Any company that is looking to expand its reach should be asking the question, "What is B2B e-commerce?" When wholesalers and distributors reach their max capacity with internal teams and outside sales reps, companies have a hard time growing their business. The answer to growth may very well lie in expanding their business to business (B2B) model. By expanding into an e-commerce model, small businesses who can’t afford a lot of overhead expense are able to expand their markets.
Investing in a B2B e-commerce platform gives your company opportunities to sell that are unavailable in any other format. Here are some of the most important things to understand about B2B e-commerce.
The Difference in B2B and B2C Commerce
The major type of commerce many companies start obtaining revenue from is B2C commerce, or business to customer commerce. However, business to business commerce, or B2B commerce, is an umbrella term detailing when companies sell to each other.
Companies involved in B2B commerce can usually expect larger volumes and increased loyalty in business partnerships. Businesses are not like consumers - they are looking to partners for long term relationships to stabilize the supply chain. However, B2B commerce is usually more demanding on the company that is doing the selling - the bar for perfection stands quite high.
Trends in B2B Commerce
The B2B market goes through certain trends in the same way that the B2C market experiences; periods of large intake, stagnation and recession. However, the B2B market is shifting in the way that companies sell to each other. They are bringing a more customer centric approach to the order process.
Many B2B relationships are now starting to cut out the sales reps and pitches altogether. A recent study from Internet Retailer and Forrester showcased that 59% of B2B transactions are done without a live sales rep. 74% of B2B customers prefer to make a buy from a website directly, putting a great deal of pressure on the first presentation and online description of the product. The B2B product software used for the presentation and the distribution of the product plays a huge part in the salesmanship of B2B e-commerce.
B2B Software: Uses and Trends
The right B2B order management software gives a company a showcase for a product, no live salesman needed. The e-commerce software gives a company the ability to give access to an order portal, tracking and shipping information. This software also shows real-time inventory status as well as payments received from customers. The best packages also have specialized features such as automated custom pricing based on volume.
Many functions that otherwise take many websites to accomplish are now aggregated within the workflow of a single program. A customer can track a huge order from your company from the placing of the order all the way to fulfillment. The buyer does not have to move to the shipper site or the distribution site to track an order. This cuts down on misplaced data and frustrated customers.
The best B2B e-commerce software integrates with industry standard accounting programs as well. You do not have to move away from software like QuickBooks to use the best B2B software. As a matter of fact, if you have the right software, all of the account information housed in QuickBooks can be seen in your B2B platform.
In order to expand your reach, without employing more people, invest in B2B e-commerce software. The B2B community is thriving because of top-notch software packages that streamline the order process between the buyer and seller. Join the new revolution in the world of business to business commerce.
Please feel free to contact us if your company has any questions about B2B e-commerce and the kinds of software that help a company in creating new income streams.
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