B2B E-Commerce Business
B2B is short for business to business and B2B e-commerce means the use of internet or internet portal to sell products between the companies/businesses. Unlike B2C the transactions in B2B are more complicated. In B2B transactions prices largely vary, quantities are huge due to the involvement of businesses and they have to abide by various regulations in the environment. E-commerce is an excellent medium for a VAR to generate sales. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is often integrated with other business systems and this helps in providing value efficiencies for B2B organizations.
Ways to grow B2B E-Commerce Business
According to Forrester B2B market in 2020 will be worth $1.1 billion against $480 million for B2C. Below are potential ways to increase your B2B organization.
1) Allowing price negotiation with the customers
When reseller and buyer started trading together set one price rule, which notably different from the general prices. Many times it happens that a buyer company is unable to purchase the products at a price agreed with the seller. In this case, the former goes for the option request for quotation (RFQ) to the latter, wherein the request is processed and a salesperson will negotiate the price with the buyer. Since the value-added reselling industry is involved in millions of transactions there are many cases when businesses are not satisfied with the price of sellers. So RFQ tool has great importance here, as buyers are not lost and public image is good. Alternatively, you can bundle a few products and offer discounts. This technique can help your B2B sales hoot up. Product grouping is quite a common tool for creating complex products, kits, and assemblies that consist of multiple parts.
2) Customize your B2B e-commerce
You can most effectively build and maintain relationships with the customers by customizing your e-commerce store. You can even build a separate store in your e-commerce space for your important buyers and display products according to their demands and different prices will be shown solely for them. For instance, if you are a reseller of IT software and your biggest buyer is Dominos Pizza, then you will set a separate e-commerce store with products suitable only for them and reduced prices. In this way, the IT software provider will be able to maintain good relations with Sony.
3) Establish interactions
B2C transactions sometimes have face to face interactions because of complexity. Since B2B e-commerce involves a large number of transactions and is complicated in nature, therefore the interactions between B2B parties is more than the transactions. Due to face to face interactions, buyers can build trust and confidence for sellers. For instance, if you are an IT component seller to another IT company both sides need to have interactions beyond email, you need to discuss specific details of a particular component or anything beyond general FAQ and also to build good relationships.
4) Integrations of the system
Integrations play a vital role in the success of the B2B e-commerce, without them a reseller will struggle in scaling the business. You need customer relation management, shipping, payment, inventory management, payroll records, accounts integrated with your enterprise resource planning (ERP) so that with single input whole of the system gets updated automatically. Integrations need to be a part of the B2B organization since its beginning as it cannot be done overnight. QuickBooks is accounting software used by small and medium-sized VARs, this software helps in creating invoices, reviewing aged receivables, keeping track on bills and expenses, getting key insights on the report like P/L reports, balance sheet reports and statement of cash flows. Autotask PSA is the provider of PSA solutions to the MSP industry. It has features of CRM, contract management, service desk, project management, invoicing, asset management and reporting, all of them are integrated into one software.
5) Communication of the value
Communicating is key. According to Spiceworks, when purchasing a new product/service, three out of four IT pros complete at least 70% of their purchase process prior to contacting a vendor. So if you are a VAR, ensure that the key information about your products on the website is regularly updated. This lays the foundation of curiosity or encouragement to use your services among the buyers and they ultimately develop confidence in you. The content on your website should be to the point, not beating around the bush, simple to understand and mobile friendly, as buyers do view your websites on mobile. You should try to put a template which matches your goals; this will help you in standing out of the crowd.
6) Credit analysis and control
Being a part of B2B e-commerce industry you need set a credit limit so that in the pursuit of collecting money from debtors you don’t ruin relationships and don’t incur losses. Since a VAR deals with transactions involving huge volumes it is not possible for the buyer to pay a lump sum at the time of the sales, so you, as a seller, need to decide an amount which a buyer should pay when sales are taking place and the rest could be paid later within a period of time. You need to provide payment flexibility to your customers; this is a great way to increase sales. For example, you are a seller of computers and its parts and have supplied goods worth $100,000 to another business. So, your invoice will state “$100,000 net 15/45/60”. This means the buyer can pay the amount in 15/30/60 days.
7) Providing after sales service
Just like in B2C e-commerce industry after sales services is a huge attraction in the same manner businesses looks for those sellers who provide after sales services with a reduced price. After sales services vary according to the nature of sales, for instance, if a component has a defect then the buyer should repair or exchange it free of cost or at a lesser price, sellers can also carry out the surveys to ensure the satisfaction of the customers and provide them support in the installation of the devices.
There is no blanket rule for increasing your sales in B2B e-commerce industry but you need to understand how it functions and know what buyers demand. You should gather information about your target market and choose the best strategy, according to your nature of business operations, to increase your sales.