The holiday season is in full swing. It’s time for your B2B companies to shine and reap maximum sales through eCommerce
The leap in online buying over the last few years has been phenomenal. Thanks to online marketing and ECommerce, businesses have expanded and penetrated the markets more than ever before. While it's true that the B2C (Business-to consumer) companies are thriving in this digital transformation of business models. On the other hand B2B (Business-to-Business) companies unfortunately have been laggards in online marketing.
Coronavirus pandemic, 2020 witnessed the unprecedented phase leading to lockdowns, halt to in-person shopping and cancellation of trade shows that are a mainstay of B2B marketing. The dire need for B2B organizations to power through successful eCommerce sites is exigent. According to a McKinsey & Company report, over the last year, many B2B companies have seen digital interactions as two to three times more crucial to their customers than the traditional sales interactions.
High time for B2B businesses to adopt eCommerce
So why have B2B companies been hesitant to venture towards online marketing till now?
As the organization is the customer and the nature of products is the niche, so the typical B2B sales cycle is lengthy and encompasses many key players and experts. Apprehension by these businesses previously to play it safe made B2B organizations reluctant to adapt a new business model which is powered digitally.
However, today, the solution resides in a structured website with crisp information that will make transactions for B2B companies that are only a click away through an eCommerce site.
What does the shift to online marketing mean for B2B companies?
Online selling solutions will not only benefit during the holiday season but in years to come. Let’s see how?
Online shopping prompts B2B customers to make a timely decision. For the existing buyers, it will provide a platform to shop online instead of relying on faxing or calling to place an order that they previously did. A structured B2B eCommerce website will enable customers to save time as they can efficiently buy from suppliers according to their convenience and use their valuable time to focus on other business activities. Thus, a one stop solution is made possible through an eCommerce site.
The migration from traditional B2B sales channel to B2B eCommerce brings perks of observing and tracking buying behaviour, product interactions and transaction fall outs. It streamlines the ordering procedure hence facilitating the sales team to maintain their database and keeping customers in the loop about their order and delivery status. The data not only includes orders and return history but also cart details, page views and search logs. This is observed and further used to create a list of recommended products, based on customer needs, browsing and order history.
The traditional marketing strategy for B2B companies revolved around PR marketing strategy. Precious time is consumed as it involves taking appointments, interacting with gatekeepers, handing out promotional materials and various procedures that make the transaction cumbersome. B2B content marketing, on the other hand, offers a handy solution. This includes blogs, podcasts, infographics, email newsletters and other informational means that will save time for customers and also facilitate them in making a more robust and efficient decision.
For the B2B company, quality content publishing delivers high traffic, brand awareness and thus high revenue.
Drive new traffic
Research states that 81 percent of buyers first engage in online research before buying. An informational and engaging website for B2B products serves this purpose well and efficiently converts new traffic into leads. Making an initial purchase is made possible due to online interactive features, including request sample, request quote and 24-hour customer support service. Subsequently, now that the data has been saved, it's easy to replenish or order online next time. It gives peace of mind to the sales team too.
Retain current customers
In addition to expanding the company’s presence to a new market, the Online B2B strategy also paves the way for going above and beyond with your current customers. The convenience in operating business due to eCommerce sites also means that customers will be less inclined to switch vendors.
All the SKUs of the company can be made visible through the website. In-depth details, images, videos of product specifications, along with price structure, helps to make customers informed decisions.
B2B eCommerce comes with the benefit of reduction in excess costs for the company and the customer both. A middleman/ salesperson who would attend phone calls or retype the fax orders has to be paid for these services. It involves extra costs that can otherwise be easily avoided once replaced with the automated and standardized online workflow.
Thanks to B2C retailers, a lucrative model exists for increasing sales through eCommerce . This includes customization of products by offering various alternatives, showing casing cross-selling strategies to the existing customers and displaying product recommendations. These strategies lead to increased sales.
The B2B companies could have a bleak future if they don’t embrace digital marketing now.
It's high time B2B companies follow the pace of B2C ventures and keep up with online interactions to reach customers. Agility, adoption of online marketing tools and evolution is the rule of the game for B2B companies in 2021. An investment in a structured B2B ECommerce website will take care of the cutthroat competition and aid in boosting business revenue. Take a leap this Holiday season and revitalize your B2B company through technology.