Highly motivated wholesale customers want to shop unaided, researching products on their own. By offering them the opportunity to do so online, you’re doing some preliminary work on objections. Even if your products or services are intended for a narrow audience, potential customers will already have basic information about them before they start discussing the possibility of buying with your sales manager or sales representative.
Knowledgeable customers may be interested in related products, the need for which is not obvious to your managers. A B2B e-commerce platform will allow customers to find the products they may need before they even make their first call to your company.
This will make the sales representative or sales manager’s work more efficient – and without any extra effort on their part. All the attention will be focused on solving the customer’s problem and presenting the benefits of working with you.
- Source: retailinasia.com
However, the site is an additional tool, not a complete substitute for the sales process. Sales reps can use access to your site to show product overview videos, present infographics and other tools to help close deals.
Once the deal is done, the B2B business solutions ecommerce site can be used to enhance future interactions with the customer. You no longer need to spend time preparing personalized catalogs with exclusive pricing: Agora-based sites use pricing algorithms for these catalogs that take into account the volume and frequency of purchases, the long-term nature of the relationship, and other important factors. Instead, your manager can focus on building a personal relationship with the customer, which is the foundation of all long-term B2B interactions.
Making a repeat purchase will also be much easier. B2B customers often buy the same items multiple times, so access to previous purchases and a quick checkout form will make the next order easier. B2B business solutions e-commerce platforms based on the AGORA solution allow you to create recurring orders with automatic notification that it’s time to make a purchase.
All the customer has to do is click the “Buy” button. The easier it is for your company to shop, the more B2B customers will reward you with loyalty. To find more information about automated tools for implementing b2b marketing trends in your company – follow this link.
B2B companies and the use of e-commerce
Many B2B companies, staunch advocates of digitalization, have already moved online and are successfully leveraging their results online. Since launching their online channels, companies’ e-commerce sales have grown as a percentage of total sales. As of mid-April, annual revenue growth for U.S. online retailers was 68 percent, surpassing the previous peak of 49 percent in early January. Amazon’s global sales were up 26 percent in the first quarter of 2024. As for online orders in April, the U.S. and Canada saw even more impressive growth, nearly 2.5 times that of spring 2019.
The largest French manufacturer of tableware, Arc International, was founded in 1825, 5 years before the invention of the telegraph. The company has achieved success through continuous investment in innovative solutions. Today Arc International produces and sells tableware in 160 countries on five continents. A b2b business solutions e-commerce platform was needed to give the company a global presence.
Thanks to a broad localization, Arc International’s website serves customers in French, English, Spanish, Chinese, and Russian. This approach is paying off: Arc International’s sales reached 849 million euros, or more than $1 billion.
- Source: news.coincu.com
A leading supplier of forklift parts, Trupar destroyed an entire industry in 2012 by moving it online. With more than $16 million in revenue and more than 45,000 customers, Trupar has become an unqualified leader because of its high quality service. It’s a case where just one company completely changed an entire industry by moving to a b2b business solutions e-commerce model.
A supplier of metal cutting tools and parts for maintenance, repair and operations, MSC Industrial does business online using e-commerce through its MSCDirect.com platform. The company recently reported second-quarter sales growth of 9.3%, from $703.78 million to $768.99 million, driven by a 10.2% increase in B2B business solutions e-commerce sales, from $420.86 million to $463.70 million compared to the same period last year. Gross profit was also up 7.2%.
Due to both positive and negative factors for the e-commerce market resulting from the pandemic, current statistics and forecasts cannot be interpreted unambiguously. An additional difficulty is the lack of a common methodological standard for calculating e-commerce volumes, which leads to serious differences in existing estimates.
You can see that the transition to e-commerce is benefiting B2B business solutions companies from a variety of industries and income levels. The lion’s share of market profits goes to those who were first to enter B2B e-commerce. These companies have realized that the market is changing because customers are changing. The economic sense is to give B2B business solutions customers what they want, and they want to be able to shop online.
It’s worth noting that wholesale buyers are getting younger. The number of B2B buyers between the ages of 18 and 34 increased 70% and has continued to grow ever since. These professionals have grown up in the digital age: they prefer the Internet to other sources of information to make purchasing decisions. They also prefer the self-service model.
- Source: medium.com
Today, up to 67% of purchases are made electronically, and wholesale buyers go through nearly half of the sales funnel before they make contact with a vendor. Meanwhile, 31% of B2B business solutions buyers prefer to research products and shop unassisted, at best with phone support. 10.5% of them want to complete the buying process themselves, and another 12.5% prefer to shop online with someone to guide them through the entire process.
An effective b2b business solutions e-commerce platform allows wholesalers to research products and shop on their own terms – that is, when and where they want. Their desire for digital information cannot be ignored. These B2B buyers are looking for the same terms of purchase for their companies that they prefer in person, and successful suppliers will give them that opportunity.