With an increased focus on personalization for maintaining B2B customer loyalty and the need to find sustainable solutions for supporting complex order and fulfillment processes, new opportunities have been created in B2B Commerce. The ability to successfully bring businesses online is no longer limited to large enterprise companies. Small and medium sized businesses now have the tools to create their own individually branded eCommerce site to enhance their B2B sales through process automation and can utilize this site to further expand their businesses.
Growing Your Business Alongside Your B2B Customers
Within the next four years, Forrester estimates that B2B eCommerce is expected to grow and encompass $1.2 trillion worth of B2B sales in the United States. More businesses are already starting their search online to discover solutions and products for their eCommerce needs.
“By leveraging the power of scalable eCommerce platforms, SMBs are empowered to scale and grow along with their B2B customers’ changing needs.”
Businesses can expand their existing catalog, facilitate repeat purchases, and gain more insight into customer purchasing behavior. They can also engage in complex and customizable strategies for sales and customer acquisition through automated tools. Overhead and printing costs are greatly reduced. Increased accessibility to customer and order data along with opportunities to target a larger audience through personalized customer-centric experiences are created.
B2B eCommerce can facilitate highly useful features and functionalities for SMBs and their clients without giving up on personalization or hindering smooth customer experiences in the process.
“Utilizing eCommerce tools for tasks that have traditionally been handled offline will bring to light more efficient processes. Allowing team members to focus their energy and efforts on what matters most – engaging with clients and prospects and providing them with the best possible customer experience – maximizes overall productivity and increases sales.”
With functionality available through eCommerce, businesses can easily expand accessibility to their existing catalog to reach more customers locally and nationally through methods such as drop shipping. Through this method, additional distribution channels can be leveraged, such as direct shipping from suppliers to clients for vendors and selling directly to end users from manufacturers. Businesses also have the potential to begin leveraging new marketplaces and channels such as Google Shopping and Facebook as additional avenues for sales.
Understanding Business to Business to Consumer (B2B2C) Trends
Business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) eCommerce are no longer considered to be two completely separate or unrelated entities. All B2B purchasing agents also engage in B2C activities in their daily lives. Through eCommerce, businesses can sell directly to consumers and still maintain B2B transactions through one site and login portal. Increasing importance and emphasis is placed on the end-user experience.
“Delivering excellent customer experiences is just as important as the delivery of the materials and products themselves.”
With B2B businesses now reaching customers directly, they must keep in mind that customers desire the same personalization and engagement they expect to receive in a B2C market, despite the complex needs and business processes that go along with a B2B model. Incorporating B2C best practices and strategies within B2B businesses is a key consideration to staying competitive.
BigCommerce Features to Support B2B
Small and medium-sized businesses no longer have to seek out on-premise platforms that may require higher maintenance and development costs in order to take full advantage of all the benefits eCommerce has to offer for B2B transactions. A SaaS platform, BigCommerce, is now fully equipped to meet the needs of businesses in an affordable, flexible and easy manner. Until this past year, feature sets required to facilitate extensive B2B transactions on a website were relatively costly to implement, but also still presented limited options for users. With BigCommerce’s release of new features and APIs including Cart API, Checkout SDK, and Price Lists, BigCommerce as a SaaS platform has become capable of handling very customized B2B workflows for SMBs.
Bundle B2B Capabilities in One App with SILK Software
Customers expect their B2B buying experience to be as smooth as if they were engaging in personal B2C shopping even with the added complexities and order, pricing, and processing rules that typically apply for B2B businesses. Not only do customers want their shopping experience to be personalized, but they also desire speed, convenience, and accuracy for every transaction. Businesses can no longer afford to solely meet these demands through manual maintenance if they wish to compete in the evolving market.
As a Certified and Elite BigCommerce Partner with over 10 years of experience in bringing businesses of all types online, SILK Software has developed a new BigCommerce application called “Bundle B2B,” which allows businesses to manage multiple front-end and back-end B2B processes in one central location. Both businesses and their clients benefit from higher operational efficiency. By taking advantage of a tool such as Bundle B2B, businesses can facilitate more seamless B2B operations and transactions without compromising the level of quality and service customers expect.
SILK understands that each business is unique and has its own personalized requirements, so SILK is also able to customize the application’s core feature set to match different business requirements and B2B needs.
Buyer and seller interactions can be streamlined and simplified through the app’s available features on the front and back-end. A few notable features, like Order Requests and User Management, provide clients with a secure and reliable way of organizing and approving orders while setting appropriate visibility and authority levels for multiple users. In addition, B2B businesses can leverage BigCommerce’s new Price Lists feature with the Customer Account Management portal in Bundle B2B. This makes it easy to get customers quickly set up and organize customer contact data, with the flexibility to assign specific price lists to desired accounts. Bundle B2B simplifies the end-to-end B2B implementation cycle for businesses on the BigCommerce platform making it even easier to create an eCommerce site that encompasses B2B processes.
It is no longer enough for small and mid-sized businesses to solely manage all their B2B transactions offline with a catalog-only website without eCommerce features. With support from a reliable eCommerce platform, SMBs are now fully capable of elevating their business processes into the new age by offering greater convenience and benefits to customers online without incurring overwhelming implementation costs. Take advantage of all that eCommerce has to offer for you and your customers and enjoy the increased benefits and growth to your business.