general, tend to avoid interacting with salespeople actively and instead turn to online reviews, peer recommendations, or outside experts when conducting product research.
They expect all of the conveniences of their personal online shopping habits to carry over into the business segment and prefer to order independently, with 24/7 research capability and total purchasing control. You can also save money and improve your profit margins by leveraging:
- 3PL ecommerce fulfillment
- A superior ecommerce conversion funnel
- Product listing strategies
- Retail pricing strategies
- Customer-satisfactory ecommerce return solutions
- An ecommerce keyword research plan
3. B2B Customer Service Can’t Be Managed Online
B2B customers expect quality customer service, and this doesn’t change when they’re shopping online. Existing ecommerce tools allow for excellent customer communication via e-mail, phone, text, or online chat. Because today’s buyers have a do-it-yourself ethic, it is also valuable to develop online, self-service information centers.
In the past, personal relationships were integral to B2B customer satisfaction, but today, the key to success lies more with speed. B2B customers expect near-immediate answers to their questions and quick resolutions to their concerns. If you are unable to provide this, they will find another company that can.
4. B2B Ecommerce Sites Can’t Handle Complex Pricing
We understand that B2B pricing can be more complicated than B2C. In most cases, B2B pricing concerns like pricing fluctuations, customer-specific pricing, bulk ordering, and custom orders can be resolved online by implementing the right B2B platform, especially in luxury ecommerce.
For instance, pre-negotiated pricing can be hidden from the general public by placing it behind customer logins. If customers need a custom quote, a quote engine can allow them to request a quote at any time; for future reorders, an individualized reorder button can be provided. Information on freight and volume shipping options can also be provided on your site.
5. B2B Sites Don’t Need to be Mobile-Friendly
Like direct product consumers, B2B customers also do mobile product research, read reviews, compare features and prices, and, more than ever, make purchases directly on their smartphones. If your site is not optimized for mobile users, you will lose business.
If any of these common misconceptions have been preventing you from developing or optimizing your brand’s B2B ecommerce site, now is the time to look towards some custom solutions. Nogin can assess all of your ecommerce needs, and soon, your business customers will benefit from more immediate, effective, convenient, and reliable online buying experiences.
Need Help Improving your B2B Ecommerce Storefront? Leverage Intelligent Commerce Using Nogin
If you need help optimizing your entire B2B ecommerce storefront, leverage the most advanced ecommerce operating system with Nogin. Set up a time to chat with a team member to learn about our comprehensive suite of services to catapult your business from a medium enterprise to a big-retail juggernaut. Our innovative process has helped dozens of brands increase online sales while reducing operating and marketing costs.