Business Models Used by B2B eCommerce Companies
eCommerce business models to employ for your B2B business
Everyone has a differing opinion on the definition of a business model. Some define it very broadly by saying it’s a combination of the choices of how to operate your business, or the way your business works while others are more specific, saying it has to consist of certain elements such as processes, resources, and customer value propositions. No matter what definition you ascribe to, you need a business model to help you run your B2B eCommerce business. Three of the main types of business models that have proven successful for B2B eCommerce businesses are for the masses model, customer relationship focused model, and a hybrid model.
For the Masses Business Model
This business model works well for B2B businesses with a vast product catalog that want to reach as many customers as possible. In this model, the business relies on digital marketing rather than a sales team. This type of model is usually used by B2B companies that sell more generic, non specialized products that even consumers may purchase. In order to get customers to keep coming back, this model uses tactics like email marketing and loyalty programs. To make this model successful, prices need to be kept competitive, and the eCommerce site needs to be optimized for search engines. Focus should be kept on having a functional and easy to use eCommerce site for a wide variety of customers that will keep them coming back for more.
Customer Relationship Focused Business Model
In this model, the focus is more on personal customer relationships. The sales team of the B2B business is an integral part in nurturing the customer relationship and being there to answer any questions. This type of model is usually used by B2B companies that sell products and services that are personalized, niche or specialized equipment. The eCommerce site helps bring in leads which the sales team continues to educate and nurture even after they are converted into customers. The eCommerce website is used to create a personalized experience for each customer, presenting them with items related to what they have already bought, allowing them to easily reorder products they have purchased in the past, and showing them customer specific pricing. In this business model, businesses usually integrate their ERP and CRM systems to help them provide a truly personal experience for their customers.
Hybrid Business Model
This model is a cross between the for the masses model and the relationship focused model. The hybrid model includes a combination of selling from a large online product catalog to a variety of buyers and selling specialized products to a niche market. In this model, the eCommerce site serves a dual purpose. It gives buyers the ability to easily purchase from the website as well as giving the niche market a personalized experience with better customer specific pricing. Customer segmentation and integration with CRM and ERP is vital to help the business and sales representative service customers. This model could give your eCommerce business the best of both worlds or a large headache, depending on how well equipped your eCommerce website, platform and sales force is.
The Right Business Model for Your Business
When choosing what business model to apply to your B2B business, you must remember one thing: it is perfectly okay to design your own model. If one of the above or many of the other models not listed here will work well for your business, customize it to fit your specific business needs. However, if you want an innovative B2b eCommerce business model, do some more research, talk to industry experts and discuss your ideas with eCommerce developers who can incorporate your plans into your eCommerce site.
Clarity Can Help
At Clarity, we understand how difficult running a business to business company can be. For almost a decade, we have worked with a variety of B2B clients who needed an eCommerce platform that could be adjusted to their business model. Our Clarity eCommerce platform is easily customizable to fit your business’s needs. To find out more about how our web developers can customize Clarity eCommerce to work with your business model, call or click to contact us today!