Consumers have grown comfortable purchasing online over the last decade, as advancing technology brings greater access, security, and convenience. While customers are being catered to through mobile apps and website E-commerce optimization, the difference between B2B and B2C ordering is beginning to disappear. B2B wholesale E-commerce ordering resembles B2C ordering more and more.
The main catalyst for this B2B ordering transformation, is cloud-based order management software solutions for wholesalers, distributors, and manufacturers. These SaaS solutions are integrated with popular accounting systems like QuickBooks Desktop. Businesses specializing in B2B sales are taking advantage of innovative solutions to upgrade their order management systems, in order to respond to the growing expectations of their customers.
B2B vs. B2C Ordering
Traditionally, bulk orders from distributors, wholesalers, and manufacturers, were facilitated mostly through catalogs and call centers. Retail customers are reached more through a shopping experience, which is meant to delight them into buying an item. Because B2B customers typically consist of loyal customers already sold on the products, the shopping experience wasn't a top priority. Also, the complexities of B2B ordering compared to B2C, determined the type of ordering experience.
With SaaS order management services, the ordering experience for these two types of customers are resembling each other more and more. We have to remember that B2B customers are also experiencing B2C ordering systems from retailers, which is increasing their expectations around ordering in general. And with innovative order management solutions for B2B sales, meeting these rising expectations is possible.
Upgraded B2B Ordering
Offering B2B customers helpful and useful features to enhance their ordering experience is something every business should be interested in doing. Businesses can now simply integrate a simple SaaS add-on to their QuickBooks Desktop and their customers will have features such as:
- Customized order forms
- Real-time pricing and inventory
- Viewable pending orders
- Shipping and order status visibility
- Viewable account history
- Access to personalized customer dashboard
- Mobile and remote access anytime
Mobile Ordering from a Cloud-Based SaaS
B2B and B2C customers are increasingly using smartphones and tablets for purchasing. From a recent Forrester Report called: “Online and Mobile Are Transforming B2B Commerce”, key findings according to Hybris.com are that: “...online and mobile are transforming B2B commerce and that businesses have to act fast not to fall behind.”
Customers can order from anywhere and at any time on their mobile devices, and businesses that are facilitating this flexible ordering trend are capturing more sales and loyal customers. SaaS order management systems allow B2B customers access to their personalized customer dashboard anywhere there's Internet access, creating a 24/7 sales funnel for wholesalers, distributors, and manufacturers.
Although there are still complexity differences within B2B and B2C ordering, SaaS order management systems are steadily creating more of a resemblance between the two. The upgraded ordering process is a win-win experience for businesses and customers, yet those who refuse to change are being left behind.
Businesses can now offer customers a personalized B2B ordering experience, while benefiting from more streamlined and efficient processes. As integrated order management solutions create automation within their holistic business processes, making workflow simpler and more efficient.
Online purchasing is only going to increase, and advancing mobile technology will facilitate the majority of this growing trend. B2B customers are expecting more from ordering systems. Wholesalers, manufactures, and distributors need to consider upgrading their order management systems to meet these growing expectations.
The good news is upgrading ordering systems is easier than ever. Businesses using QuickBooks Desktop can simply use an add-on SaaS to meet their B2B customers' needs. While the gap between B2B and B2C ordering is diminishing, businesses can take advantage of innovative order management solutions to ultimately enhance sales and productivity.