Create a B2B online business: why and how ?
The B2B e-commerce is currently in full development in the world. This trend comes, on the one hand, from the adoption of digital channels by manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors. On the other hand, some B2C e-merchants decide to expand or revise their target customers to take advantage of the strengths of the B2B market.
In order to succeed in the industry, however, you need to master its peculiarities.
Why create a B2B online business ?
The The price of a B2B online business is now an inevitable evolution for suppliers and brands. In fact, companies are increasingly choosing online services, just like individual customers. B2B e-commerce sites accounted for 49% of industrial buyers’ budgets in 2017, according to a European study.
Fortunately, you can quickly enter this market with the most flexible B2B e-commerce platform on the market.
As a supplier, you will also increase your sales efficiency through this new channel. The majority of business customers do tend to get information online before making a purchase. As a result, many buyers have already made their decisions long before they contact the sales department.
You must therefore adapt to this new path of purchase with an offer accessible before the first exchanges with sellers.
In practice, a B2B platform allows potential buyers to obtain more information about your products and services. It also gives them the possibility to place order quickly, everywhere and at any time. You will thus succeed in significantly improving the sales process and the customer experience.
Moreover, you optimize the management of your financial and human resources with e-commerce.
If you are already operating in the B2C segment, opening up to professionals will help diversify your business. You will then be less exposed to the trends of the private market. In concrete terms, the Covid pandemic has, for example, directed more consumers to buy online. However, this influx has been accompanied by an intensification of competition.
On the other hand, B2B online business has remained relatively stable. In addition, business customers are often loyal, as they prefer to avoid regularly searching for new suppliers.
How to build a B2B e-commerce site ?
B2B online business is based on a model that is globally similar to selling to individuals. The objective is to to provide products and services to customers. To do so, you will have to seduce and convince your targets.
However, you will have to take into account the specificity of your audience and the specifics of professional purchases (quotes, prices, negotiations, volumes, workflow, logistics, options, etc.).).
To create your B2B website, the first step is to choose your hosting platform. You can eventually develop a custom website, if you have the necessary resources. It is also possible to entrust the project to a site builder. The provider will then deliver a turnkey store.
You will only have to write a complete specification to obtain results corresponding to your expectations.
In any case, the choice of CMS is decisive for the proper functioning and growth potential of your B2B e-commerce site. You risk to be slowed down by a too restrictive tool. On the other hand, choosing a sophisticated platform from the start can be expensive and unnecessary for a start-up business. The best option is to find a powerful and scalable solution.
You will then be able to go upmarket and expand the functionalities as you develop.
On a daily basis, your CMS should facilitate the search, analysis, selection, purchase, payment and delivery of your various products. This principle applies to the user and the site administrator. It is also important to consider the interoperability with your ERP and CRM tools to optimize internal processes. As with a B2C e-commerce site, you must then :
- Maintain and update your catalog;
- Detail the descriptions and prices of your products or services;
- Diversify and secure payment solutions;
- Specify the terms of delivery and withdrawal;
- Plan a SEA (paid advertising) and SEO (search engine optimization) strategy;
- Build and maintain your online reputation;
- Pay attention to the returns and work on your customer relationship;
- Monitor sales and web performance indicators.
Finally, it is important to keep in mind that you are targeting professionals. You must therefore carry out an information watch for you adapt to the evolution of practices and the economic situation of companies. This initiative is crucial for your pricing and your customer satisfaction.