With the widespread implementation of digital strategies, it has become inevitable for B2B companies to create a digital presence for their business.
With even Amazon entering the space with Amazon Business, the opportunity in B2B e-commerce is clear.
While this is a positive development, many companies are jumping in head first without establishing a solid digital strategy. Tapping into the digital economy is a great way to grow your business but it’s important to address a few questions along the way.
1. Do you want to get new business, or shift current buyers online?
This is an important question to tackle before creating your e-commerce strategy. According to a survey by Unilog, 37% of B2B companies want to shift their current buyers online and 31% want to target new customers.
Both are good tactics but it makes sense to start by focusing on one. You can first shift offline buyers online for higher margins and operational efficiencies.
Once you’ve worked out the kinks, you can look towards securing incremental growth.
2. How will the Ecommerce strategy affect the value proposition for your clients?
B2B business owners are expanding their value proposition to create a unique experience for customers. For example, companies like Amazon have created their brand as a household name by offering something to everyone.
A B2B distributor’s main value proposition can be unmatched by expertise in their specific niche.
They can advise customers on which parts to replace, and leverage their expertise by adding how-to videos to the store and product pages. In essence, you need to go beyond the obvious proposition of servicing customers.
3. How can digital technology give you an edge over the competition?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has given many B2B players the opportunity to strategically promote their business online.
Through SEO, they can display their product catalogues only to interested parties, preventing non-registered buyers from ordering.
If SEO is done right, businesses can reach their customer acquisition goals quicker with targeted marketing. With a solid b2b ecommerce strategy in place, your business can truly harness the power of digital and expand its online presence.
4. How can you monetize your E-commerce platform?
Distributors can sell advertising space on their store, allowing manufacturer partners to promote products. With co-op advertising in place (catalogues or website), you can establish strong relations with other manufacturers.
5. How can you integrate online and offline buying for customers?
Don’t make the mistake of treating offline sales and e-commerce as mutually exclusive channels. An increasing number of B2B players are focusing on omnichannel solutions that allow customers to start an order on one channel and complete it on another.
Distributors must think about how these two channels can be integrated to offer a seamless buying experience to customers.
B2B players looking to start selling online must proactively ask these questions before forging a strategy. They must make sure their stores are positioned to capture new business, apart from serving old customers.
B2B sellers will need to handle channel shifts and compete on the level of tech giants in the market.