How To Get Started With B2B Ecommerce
The sales environment in many B2B firms is typically much more comfortable with more traditional methods when it comes to making contacts and ultimately delivering sales. However, you can’t deny the importance of embracing digital.
So if your company wants to get into B2B ecommerce, where can you begin and how can you convince those in your organisation who are unsure that this is the best way to go?
An article for Practical Ecommerce recently offered some advice on how to enter this world – and how to make a success of it.
It recommends starting with a proof of concept for just one area of the business. The main reasons for this being that they can be set up quickly – typically in around three months – and will have a quick return on investment.
The first thing to do is identify which area of your business is likely to be most successful in an ecommerce setting. If you sell replacement parts, the news provider points out that this can be a good place to begin.
This is because these parts generally have a high margin, and selling them through an online platform will make it easier for you to do so, while increasing your revenue. If you have a substantial catalogue of parts you supply, start by just offering the most popular ones on your online shop.
Once you’ve got everything up and running smoothly, there’s always the opportunity to add more.
It’s important that you don’t do this in a vacuum though. You need to research your competitors, what they’re selling and how much they’re charging. Don’t forget to take a look at Amazon to see if similar items are available through this platform and carefully consider whether you would benefit from also selling through the ecommerce giant.
When it comes to choosing the right ecommerce platform for your business, the advice is to pick one “that can scale but that has relatively low upfront costs”.
You should also look at how you can maintain and improve your existing customer relationships when you transition to digital. Think of ways in which you can make your current clients’ lives easier. You may also want to offer a discount to incentivise people to use your ecommerce platform initially.
Giving them online access to your products and catalogue could make it simpler for them to share with other colleagues, as well as to see at a glance the range of products you stock, for instance.
While focusing on the ecommerce element is vital in the early days, it can also pay to think about how you can deliver extra value, such as by providing an education platform.
This essentially gives your customers added value, thereby encouraging them to return to your site, while also boosting your visibility online.
An article for Biz Report earlier this month suggested that this could be one of the most effective strategies to help spread the word about your firm. In terms of the content itself, think everything from how-to guides to video demonstrations of any new products you’re introducing.