E-commerce opens up new growth opportunities for many companies. This also applies to businesses that sell products in the B2B model. You only need to invest in a dedicated store to be able to sell more effectively and give yourself better control over the entire transaction process. And give the customer the convenience of shopping anywhere at anytime.
B2B store – chances for higher sales
Anyone can sell online today. What’s more, anything can sell. An example? Without looking far, one of our clients – the Libet company – has launched an Internet store, which allows its clients to order, among others, paving stones manufactured by them. The situation is similar in many other industries.
The e-commerce market is a place of enormous possibilities. Both for companies looking for new channels to reach B2C customers, as well as those thinking about starting B2B sales. As you can see, even manufacturing companies that have not been associated with this form of sales so far are able to enter e-commerce.
Even if you sell only to business customers, you can open your online store, providing yourself (and your recipients) with a number of benefits. What are they? We write about them below.
B2B store – what advantages does it have for business?
An investment in a B2B store can bring your company tangible benefits quite quickly. What are they? Two of the most important ones are listed below.
Sales automation is one of the most important perks of having a B2B online sales system. This is because this system gives you the ability to scale your business much better without having to constantly expand your sales department.
It’s a known fact that by default, it is your salespeople that have the burden of contacting customers, collecting orders by e-mail or by phone, and often even entering them into the internal system on their own.
Add to this the situations in which they travel around Poland acquiring new customers or presenting new products to those already involved. It will turn out that the capacity of the sales department is small. So you hire more people to keep the turnover growing.
In the end, however, you also increase company costs, so the balance does not look so profitable anymore.
With a B2B system on Magento the case is completely different. It works like an online store, except that it’s only available to your customers.
They place an order through the website, and it goes directly to the system and the warehouse can handle its processing. The salesman is almost completely out of the loop in this situation, limiting his role to possible assistance and cross-selling activities.
Saving salespeople’ time
Does this mean that, in the absence of their daily responsibilities, salespeople will sit around for days without doing anything? Not at all. Implementation of a B2B sales system in the company does not have to mean reduction of the sales department. Without having to collect and process orders, they can focus on finding new customers, organizing business meetings, presenting new products and many other activities that contribute to the growth of the customer base. And this in turn will translate into more orders. More orders simply means more profit and a more attractive balance sheet at the end of the year.
B2B store – advantages for your customers
You already know the advantages of B2B systems for your business. However, the customer’s point of view may be puzzling. Can ordering through a dedicated store be more attractive for him than contacting his assigned account manager?
Certainly. A B2B store also brings many positives in this case.
What hours do your salespeople work? 8:00 AM -16:00 PM? 9:00 AM -17:00 PM? Most likely, they are not available around the clock, right? A B2B store is and it allows you to make purchases at a time and place convenient for your customer. All your customer has to do is to log into the system, select the products he is interested in and confirm the place and method of collecting the order.
Such information goes straight into the system and the warehouse can take care of the shipment as soon as it starts work the next day.
What is more, convenient product selection removes one more problem from our business board – errors caused by the human factor. The customer selects the products himself in the store, so there is no question of making a mistake that could occur if he handed over the list of ordered goods by phone or e-mail.
Faster ordering with shopping cart saving option
Speaking of orders – the convenience of online stores is (in addition to 24/7 access) also the speed of ordering. In B2B stores the time is further reduced by the possibility to save the most frequently used shopping carts.
What does this mean in practice? B2B customers usually make similar orders to you. Consequently, their shopping carts are most often similar to each other. The option of saving such a shopping cart means that instead of laboriously selecting the products they are interested in each time, the customer selects the cart with just a few clicks, adds any additional items, modifies the quantity of items and accepts the order.
Access to current stock level and product information
B2B store works on the basis of connection with the warehouse database and product information management systems, and therefore on its pages the customer has access to two important things.
The first one is the available quantity of items, the second one – full knowledge about photos, parameters and descriptions of the product.
Therefore, the customer is able to check the status of the product on his own (which saves time for the salesman, whom the customer would probably call in such a situation), and also allows him to obtain all the information necessary to, for example, order and display in his store the novelty from your offer.
Access to order status
Anyone who has worked in sales has surely received the “what’s going on with my order?” phone call hundreds of times. With the implementation of a B2B store, this problem practically disappears.
Just like in B2C stores, here too the customer receives an automatic message every time his order changes status. This means that he is thoroughly informed about every step your employees take to deliver his order.
Access to accounting documents from the store
Shopping in the B2B store also means convenient access to sales invoices. The customer can download them from their own account, so your salespeople don’t have to create the documents themselves and send them by e-mail.
Why is a B2B store worth implementing?
A B2B store is an important investment for your business growth. Summarizing the information gathered above, we can assume that a B2B store:
- makes it easier for your customers to place orders – they can do it at any time, when it suits them best,
- increases the possibility of scaling sales – an identical sales department staff is able to handle a larger number of customers than in the classic sales model,
- makes customer service more convenient – the customer has access to the necessary information from the store ( stock level, invoices), which relieves the sales force and allows them to focus on acquiring new customers.
If you have any questions about B2B stores, you are considering their implementation or looking for an e-commerce agency, which will take care of technical support for the already operating system – please contact us. As an Adobe Bronze Solution Partner we are specialists in implementing B2B systems based on the Magento platform.