What is a B2B eCommerce Platform, Anyway?
By now you know that a B2B eCommerce platform like NuORDER can improve your sales by 17%, reduce costs, and help you sell 33% faster. But what tools does an eCommerce platform actually provide to accomplish this?
Before the emergence of B2B eCommerce platforms, brands relied on antiquated methods such as phone, fax, email, and handwritten orders, which are slow and error-prone. Some brands invested significantly in building their own systems. Not only is this process time-consuming and expensive, but it also requires brands to continually invest in platform development and maintenance.
For a fraction of the cost of building their own system (and entirely better than not having one it at all), a SaaS-based B2B eCommerce platform provides brands with a complete solution that is constantly managed and updated with the tools and features that your company needs to succeed.
But what exactly is a B2B eCommerce platform? In this blog post, we explore the key components that comprise a modern B2B eCommerce platform and how they benefit you.
The first, and most important element of a B2B eCommerce platform is the set of tools they provide for your brand’s Sales Team. These tools help Sales Reps see more buyers, increase revenue and average order value, and retain existing buyers through digitization, automation, and personalization.
Instead of spending precious time and money designing, drafting, and printing linesheets, a B2B eCommerce platform provides you with tools to create beautiful digital linesheets in minutes. Your sales reps can instantly change and update digital linesheets to match buyers’ preferences and they can include complementary items to increase sales. Additionally, since the linesheets are sent via email, you eliminate the time and costs of printing linesheets entirely.
You’ve also spent a long time developing special relationships with buyers, and provide them with unique discounts and deals. A B2B eCommerce solution allows you to customize your pricing for specific buyers that only they can see, while preserving your standard rates for other buyers.
While most wholesale purchases are facilitated by a Sales rep, some purchases, especially restocking orders, can be self serve. Rather than having your buyers fax in orders that require manual order entry, you can provide your buyers with an online browsing and purchase experience, that’s available 24×7. This online store can includes the custom linesheets you’ve created for the buyer as well as any special pricing, enabling the buyer to complete the transaction entirely online.
Modern B2B eCommerce platforms include Email marketing capabilities that enable you to create and send promotional emails to your buyers. You can use the platform’s email capabilities to push out personalized linesheets, notify your buyers of new merchandise or any promotions, and enhance your selling ability. Emails sent from a B2B eCommerce Platform can also be tracked, meaning you can monitor which buyers open, click, and purchase from your emails.
Having the ability to brand and merchandise your product display is essential to portraying your brand’s personality and enhancing you selling. An online eCommerce portal allows you to create an online experience that is uniquely yours with merchandising abilities that include custom imagery, banners, descriptions, and layouts, all of which are meant to capitalize on your unique identity and drive sales.
One of the largest advantages of employing a B2B platform is the ability for your Sales reps to utilize its mobile application. For reps who are often on the road or attend tradeshows, a mobile application provides a fast and flexible alternative to volumes of printed catalogs. They can browse products, view inventory, create linesheets, and send proposals from their mobile device. The app enhances your reps’ ability to function on the road or at a tradeshow (even without Internet access), providing them with the ability to sell effectively without the burden of heavy, printed catalogs.
Internet access at tradeshows is unreliable. Wifi is spotty, and the cellular connections for hotspots often don’t reach into the depths of large convention halls. Unlike B2C eCommerce solutions, which only work online, B2B solutions offer mobile apps that provide offline access. View products, build linesheets, and take orders…all while offline; the the application will automatically update when connectivity is restored.
Connecting your mobile application to a barcode scanner provides reps with a powerful tradeshow solution. Replace handwritten orders, page flipping, and highlighting products with a simple point and click of the barcode scanner. The scanner assembles the products into a custom linesheet, which you can easily send to buyers after each meeting. The use of a barcode scanner and mobile application have been proven to reduce meeting times and post-tradeshow work, allowing you to see more buyers per day.
A B2B eCommerce platform can provide you with the knowledge you need to make the right decisions about your business. Common reports on sales, buyers and inventory can be easily generated with one-click, helping you to identify key insights in real time that drive smart decision making.
By integrating your platform and ERP systems, you can create new efficiencies within your company. Tying the two systems together allows your B2B Platform to automate order entry and provides real-time inventory updates. Automated order entry creates up to a 99% reduction in order entry errors by eliminating handwritten orders and typos. Furthermore, live inventory ensures that you never sell more than you have, meaning every order can be filled.
While these basics can help increase sales and reduce costs, NuORDER’s B2B eCommerce platform provides advanced selling, reporting, and integration features designed to create a powerful eCommerce experience. To see specifically how NuORDER can improve you business, request a demo.