If you are a B2B business owner still contemplating whether or not to create a website; I will spare you the effort- you need a website.
And not just any but a good, professionally designed one that can help you generate and convert leads with minimal effort.
Think about it. When you are looking for information to help you make a purchasing decision, where do you go first? Most likely to a website.
So, where do you think your consumers will go? No rocket science there.
The thing is, wholesale websites have become a primary digital marketing tool for most businesses these days. Think of Amazon, it is currently one of the biggest online marketplaces that are home to millions of retailers and wholesalers worldwide. Think of Alibaba, QualityTrade etc. the list is long.
According to a 2019 Statista survey, the appetite of a business buyer for digital ordering is increasing. This has led the current market value of Business to Business ecommerce to topple over 12 trillion US dollars on a global scale. Studies also show that more and more B2B buyers find buying from a website more convenient than buying from a sales representative(source).
We know convenience plays a huge role in the decision-making process but there must be something more to it.
Well, as it turned out, there is. And not just one but ten reasons why having a business website benefits your organization.
1. It opens your doors to the larger basket of customers
Business merchants often consider ecommerce as a tool for existing customers. And what about acquiring new customers? Well, that is expected to happen through the sales team, not the internet.
But wholesale ecommerce is changing. How? Let’s find out-
Business websites of today have created versatile user experiences that are truly exceptional in their approach. They offer a vibrant design which gives you a clear competitive advantage. Just make sure to use a comprehensive ecommerce platform that supports the features necessary to sustain this.
Next, these ecommerce websites make customers less dependent on sales and customer service representatives. For this, they offer several options such as intuitive live chat and chatbots, an exhaustive FAQ page that addresses all sorts of common questions and concerns.
These days you can even create short instructional videos showing your B2B customers how to place orders online besides sharing them via email and social media.
Lastly, your b2b site will be available 24/7, 365 days a year, thus eliminating the challenge that time differences often pose in the order process. And in turn, making it even more, easier to serve a wider international market.
All these features make ecommerce such a piece of cake that customers who have once used it never want to return to the traditional ways.
2. It centralizes your products and sales management to reduce manual admin
A wholesale ecommerce site helps businesses such as yours in order to create seamless cross-channel experiences.
- By centralizing order and event management at a single place. It is much easier for your sales team to handle everything from one location. These sites also serve as a communication centre that connects your warehouses, drop shippers, and stores to facilitate order tracking.
- By intelligent orchestration and routing process that routes the orders to the optimal location as per your demands. This feature allows you the flexibility to manage inventory and fulfil orders for your B2B customers.
- By offering a central system for handling orders across all channels. These include multiple brands, websites, stores, warehouses, call centres etc. to enable intelligent routing of each order throughout its journey.
So you see, how an ecommerce website can centralize your order management process thus helping you reduce the complexities of manual admin.
With its help, you can deliver a shopping experience your customers will appreciate every time they visit your website.
3. Websites help improve and enhance brand visibility
Brand awareness has been one of the most important aspects of running your retail business. However, when it comes to wholesale, brand awareness can be a challenge, especially when the majority of existing literature you find about branding focuses on B2C marketing.
This can be the reason you haven’t heard of brand awareness in terms of Business to Business. But let us tell you, this thing is real.
Business to Business ecommerce makes your business stand out among the crowd. How?
When you optimize your website for keywords, it helps potential customers uncover your firm when they are looking for solutions to their problems.
You can also use targeted ads to gain visibility for your products.
You can be active on social media to further solidify your B2B brand visibility.
4. It can lower your costs in a number of ways
Business ecommerce platforms that run on modern technology help you automate a substantial portion of typically manual business processes.
Do you know how much time your average salesperson waste on normal tasks (such as checking inventory or processing a payment) that can easily and effectively be done by the software itself? Time is money, so make it count.
We know electronic payments have been a part of the B2C world for some time, and only recently have started to permeate the B2B payment market.
You know why?
Because it speeds up the payment process (you know the traditional, paper-based version that just drags on and on), thus help solve cash flow issues that are frequently faced by small and medium-sized companies. And that’s not all.
- It invariably removes the burden of your accounts and finance team by reducing the amount of work involved.
- It helps reduce the impact of unsuccessful payments.
- And is much more convenient for your customers.
Besides electronic payment procedure is much more secure compared to other traditional means. Just make sure your wholesale website is compliant with PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) and you are good to go.
5. It creates a first-class experience for your customers so that buying from you is easy.
Because everyone wants to feel important. And what is better than providing them with great user experience, one that will prompt them to come back for more.
As it turned out, a business website is a great way for providing that. Let’s see how-
- It allows you to communicate your products and services through quality content to different types of users. Just make sure not to overdo it or you will risk overwhelming your B2B audience.
- It helps your company to be recognized socially. Social proof is vital as it provides trustworthiness and helps persuade visitors. Do you know what this is called? Friendly attitude with a professional twist (wink!).
- It also allows you to share your story. Now, even you can’t deny the positive impact of powerful storytelling. After all, you have been working on it through advertising, word-of-mouth publicity etc. Well. it’s time to go digital.
- Lastly, it helps you go mobile. It’s very likely that currently, you are reading this article on your mobile device. It is quite a successful strategy provided you make the whole experience clear and free of any distractions.
6. It facilitates real-time wholesale buyer/supplier relationships
Business to Business ecommerce offers a great way to make the lives of your customers and distributors easy. It helps you earn their appreciation, trust and loyalty.
So, why does it matter?
Because at the end of the day, if your customers know that they can get what they need easily and are well taken care of, then you are on the right track. Below are three such areas where ecommerce has strengthened buyer/supplier relationships.
- First is the correct information that helps your B2B customers in researching and finding the right products. You can have a top-level page called “Resources” that enables visitors to look through all the available content. Moreover, you can allow them access to product content from the product page itself.
- Second is personalization in form of ‘related products’ (customers who bought this also bought...), frequently ordered products, sales rep information (such as a pic followed by phone number and an email address).
- Third, are the online tools such as online configurator, quoting system, quick or repeat order button, etc. to help your customers do their jobs better and faster.
7. A wholesale website can speed up the order fulfilment process
The order fulfilment is a series of steps companies take from the moment the order is received until its delivery to the customer.
It mind sound easy upon hearing but it isn’t so. There are certain challenges to overcome for this process to work. These include logistics planning supply chain optimization, inventory management etc.
So how does ecommerce helps with all this? Let’s find out-
With the help of a B2B website, you can easily classify your inventory to ensure that you always have the right stock levels on your most important items.
Business websites also offer you a sales order management system where you can easily integrate certain areas that require visibility. These include logistics, inventory, sales, demand forecasting etc. This centralized system quickly helps you fulfil an order.
The thing is, by implementing the right technology, you can easily streamline your order management in ways never thought before to be possible, thereby facilitating improved distribution on your end.
8. It helps you with cross-sell and upsell
Let’s begin by understanding what upselling and cross-selling are. Upsell is when you try to persuade your wholesale customer to purchase an upgrade of their intended choice. And cross-sell is suggesting an additional product to the customer. And the benefits? Usually, there are three-
- It helps increase customer retention.
- It boosts the average value per order and lifetime value.
- It discourages churn and improves customer loyalty and experience.
So where does ecommerce fit in all this? We are glad you asked. It helps you create an algorithm with the help of data analytics and purchase history. This can gain you a better insight into your B2B customers’ choices, thus letting you offer suitable deals.
It also allows you to customize the product pages as per the need. Clear images and a readable copy will make your customers understand what you are offering and increase your chances of cross-selling and upselling. You can also use your site to showcase highly-rated, top-selling items.
Believe us, it is worth the try.
9. It can significantly improve your bottom line
Let’s cut straight to the chase. Improving your buyers’ experience with the help of better technology (in this case an ecommerce website) is a big revenue-building opportunity. And is a powerful way to appeal to wholesale customer demands.
If you invest early in an online solution, it will not only please your current customers but also help attract new leads and sales opportunities.
It does so by improving your sales team’s efficiency. And no, online platforms don’t make the sales representatives redundant. Instead, they streamline your sales process so as to allow your sales team to have more time to-
- Provide top-class customer service
- Introduce buyers to new product lines
- Identify and nurture quality leads
- Prepare exclusive deals to their customers
- Perform customer outreach to drive-in more sales
Introducing an ecommerce platform is crucial to your B2B company’s bottom line. Why? Because it pleases your existing customers and attracts new prospects. Plus it improves sales rep efficiency and increases revenue.
10. Lastly, it helps you stay ahead of the competition
Don’t you want your business to come out on top? Of course, you do.
And what better way to beat the competition than an ecommerce website. Wait, are you asking that what purchasing experience a business website can deliver to your customers that your competitors aren’t delivering? Let’s see,
We had already mentioned the role of mobile-optimized sites and how they create a first-class experience for your wholesale customers. It is a clear advantage over your competitors who are still operating through physical stores and had no other means to satisfy their customers than to rely on personal meetings.
Not to mention the mobile apps which makes it even more easier for your customers to order while on the go.
Next, we have product videos which greatly help with conversions. Against this, your competitors have nothing to impress their customers (except live demonstrations).
Another thing is product ratings and reviews. This display of social proof builds trust and keeps you stand out from the B2B competitors (who, again, have no decent platform to express the customers’ viewpoint).
Lastly, comes the approach towards ‘self-service’. As already mentioned, no many customers are interested in talking to the sales reps unless absolutely necessary. Offering an ecommerce solution reinforces this mentality, giving them the freedom to research products and place orders on their own accord.
Serving the Business to Business community over the years had taught us one thing, ecommerce websites which, in their early phase, were considered a luxury, have become a necessity in current times. Something your business just couldn’t survive without.
And that is exactly why we presented these ten compelling reasons to help make up your mind as to why you definitely need an ecommerce site for your wholesale business.
And in case you are in search for a comprehensive, customizable and extensible platform for your ecommerce business, then StoreHippo might arguably be the best match for you. It offers a host of powerful and dynamic tools that are specifically designed to meet the growing needs of manufacturers and distributors.
In short, StoreHippo offers the business community endless possibilities and vast functionality. So, what are you waiting for?
Visit our website today and book a free demo!