There is no questioning the fact that eCommerce has remodeled the face of B2C sales. According to global eCommerce sales, online commerce has grown from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $3.5 trillion in 2018 and projected to reach $4.9 trillion by 2021. Now the question is, why aren’t more B2Bs taking their chances with selling products and services through eCommerce websites?
But they did enter the eCommerce arena in 2018 and increased their sales by 11% in 2019! If you are thinking about selling your products to other businesses through an eCommerce website but are hesitant, don’t worry, you are not alone. It’s not easy. B2B business owners have to do their research to be successful with online sales. Developing a smart, strategic plan is a must.
What are the Common Objections B2B Business Owners Have Regarding Direct Online Selling?
Before stepping into eCommerce, many business owners do have specific objections about online selling. Let’s discuss those questions and reason out why B2B eCommerce can be profitable for them.
My Customers are Not Interested in Online Purchasing
Many B2B owners think that their buyers are more interested in traditional buying then researching and buying their products online. But relying entirely on the phone, fax, and email ordering is no longer sufficient regardless of your industry.
The world is moving towards a self-serving economic model. People are adapting to new technologies and speedier processes. They’re no longer interested in searching through paper catalogs and hassling with placing orders by phone.
According to the latest eCommerce trends in 2019, people are more interested in making products and price comparisons before they buy. It helps them decide what brands are best and within their requirements and budget. Yes, this can indeed happen through traditional means, but it’s not as fast and effective as online purchasing.
Don’t forget that B2B buyers are also consumers. In the past few years, B2C eCommerce websites such as Amazon, eBay, and other similar sites have attracted many consumers with their powerful features. B2B buyers are expecting a similar proposition for their eCommerce websites.
According to a B2BecNews survey, about 48.6% of companies now conduct 50% to 74% of all their corporate purchases online. With the advancements in technology, the old way of purchasing is becoming a thing of the past.
Statistics Don’t Lie:
The successful eCommerce businesses of 2019 have at last revealed the secrets behind their successful scalability.
- 72% of B2B customers want self-service access to accounts and orders.
- 64% of B2B customers wish to have scheduled deliveries.
The importance of credible product details and information through a user-friendly website is a must to attract buyers. The customer’s digital experience with your eCommerce website drives B2B brand loyalty. If your company is not considering B2B eCommerce, then your customers may seek out one of your competitors regardless of your prices.
Not Comfortable in Sharing Prices on eCommerce Websites
Selling your products through an eCommerce website requires a great deal of planning, market strategy, reliable product descriptions, and pricing. Determining prices may seem overwhelming and scary. As a business owner, you understand the competitive nature of B2B sales, and you don’t want to be underbid by your competitors!
But here’s a fact, not listing prices on your website will be an automatic red flag to your buyers. There are many factors involved in pricing and sometimes prices include services that require explanation, it’s often very complicated. This is certainly a valid reason not to list them. But disclosing your price is not about customer affordability, it’s about psychology and building customer trust in your products and services.
B2B business owners have a basic knowledge of pricing. This understanding may be from researching their competitors’ pricing charts or from experience over time in their industry. But know this, not displaying your prices will give your customers the impression that you’re hiding something from them.
Yes, it’s also true that there are many elements that need to be considered when calculating product or service pricing. A product’s price may vary based on the buyer or unit quantity. Using integrated B2B eCommerce features is certainly an option for you when developing customized pricing.
Based on a customer’s purchasing regularity and volume, specific coupons can be applied. You can even offer packages and discounts on special occasions. In this way, you can obtain customer loyalty.
Adding a Few Website Pages and a Shopping Cart is Enough to Compete
Getting into B2B eCommerce is not that easy and to be successful, you may have to restructure your entire internal process. Everyone involved must be on the same page and adapt to the inevitable changes.
While dealing with integrated B2B eCommerce, there are three points that any B2B company needs to acknowledge. These are a priority and take precedence over website logistics.
1. Product Pages:
You need to include accurate product descriptions. The product description will help the buyer to gain information. This will make the purchasing process hassle free for your customers. Internally, an expert should be present to organize all your product information across the website. This includes pricing and other information too.
2. Placing Orders:
The first team on board should be those involved with market research. The actual purchasing starts with placing orders. So, this team needs to understand product requirements and buyer frequency. Based on the buyer and product demand, specific coupons need to be applied. You can easily advertise relevant products to buyers based on their website login. You can get all these features with an integrated B2B eCommerce platform.
3. Online Payments:
Trust and security are a necessity for online payments. Choosing the most reliable, user-friendly, and secure online payment process will give you a competitive advantage.
These three points are just the beginning of the process. Upgrading your business to an eCommerce platform doesn’t mean that you’re changing the way your customers purchase products. It’s just a new way to generate revenue, and you must add it to your strategic plan.
eCommerce Won’t Build Relationships Similar to my Sales Team
We often come across clients who own mom-and-pop businesses, family-owned companies that have been doing business in their industry for generations. They’ve spent years nurturing relationships with their customers. They worry about losing those relationships if their customers have to start purchasing their products online.
Don’t worry, you can still build up a relationship with your customers through your website with conversational marketing. This is generally known as online chat and it allows you to keep in touch with your buyers. You can answer any of their queries instantly. Buyers generally like it better than filling out forms or typing emails, which can be time consuming.
Responding to your customers instantly is an essential tool and will help you to build long-term relationships.
Are You Still Having Doubts About the B2B eCommerce Working for You?
Don’t act in haste. Ask a lot of questions before you act. Educating yourself first is the best way to approach and build up a successful eCommerce business. But you shouldn’t wait too long before taking advantage of the information and strategies you learn. There may be many reasons why you have been avoiding doing business online. But $6.7 trillion should make you think about this new revenue model.
Regardless of the facts, some businesses may still reject the notion of doing business online. Does this mean that those companies will lose business to those who have decided to launch their online eCommerce websites?
You might explain to them the impact of integrated eCommerce in the business world. Share this article with them. It may provide them with a clearer picture of the advantages. It’s not easy to adapt to an entirely new business process. But the evidence for success is overwhelming. The eCommerce revenue model works. There’s no reason to say No. And of course, we are always here for you if you need guidance and support in building an eCommerce website for your business.