B2B Ecommerce: Outside Amazon Supply
with Outstanding Online Customer Service
Amazon Supply is taking the mega-retailer’s selling power to the B2B market, and if your site isn’t up to par, you could quickly find yourself out of business. To stay competitive, smaller businesses will have to revamp their websites and push customer service.
Amazon is a monster competitor with the cashflow to severely cut prices on the B2B world’s most sought after items. Google was merely trying to offer another resource with “Google Shopping for Suppliers”. If you deal in common products used by other companies, you will be in trouble. You’ll have to take immediate steps to prevent from going under before your clients warm up Amazon’s latest idea.
Why is Amazon a Threat?
Amazon Supply is expected to change the B2B world, and not in a good way. The giant retailer is expected to:
- Bring rock bottom prices to industry sales
- Force expensive customer appreciation tactics on buyers
- Win over a large portion of established buyers with their super effective marketing schemes and easy-to-use website
The retailer has a long history of success, and with it comes a trusted reputation.While businesses have the opportunity to compete by doing business through Amazon Supply’s Professional Seller program, that option also leaves you vulnerable to forced lower prices and possible earning limitations enforced by Amazon.
Selling Online is No Longer an Option
In order to stay ahead of the wave of customers Amazon Supply could easily steal from your business, you need to be visible online. Not only that, you have to be able to offer more benefits than Amazon is offering now. You will have to create a site for your customers that’s akin to the everyday retail experiences they’re seeking out.
Always Remember, Business buyers are also consumers at home. They want to feel special, they want sales to be easy and they want affordable pricing. Your customers want every dollar they spend to mean something about them, and about the success of their businesses. To stay competitive, you must create a compelling and robust online experience.
B2B Benefits Blueprint
In order to truly compete with Amazon Supply, B2B businesses should start revising their websites now. Follow these steps to find your advantage:
- Establish your presence. Now is the time to get started for people who aren’t yet selling online. Sales thrive on convenience. Your regular customers will buy online to take care of their business affordably and fast. Using robust and powerful shopping carts like Magento will give your customers the secure shopping environment they want without wasting time or money on expensive, confusing e-commerce programs.
- Test your existing site. Have an independent user go through a potential purchase. Take notes on what problems they experienced, and hire someone to fix them now. One of Amazon’s main advantages is the ease-of-use customers experience shopping there online. Do the same in regard to your fulfillment process.
- Expand Your Online Inventory. Amazon could easily win pricing wars on common products, but many products won’t hold enough interest for the company to carry at all.
- Improve Product Content. A major advantage smaller sellers will have is Amazon’s lack of product knowledge. This is where you can really shine, and remind your customers why they shop with you.
- Publish online credit terms and make applying for credit lines quick and easy. ERP solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics allows for easy integration of credit terms, individual account access and management of online shopping carts.
- Mimic Amazon’s best policies like free shipping, low prices and convenient returns with similar promotions run on a limited basis or in regard to just a few products. Don’t fall into the trap of tanking your prices for the sake of getting more sales. Never forget; customers value quality and believe they get what the pay for.
- Offer options where Amazon falters. There are some things the website cannot do, and much of it has to do with loyal, local clientele. Visit in person to talk about their concerns and make recommendations. Provide free, same-day delivery of higher-end items. In short, continue to provide the stellar service that made you a successful B2B outfit to begin with.
- Use your business management software to establish convenient invoicing and payment tracking. Look for solutions that can be integrated into accounting software and more.
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