Offering eCommerce as a Distributor
eCommerce helps b2b distributors’ businesses grow
As more and more customers have come to expect to be able to buy anything online, businesses have had to adapt the way that they do business. If your company doesn’t have an eCommerce store, you are losing business, no matter if you are B2C or B2B. B2B distributors are definitely not immune to this. Even though some B2B customers are viewed as slow adopters of eCommerce, it is better to be ahead of the trend than left in the dust. Giving your customers the option of purchasing online can lead to more sales and greater satisfaction. If you are a B2B distributor contemplating offering eCommerce, here are some consideration and tips to keep in mind.
Integrate eCommerce with Software and Systems
When deciding to invest in eCommerce B2B distributors need to also invest in integration. Your eCommerce store needs to be tightly, or even better seamlessly, integrated with your business systems such as your ERP and CRM. The reason that integration is crucial is because it can save your staff time and energy while making the buying process easier for your customers. For example, when a customer logs on to their account on your online store and buys an item, integration will allow for that information to be sent to your business systems, possibly setting off other actions such as emailing a salesperson that their client has made an order or printing packing labels. Integrating your online store with your systems makes it easier to manage your business.
Give Customers Order Options
Customers love having options, especially when it comes to ordering. Having an eCommerce option enables your customers to order from your business anytime, anywhere without the need to contact a salesperson, which in turn saves your sales team time and energy. Additionally, if you have a tightly integrated system, an eCommerce store could allow current clients to change or add to orders on their own. Having these types of options available could in turn increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Avoiding Channel Conflicts
One of the biggest worries we hear from distributors who are considering selling online is creating sales channel conflicts. Salespeople are worried that they will become obsolete or valuable business relationships will be hindered. However, this isn’t the case if eCommerce is implemented and used correctly as a tool to gain new customers and grow relationships. Focus on using eCommerce as an additional channel instead of fighting to become the main channel. Create joint marketing promotions to give your clients a seamless shopping and ordering experience whether they choose to order from you in person, online, or both. The most important thing to remember is that eCommerce is there to aid your distribution business, not change your business model altogether.
Clarity Can Help
At Clarity, we understand the need for eCommerce for B2B distributors. Our team at Clarity has done numerous projects for distributors. From integrating your business systems to helping you create your eCommerce store, our team is ready and capable to help your company. To find out more about how Clarity can help your distributing business thrive online, call or click to contact us today!