We are talking about the model, B2B, Business to Business. Sales between companies currently have a volume that almost doubles the B2C one and forecasts indicate that the difference will be greater.
What features should these ecommerce have?
When developing a project of this type we must take into account that we are creating an e-commerce business different from B2C. These models are usually characterized by treating orders in large quantities, the relationships between companies are more complex and each customer has a background that affects the value chain and will seek to convey it through their online channel.
Here are 5 factors to consider before embarking on the exciting adventure of creating a B2B ecommerce.
1. Idea, Market Research and Business Plan.
Empecemos por el principio. Da igual que vayas a vender o a quién. Debes tenerlo claro. La reflexión y la investigación ayudan a minimizar riesgos y mejorar tu idea inicial. Existen tantos productos y tan similares entre sí, que necesitas una identidad propia, porque las empresas también erran lanzándose al mercado sin conocer los riesgos ni oportunidades. Observa e investiga el mercado y, si puedes, adelántate a los cambios.
What are you going to sell? Do companies demand that product? Where and how are my competitors? What solutions does selling online bring to you? And to the businesses you are targeting?
In the idea, you should clearly define what you want to sell. What products, what catalogs and for whom.
For research it uses surveys, polls, interviews, analysis of results... the more information the better. You can combine pure data and quantitative studies, with qualitative, quality values, purchase intention, opportunities and threats. Statistics do not lie.
And what about the business plan? These are some of the contents that should be included: goals, target audience, competencies, business model, analysis of the competition, definition of added value, budget and pricing policy.
2. B2B Marketing.
Because if they don't see you, you don't exist.
Establishing a B2B online marketing plan will help you to increase visits and, in turn, translate them into purchases. Keep in mind that the marketing plan for ecommerce differs slightly from traditional plans. The customer does not behave the same when he buys in his private life as when he buys on behalf of your company. And that's the big difference.
The change of subject, of final customer, must determine the type of strategy. ISo to speak, an end consumer wants the product, the company needs it to continue keep on existing and wants to save costs.
- Maximize your online presence, work on SEO, because almost 100% of B2B companies search the internet to find suppliers or products and over 90% of buyers prefer to do so online.
- Invest in effective advertising.
- Work on your email marketing.
- Usa las redes sociales.
- Make content marketing (in blogs, newsletters and in-person events).
- Use the right metrics.
- Use a consultant or professional in digital strategy.
B2B marketing should minimize risks and increase customer confidence. If you choose the right strategy you will get more loyal customers, remember that companies are more reluctant to change suppliers than the final or traditional customers.
Don't forget to carry out an external and internal analysis, define your target audience, set objectives, define strategies and lines of action, establish dates, implement actions, disseminate information and measure results.
3. Marketplace or direct sales?
Are you going to sell through an external platform or are you going to create your own virtual shop?
The most immediate advantage of a marketplace is its visibility. They usually deal with marketing and usually have brand recognition. On the other hand, they are very competitive and sometimes they reduce their prices too much.
In direct sales, visibility, once we manage to attract companies, is much greater and it is possible to compete in the so-called customer service, with a direct contact that will make it possible to strengthen and emphasize that relationship. In addition, personalizing the website according to the visitor, adapting catalogs, prices and / or promotions is another of its great advantages.
Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. They will also look for an attractive and intuitive environment and menu. The user experience, the navigation of the web and the usability are valued by both end customers and companies.
The customer satisfaction surveys and the product sheets deserve a special mention. Adapt the surveys, consider the results and keep in mind that the customer does not have the possibility to touch the product or have it in front of him, but he will want to know and see everything. Machine learning, virtual reality... Make it easy for them.
Design, hosting, platform and good partners in these creation processes are essential for the success of your business. And if you are into big brands, keep in mind that they need solutions from big suppliers like HCL Commerce.
4. Local, national or international? Logistics.
Of course the Internet is global and your offer can be, but think before making a decision.
Define a specific market that you are sure you can supply. To do this, define your logistical capacity, legal restrictions and the qualified personnel you will have. The logistics chain must be fail-safe.
Your customers will want their purchases to arrive as quickly as possible and will use the tracking tools to know where they are at any given time. In this business model the rate of returns is much lower than in the B2C model.
B2B ecommerce sells goods as well as services 24-hour, 365-days-a-year customer service and technical support are almost imperative, especially for large brands and international businesses. Their business relies on you.
5. Legislation and transparency. Prices and offers.
No matter the size, we all have to comply with our legal obligations.
In the B2B business, additional payment methods that can bring additional advantages to the customers gain special importance.
La automatización del proceso de negociación y la implementación del canal de negociación online son imprescindibles. Aquí la gestión personalizada del cliente representa un reto, deberás ofrecer precios y condiciones especiales a según quien, tanto en la compra como en el transporte y la entrega. Porque las ofertas B2B son una muestra de colaboración entre las partes. Además, apuesta por ofrecer la información de productos, precios y stocks en tiempo real. Integra sistemas informáticos y capacita la plataforma para gestionar relaciones complejas con los clientes a través de funcionalidades avanzadas.
If you have all this, you only have hours of work ahead of you and put yourself in the hands of the best team to develop your website. Contact us here.
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