Many established B2B businesses are stuck in a rut. They’ve offered the same things, the same ways, for years – sometimes decades – and they don’t see why they should change.
When someone at the office, or a colleague in the same industry, or even a competitor talks about incorporating ecommerce into their current business model, your management team scoffs at the idea.
There’s plenty of excuses they give themselves.
“It’s too complicated, and our customers like placing orders directly with us.”
“It would be too difficult to actually set something like that up. How would we integrate it with QuickBooks?”
“We’ve already got QuickBooks set up, we don’t want to duplicate all the products for an ecommerce store front. That’s too much work for not enough reward.”
“Our customers all have different prices and different tiers, setting that up for online ordering is more trouble than it’s worth.”
Do any of those sound familiar? If they do, then read on – there’s a solution out there for you.
Setting up ecommerce for your business is easier than you think.
One of the major reasons that Now Commerce exists is to help businesses like yours take their offerings online.
Before I talk about that, we need to talk about the major hurdles to setting up B2B ecommerce in the first place.
One of the biggest reasons people tend to hesitate about offering an ecommerce option for their clients to place their orders is that they think they’ll have to set up a whole new system for accepting orders.
You can’t blame a business for not wanting to spend days or weeks inputting all the product codes, discounts, descriptions, and pictures into a new online system for a dubious return on investment. It might be nice to think about offering an online ordering portal for clients, but the reality is that it’s not possible if you have to duplicate all the work you already put in to setting up QuickBooks Desktop.
Except…you don’t have to duplicate all that work.
You’ve heard of working smarter, not harder, right?
Since you’ve already spent the time to create detailed product descriptions, set up your custom pricing for each customer, and all of the associated information in QuickBooks …why not use that information to set up your B2B ecommerce capabilities?
Using a tool like Now Commerce isn’t like setting up an online shopping cart, since what you offer doesn’t really suit itself well to shopping cart style shopping.
Instead, what you need is something that’s ideal for a business like yours, something where customers can essentially fill in orders for what they want, and then those orders go through your fulfillment and invoicing processes.
It’d be great, wouldn’t it, if your customers all wrote their own invoices, and your team just had to review them – rather than typing it all in all over again?
Or for those demanding customers who want copies of every invoice and tracking information printed out and sent to them, in triplicate, you could offer them the ability to just log in and print each document themselves. Your team saves time and your business saves on ink and paper!
You can offer the ability for your customers to place orders online for a single, simple reason that has nothing to do with ecommerce, too.
Why not have your customers input their own invoices? They’ll know exactly what they ordered, and they’ll be able to check up on tracking information any time they need.
It’s what they’ve always wanted, but never realized they could have.
Why wouldn’t you offer that to your customers?
Being the first in your industry niche to offer online ordering capabilities can be a major differentiator.
You might be saying that no one in your industry even offers online ordering options, so why do you need to? It’s not something that your competitors are doing, so you don’t have to worry about it yet.
That’s precisely why you need to worry about it now.
You could be setting the trend among your colleagues.
You could be the industry leader. And not the bleeding edge type of industry leader, where innovation is a high risk, high reward scenario.
This isn’t particularly revolutionary technology – it’s well established, thoroughly adopted technology that has minimal risk – but maximum reward.
By being the first (or among the first) in your industry to offer the ability to order online, you’re getting your business ready to adapt to a changing business world. With millennials becoming more and more essential to the buying process – and Gen Z not too far off from joining the work force – being able to adapt to a more digitally native buyer is essential.
You don’t have to change your entire business model now, of course.
But something as simple as offering ecommerce to your current (and prospective) customers now, especially if your competitors haven’t, shows that you’re a company that’s willing and able to adapt.
You’re a company who has your buyer’s needs in mind.
Where do you want to take your business in the next 5 years?
Okay, so moving entirely online and adapting to the generation that’s grown up with smart phones is still a ways off – but 5 years isn’t all that far away.
Where do you want your business to go in those 5 years?
Do you want to increase your revenue? Take better care of your employees? Have improved profit margins?
That’s where offering online ordering through software like Now Commerce is so helpful.
It’s a really, really easy way to accomplish multiple, strategic, business goals with truly minimal effort.
So what do you have to lose?
Click below to talk to one of our team members and see exactly how the Now Commerce ordering portal would work for your business.