Create a B2B online business: why and how ?
The B2B e-commerce is currently in full development in the world. This trend comes, on the one hand, from the adoption of digital channels by manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors. On the other hand, some B2C e-tailers decide to expand or revise their target customer base to take advantage of the B2B market.
In order to be successful in this sector, however, you need to master its particularities.
Why create a B2B online business ?
The B2B online business is now an inevitable evolution for suppliers and brands. Indeed, companies are increasingly favoring online services, following the example of individual customers. B2B e-commerce sites accounted for 49% of industrial buyers’ budgets in 2017, according to a European study.
Fortunately, you can enter this market quickly with the most flexible B2B e-commerce platform on the market.
As a supplier, you will also increase your commercial efficiency through this new channel. The majority of business customers do tend to get information online before making a purchase. As a result, many buyers have already made their decisions well before contacting the sales department.
You must therefore adapt to this new buying path with an offer accessible before the first exchanges with sellers.
In practice, a B2B platform allows potential buyers to get more information about your products and services. It also gives them the opportunity to place orders quickly, anywhere, anytime. You will be able to significantly improve the sales process and the customer experience.
In addition, you optimize the management of your financial and human resources with the e-commerce.
If you already operate in the B2C segment, opening up to professionals will allow you to diversify your activity. You will then be less exposed to the trends of the private market. In concrete terms, the Covid pandemic has, for example, directed more consumers to buy online. However, this influx has been accompanied by an increase in competition.
On the other hand, B2B e-commerce has remained relatively stable. In addition, business customers are often loyal, as they prefer to avoid regularly searching for new suppliers.
How to create a B2B e-commerce site ?
B2B online commerce is based on a model that is broadly similar to selling to individuals. The objective is to Provide products and services to customers. To do this, you will have to seduce and convince your targets.
However, you will have to take into account the particularity of your audience and the specificities of professional purchases (quotes, prices, negotiations, volumes, workflow, logistics, options, etc.).).
To create your B2B site, the first step is to choose your hosting platform. You can eventually develop a custom site, if you have the necessary resources. It is also possible to entrust the project to a site builder.
The provider will then deliver a turnkey store. You only need to write a complete specification to get the results you want.
In any case, the choice of CMS is critical to the success and growth potential of your B2B e-commerce site. One of the risks is that you may be held back by a tool that is too restrictive. Conversely, choosing a sophisticated platform from the start can be expensive and unnecessary for a start-up business. The best option is to find a powerful and scalable solution.
You will be able to scale up and expand functionality as you develop.
On a day-to-day basis, your CMS should make it easy to search, analyze, select, purchase, pay and deliver your various products. This principle applies to the user and the site administrator. It is also important to consider interoperability with your ERP and CRM tools to optimize internal processes. As with a B2C e-commerce site, you will then have to :
- Take care of your catalog and keep it up to date;
- Detailing your product or service descriptions and prices;
- Diversify and secure payment solutions;
- Specify delivery and pickup terms ;
- Plan a SEA (paid advertising) and SEO (search engine optimization) strategy;
- Build and maintain your online reputation;
- Pay attention to feedback and work on your customer relationship;
- Monitoring sales and web performance indicators.
Finally, it is important to keep in mind that you target professionals. So you need to do some information intelligence for yourself adapt to changing practices and economic situations of companies. This initiative is crucial to your pricing and customer satisfaction.