How a B2B webshop helps more efficient sales*

Omnichannel and the power of a B2B webshop

Personalisation and transparency in B2B e-commerce

Do you sometimes receive newsletters from companies containing offers for precisely those products that you have already viewed on their website? This is just one example of personalised marketing that targets today’s consumer. It helps retailers to create more touch points with consumers and it helps consumers to get the best deals. Innovations in information technology have resulted in a significant change in customer behaviour in comparison to a couple of years ago. Nowadays, customers are used to being able to buy any products at any time through any channel on their smartphones, tablets or desktops. Quite obviously, they would also like this same ease in the work environment. Multi-channel B2B e-commerce, offering your products through an online sales portal, integrated with the traditional sales channels, is similar to the online shopping done by consumers, but it is a little more complicated.

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Information available 24/7

When placing an order, B2B customers require a lot of detailed information. For example, stock status, real-time availability in terms of colour, size or variation for each product and delivery times. Out of habit and convenience, B2B customers often still pick up the telephone to request product information, to place orders or to view changes and order history. By making all of this information and these functionalities available in real-time in an online sales portal, accessible on different mobile devices and the desktop, your customers will have this information to hand 24/7. This relieves the pressure on your sales department and you will work more efficiently.

Transparency in all channels

In terms of their range, prices and discounts, wholesalers and manufacturers have different agreements with each individual customer. That is why it is a little more difficult to give B2B customers a ‘commercially personalised’ experience. Only when these aspects are fully transparent on your sales portal to both your commercial customers and to your staff, will they start to replace the existing channels, such as telephone or fax.

B2B e-commerce can be simple*

Setting up a sales portal with ‘commercially personalised’ functions that also connect to (or reflect) your ERP system is complicated. This appears to be why many companies hesitate when taking the first step towards their multi-channel B2B strategy. This complexity can be overcome by approaching the ‘multi-channel’ aspect correctly, for example, by taking your ERP as the starting point of your B2B webshop and developing a webshop that is located within your ERP system. This approach enables a system to be supplied in which your customers always see the correct and latest information and they will feel they have been understood when making a purchase. The online sales channel really should be seen by organisations as supplementary to the existing sales channels. When customers become accustomed to using the online sales portal to place orders and to request information, this will significantly improve customer satisfaction. In addition, this will take the pressure off the sales team and more room is given to work more efficiently and enter into stronger relationships with the customers. Ultimately, these changes will contribute to a growing (online) turnover.

Make sure that you tap into the opportunities presented by a B2B multi-channel strategy and a B2B online sales channel for your customers and let them marvel at the ease of online shopping, including during working hours! Starting B2B e-commerce is the key to commercial success. Would you like to learn more? Download the aforementioned white paper produced by our partner Sana and read more about it.

Download the omnichannel white paper!*

This article has been produced in collaboration with Sana.*