5 reasons why B2B trade is growing with digital change – eCommerce Magazin

Sales in the B2B area is subject to special challenges, as Thomas Mondelli, CEO of the e-commerce software manufacturer IntelliShop, knows: “The products in B2B trade are highly specific and technical, the number of customers is low and there is usually a considerable need for personal advice.” B2B naturally very high. So no space for an online shop?

A study by the IFH Cologne proved as early as 2018 that 25 percent of total B2B sales – a whole 321 billion euros – are accounted for by websites, online shops and marketplaces. B2B trade cannot and must not turn a blind eye to this number. High sales can only be achieved if dealers break new ground. And there are five important reasons for this in B2B trade.

1. Competitive edge with B2B trade

Companies in the B2B sector work in a highly dynamic competitive environment. The Internet serves as a communication platform for many companies and offers opportunities for interaction with customers and partners. But quick action is required, because the competition is also upgrading digitally. The desire to do extensive research before buying and to save time when ordering must be reflected in the use of a B2B e-commerce platform reflect. This gives entrepreneurs an effective opportunity to market solutions and niche products, to react flexibly to competing offers and to stand out from the competition. At the same time, they are laying important building blocks for a digital system of the future.

2. Addressing specific target groups

Today buyers in B2B companies are often young professionals with a high affinity for digital media. Retail must adapt to this new target group and use e-commerce solutions that address these buyers in a targeted manner and through a wide variety of channels. The product knowledge must be available in real time, because they are used to the fact that the Internet provides them with information around the clock, 365 days a year. High-quality content that stimulates interaction and a consistent advertising message support the buyer in his decision. In this way, valuable leads can be generated and customer loyalty can be built.

3. Individual customer profile

While B2C brands are often geared towards a broad target group, the target groups in B2B online trading are usually much narrower. A modern B2B online shop software must therefore concentrate particularly on the individual requirements. Functions such as recurring orders, one-click checkout or the visualization of products should also be implemented in the B2B shop, as the customer already uses these useful functions privately.

Rational decisions are behind the purchasing decisions of B2B customers. Decision-makers are usually part of a decision-making chain and carry out so-called repeat purchases. On the other hand, they are usually subject to tight time frames, as production is waiting for the items ordered. Hence, the quick search is one of the main advantages of an online trading platform. With 75 percent, the search function is the number one priority for buyers when it comes to a B2B shop.

Today, customers no longer want to spend valuable time on lengthy searches. He quickly migrates to other platforms that show him what he is looking for with just a few clicks. A digital solution can also be used to precisely track and analyze the customer’s individual profile and their customer journey. In this way, he can be provided with individual information and paths that accelerate his purchasing process.

4. Networked business processes in B2B trade

Thanks to a comprehensive ERP system in the backend, all business processes can be comprehensively networked. Omnichannel-capable ERP systems relieve the sales teams, as they facilitate the provision of complex product data, simplify the quotation process, serve as a central source of information in the ordering and delivery process and provide comprehensive business data.

Inquiries from engineering offices, plant manufacturers and suppliers about specifications, availability, delivery times and individual prices no longer have to be answered in a time-consuming manner by email, telephone or fax, but can be reliably provided and accessed via the B2B webshop. And since authorizations and roles are assigned in a controlled manner using login data, valuable company data is also protected.

5. Analysis of key performance indicators

Thanks to the comprehensive analysis and reporting tools, it is possible in the run-up to e-commerce projects to determine sales shares such as consumables, spare parts or services that are currently or in the future suitable for sales via your web platform. Individual framework and delivery conditions can also be taken into account in real time via personalized web shop interfaces. All data and business logic from both direct sales and the online shop are recorded, archived and analyzed. The dealer maintains a 360-degree overview of all customers and processes, across all contacts and channels. In this way, direct sales and the web shop can be easily and automatically compared and valuable cross-selling and upselling opportunities can be identified.

Conclusion: Optimized sales through B2B trade

With a webshop The sales cycle in B2B trade is shortened because the customer can easily access individual product and order information and offers can be placed quickly. The support is significantly improved because everyone in the company knows the wishes and purchasing behavior of the customer. Of course, customers and sales do not have to do without personal contact: there is enough space for this at the customer’s request or during the price negotiation phase. Last but not least, the costs for B2B companies decrease, as the individual departments are much more closely interlinked through digitization.