B2B Info Center

The Cloud or On-Premise Software: Which is Right for B2B E-commerce?

If you are running a wholesale or distribution business and can’t keep up with customer orders or updating information for your team it may be time for you to invest in B2B e-commerce software.  Besides deciding what type of software you need, you also must decide what type of IT investment you are ready for and that is where the cloud vs. on-premise software comes in.

No doubt you've heard plenty about the cloud and how it can be the right choice when you are looking for an affordable solution. You've also likely heard about on-premise options and why some find it preferable.  Your choice may come down to personal preferences. Nevertheless, you'll want to weigh both options carefully to see what the pros and cons are.

Questions to Ask During a B2B E-commerce Software Demo

You’ve realized that in order for your B2B wholesale or distribution company to keep growing it’s time to invest in B2B e-commerce software that takes you to the next level.  You have customers that want to order online and a sales team that needs more modern tools.  There are many turnkey options out there that can get you up and running quickly.  But how do you know which one to choose?  The software demo is going to be crucial to your buying decision. However, these demo events can be over in a flash.

Here are some things to keep in mind before the demo and questions to ask during the demo to slow things down and elicit the vital information you will need.

B2B Order Management Software: How to Keep Your Business Running 24/7

In this world of constant connection, B2B businesses are expected to run 24/7. Buyers expect to be able to get their orders placed and questions answered anytime of the day.  And if you don’t have B2B order management software that keeps your operations going 24/7, it’s time to get one.

In the age of online ordering, buyers need to have access to product information around the clock to keep themselves competitive and successful.  With order software they can place their own orders and answer their own questions regarding their accounts.

Guess Why You Should Use an Online Order Management System for B2B?

For any business, managing orders is a big deal. After all, orders are where the money comes from. It's important to make sure that everything happens exactly as it's supposed to. From the initial pricing, all the way through the completion of the shipment, everything should be perfect. Unfortunately, that's not always easy. Managing lots of large-scale orders manually can become a very difficult task, but there is a solution, an online order management system.  This can be a cloud based software program that syncs to your accounting software, like QuickBooks, that makes it easy for both customers and your sales team to enter in orders, and check things like pricing, product availability, and tracking numbers.

Here are a few benefits of using an online order management system.

4 Reasons Order Entry Software is Right for Your Wholesale Business

Wholesale businesses are constantly on the move. Whether it be taking orders for the upcoming holiday season or simply trying to keep up with a new promotion, there are always orders coming in that need to be filled and shipped out. While this is great for business, you also want to make sure you can keep track of all your customers and upcoming orders without anything slipping through the cracks. With the help of order entry software, that won’t be a problem. Just check out the following reasons why this software is exactly what you need to transform your business.

How Online Order Management Helps All Sales Channels

Order management is a big part of the wholesale business. It's often more complicated than it is for B2C companies thanks to the presence of different pricing tiers, multiple sales channels, and the need to keep track of pallets' worth of items instead of single quantities. Fortunately, there's an easy way to streamline the process of handling these needs: online order management.

Unify Order Formats

Companies using traditional order handling methods often have to deal with a wide variety of order formats. This is because they have developed different order-taking methods over time instead of starting with a single system. A company that has been in business long enough may have everything from handwritten orders to Excel spreadsheets all coming in at once. This is confusing and leads to errors and delays.

Modernizing the Wholesale Sales Process with Order Management Software

Wholesalers often take an approach of figuring out how to handle needs as they arise. Unfortunately, after several years in business, this results in a cumbersome and piecemeal variety of methods for doing the same basic thing. For example, a company may start out taking orders over the phone and simply hand-writing them onto invoices. Then, they realize that it's time to have an outside sales force. The outside salespeople, having no direct access to the office, are forced to call in their orders and wait in the calling queue as their customers impatiently wait.

Next, the company might decide that it's time to speed things up, so they give the salespeople a fax number to use when on the road. Now, the company has to handle both phone and fax orders. Finally, some customers may use an Excel spreadsheet and e-mail orders in. This brings in a third format to deal with.  And it can be different for each customer.

The Cloud or Bust with Customer Order Management

As a manufacture or wholesaler, do you often wonder how customer order management software can help increase B2B customer satisfaction? Are you looking to improve your value to your customers? What's so great about switching to a new ordering system instead of using the one that your company has had for years? That's the one that all of your people know how to use.


The Truth

It really comes down to giving your B2B clients a customer order management solution that is easy to use. It can be used at any workstation and on many kinds of mobile devices. With a turnkey software solution, all that you need to get started with it is an Internet connection. Cloud-based software places real-time information in the hands of customers and sales reps. When your B2B customers go to their ordering dashboard, they see what you have in stock and can view custom prices. On your end as a manufacturer, your sales reps can track customer orders and find the whereabouts of each product in your supply chain. This includes tracking, shipping, invoicing, and billing information.

Order Management Software for QuickBooks

QuickBooks is the most popular accounting software on the market for small and medium sized businesses.  However, as a stand-alone accounting system it has limitations for a B2B business.  Its functionality increases significantly when integrated with other software applications.   B2B businesses, looking to streamline their order management processes, have been adding cloud based order management software to their QuickBooks accounts.  These types of software programs provide tremendous efficiency gains and help businesses get to the next level.

Fortunately, Now Commerce provides a professional cloud based add-on to QuickBooks that contains a number of expert features and tools.  The most important aspect of the tool is that it has an open order entry system.  That means that the order can be placed into the system by either someone in the office or an outside sales rep or even your customer.  It is immediately and dynamically visible to everyone in the organization that needs it.  That includes customer service, sales representatives, the accounting department and senior management.  And if you have fulfillment integration, then your logistics provider as well.  This makes the process much more efficient.

The 4 Best Features for B2B E-commerce Platform Success

If you run a B2B e-commerce platform, your entire business depends on your site. Most of your customers are probably doing business through your site, and if it doesn't fit what they want or need, they'll go somewhere else. When businesses need something, whether it's a lower price or more modern technology from a company, they'll do whatever it takes to get it. Unfortunately, some companies will even go as far as leaving a company they've been doing business with for years if it hasn’t caught up to their discerning standards.

Here are a few of the things that your customers are looking for in a B2B e-commerce platform.