In the last two years, manufacturers and distributors have been accelerating their digital transformation in order to get closer to their customers. This transformation process has revealed several gaps and opportunities for B2B commerce to exploit the online marketplace for big money.
An interview conducted by McKinsey with more than 400 companies in the sector revealed that more than half are willing to increase investments in online channels in the next 5 years, with a special focus on communication, hardware, and software.
Large brands such as Motorola, Unilever and OfficeMax there have started their growth strategy in online b2b retail, which proves that large B2B brands in Brazil and abroad, are increasingly investing in new technologies and processes suitable for the new times.
But there are still challenges for brands to digitize their b2b operations, so in this article we will share some key tips for B2B companies that want to operate with their own e-commerce.
1. Online channel as a complement in B2B
Many b2b companies believe that the online channel would be a replacement for the traditional channels in this industry, but this is wrong. The truth is that the online channel complements the sales strategies of industries and manufacturers. This is because it delivers more ease, agility, and time savings to your customer. In addition, the online channel makes it possible to buy at times when your team is not working, such as evenings and weekends.
O personalized service can also transform the way your brand interacts with your customers, at the moment of sale through online catalogs that can go up to the personalized level, according to the customer profile or region that is established. These catalogs can even be provided in video formats, 360° photos, animations, augmented reality, and be accompanied by more complete informative content.
2. Reach B2B and B2C publics on the same sales channel
The online channel for industries can mean a way to reach new audiences, besides facilitating the purchase of customers already served by the brand.
Through a b2b e-commerce it is possible to customize product offers by type of customer, terms and forms of payment, in addition to working with subscription-based loyalty programs.
When it comes to customer types, b2b e-commerce can reach both corporate and individual customers, since the business rules are more flexible. In both cases, the customer is accessing advantages in the virtual world when starting his buying journey with his brand by researching products or suppliers, comparing prices, comparing stock, and doing the whole purchase process virtually.
3. Ease of online B2B buying
The main advantage of selling online for many companies is the possibility of having representation in all states when they do not have a sales force in all cities. Online allows this opportunity to reach new customers throughout the country and maybe even internationally.
O customer service The already conquered customer is also benefited by b2b e-commerce, since it encourages recurring purchases. A Google survey shows that 52% of buyers do not want to wait for a representative to come to your company. This point reinforces strategies designed for online b2b commerce.
The possibility of increasing the margin is greater when the industry sells directly to the final customer, without intermediaries. It is worth pointing out that for this change, it is necessary to be careful with fractioning the load, pulverized delivery, credit, lower average ticket, and other factors that will change in the standard process of an industry, but will allow greater profitability.
4. Integration of online channels in B2B
With the creation of a digital channel, industries can integrate their operation in one place, putting distributors and wholesalers to sell to retailers, centralize the brand, marketing and customer acquisition.
Sales channels can also be integrated, as we talked about from the beginning of this article, a b2b e-commerce is complementary to your traditional strategy. By integrating the channels, your brand ensures that the relationship with customers and new prospects is done in the same way regardless of the channel he chooses to buy from your company.
5. Data-driven strategy for B2B e-commerce
One of the difficulties industries face is the scarcity of data to detail customer behavior patterns. To have a complete strategy, knowing the true purchase journey, the triggers that influence purchases or behaviors and important dates for your buyer base is important to have an in-depth relationship with customers.
With online it is possible to understand what your final customer really wants, at which moment he wants or needs to buy, and what can be consumed together, in some cases even suggesting substitute products with the same sales margin.
The advantages of having a B2B e-commerce grow every day with the innovations in the industry, companies that insert the digital channels in their sales strategy will stand out from the competition and reach new audiences outside their region of operation and even end customers.
Want to learn more about how to start your industry's strategy on online channels? Talk to our team of experts Learn more about e-commerce technology and understand the best solutions for your industry to start online.