B2B means that you are selling your products to other businesses rather than B2C which is selling directly to individual consumers. There are some key differences between these two different markets in terms of their expectations and their buying behaviour which means you need to deploy different strategies.
Moving your B2B business online can help you reach new customers but can also serve your existing clients better.
B2B customers are shifting towards preferring to use online methods to make their purchases due to the convenience and ability to manage their owns orders.
What should you know about moving your business online?
1. Moving customers online
It is becoming the norm to research products online and the new generation who prefer an online approach will become the decision makers and hold the purchasing power in their organisations who will not want to use the traditional methods of ordering.
Moving your existing client base online is the first stage in expanding into the B2B e-commerce offering which will need careful consideration, educating of the buyers and highlighting the benefits of the new way of ordering.
2. Educating your audience
The key to making your online offering a success is ensuring the end user has all the information they need so they can make informed decisions and ultimately convert the sales. This needs to be achieved through product data, educational content, how to guides or FAQs and web chat options to resolve any questions or difficulties the end user is facing.
3. Incentive programmes
Unlike the B2C market, B2B companies are likely to sell products that regularly need to be restocked, allowing customers to purchase through subscription-based models alongside one-off purchases can help with keeping buyers loyal to your products and facilitate with your supply chain.
4. Stock Management
Incorporating automated inventory control into your online offering can assist buyers with increased transparency on the products you have in stock and expected lead times, alongside accurate pricing information that can be controlled centrally.
Supplying to the B2B market will be dealing with greater numbers of orders and products where supply chain or shipping issues can have a much greater impact and be a costly mistake. Visibility of the demand and customer trends of your products is essential to ensuring you can fulfil the orders and deliver these on time as well as developing relationships with your supply chain and ancillary services.
6. Structures and Resourcing
Operating a B2B business through an online offering will require a different structure and resourcing needs. It is crucially that you review your organisational structure before making this step to ensure you have the right people in the right places. You may need to source skills from outside of the organisation or invest in upskilling your existing work force.