With the rate that technology is advancing nowadays, E-commerce has certainly become an indispensable part of every business—from the manufacturers down to the retailers. Some businesses, may not work directly with consumers, but the companies with which they deal or sell to are expecting the same experience consumers typically do. Having a B2B platform allows them to remain competitive and successful in today’s digital world.
Here are the top reasons why wholesalers & distributors must have a B2B E-commerce strategy in place.
Match Retail Sales Expectations
World retail e-commerce market is rapidly growing at more than 15% a year and is expected to reach $1.6 trillion by 2016. Moreover, the volume of retail sales during holiday season has reached new heights (with online holiday retail sales reaching $29 billion in the US alone). Even though wholesalers and distributors do not directly interact with end customers, it’s important that they match the service of business-to-consumer retailers when it comes to the quality of an e-commerce platform. It is usual for retailers to sell products on their websites without necessarily having these items in their distribution centers. Instead, the orders are passed on to a network of wholesale distributors. As a wholesaler or distributor, you will want to make sure that you are within the network of as many retailers as possible.
Meet Expectations Set by B2C E-commerce Portals
You might expect B2B and B2C e-commerce portals to be very different but the fact remains that even the retailers who buy from you should be treated like consumers. This means offering the same features that a B2C portal will. These features include personalized high-quality service, easy-to-navigate interface and a quick and convenient business processing. Hence, it is important for businesses to retool their B2B e-commerce portal in order to deliver a B2C-like service while offering a pleasurable shopping experience to their users.
Amazon Supply is one of the leading B2B suppliers in today’s competitive e-commerce market, offering more than 750,000 industrial and business products to their customers. Smaller distributors see a serious threat in the form of Amazon Supply, which increases the need to invest in a competitive e-commerce platform. Simply put, wholesalers who wish to compete with industry giants will have to step up their game in the form of an enhanced e-commerce presence.
B2B businesses have survived for ages because of their on-field sales personnel. However, due to high operational costs, these business have also been restricted to serve customers with smaller order sizes. With the right e-commerce infrastructure in place, these customers can now be brought on board and even encouraged to make larger orders.
Keep Up with Trends
Mobile platforms such as smartphones and tablets are already beginning to make a serious impact on the field of e-commerce. Customers who are already demanding B2B e-commerce will soon start to expect mobile commerce as well. Naturally, you can’t move on to mobile commerce without having an e-commerce site in place. Running both operations at the same time can be a real drag so be sure to work on your e-commerce first and include mobile commerce in the second phase of your e-commerce strategy.
Cut Costs and Increase Efficiency
Increased competition has put wholesalers and distributors under constant pressure to cut costs and increase their margins. B2B e-commerce will not only help you minimize your expenses by building a self-serving e-commerce store but will also increase efficiency by automating processes which reduces or completely eliminates errors. B2B e-commerce also requires less time and resources, which in turn translates to less expenses.
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