B2B eCommerce: Four Fears of Adding it and How to Combat Them
Helping you make the decision to add eCommerce to B2B
Branching into eCommerce can be a nerve-racking decision for business to business companies. Will customers use it? Will your business be able to adapt? Are the costs worth the potential benefits? There are numerous valid concerns and fears that many decision makers have when making the choice about whether or not to add eCommerce to the business. Below are some of the most common worries when it comes to deciding whether to add eCommerce to your B2B offerings.
Losing Jobs and Commissions
Some decision makers worry about losing their positions when they decide that the B2B eCommerce business should go online. However, when presented with information like that found in Forrestor’s Building The B2B Omni-Channel Commerce Platform of the Future paper that states over 80% of B2B companies expect to implement, upgrade or invest in their eCommerce platform, it is hard to deny that your B2B company will be left behind if you don’t branch into eCommerce.
Salespeople may also worry about losing their positions or becoming obsolete now that there is a eCommerce website to do the selling. Rest assured, salespeople are still, and will always be needed. According to hybris’s 2012 State of B2B eCommerce study, 87% of B2B purchasers would still work with a sales representative on complex orders. You may also worry about creating a channel conflict by adding another sales channel. However, adding another channel is actually a positive as it can provide salespeople with more sales tools and gives your customers more ways to buy from your business.
While some B2B businesses may be thinking that altering their business model may cause them to lose customers, the opposite is actually true. Business buyers have come to expect B2B companies to have eCommerce websites. If you don’t offer customers the option to shop online, they may look elsewhere, like a B2B company that does have an eCommerce store.
Dealing with Customer Specific Pricing
Sure it may be easy for B2C companies to sell their goods online, but selling online for B2B is more complicated, some may say. One of the biggest worries is how your B2B company will handle customer specific pricing. You don’t want prices for company "A" to be shown to company "B" who gets to pay less. While it is a valid concern, you shouldn’t let that stop you from adding eCommerce. There are several eCommerce platforms, including Clarity eCommerce, that are equipped to handle customer specific pricing.
Lack of Expertise
One of the biggest, almost illogical fears people have is the fear of the unknown. You, as well as many others in your company, may have never dealt with running an eCommerce store. Creating and managing an eCommerce store is such a huge undertaking that you may not even know where to begin. Thankfully there are many web development companies that can help. Some companies, such as Clarity, specialize in B2B eCommerce which means that they are numerous experts that can not only handle your eCommerce needs; they can help you learn more about selling online. You can also choose to hire a web developer in house to help you set up your eCommerce store and handle the website support.
Clarity Can Help
At Clarity, we understand that adding eCommerce to your B2B offerings can be a scary undertaking. Our team is full of experts that have helped B2B business branch into and become successful in the eCommerce world. We would love you help your B2B company do the same. Think it is time for your business to add eCommerce? Call or click to contact us today!