Why Smart B2B Retailers Are Embracing Ecommerce

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A recent study from Forrester Research projects that the B2B ecommerce market will be worth over $1 trillion by 2020. It’s clear that more and more B2B businesses are recognizing the importance that ecommerce can play in driving sales. If you’re a B2B business that’s on the fence about starting an online store, here are a few reasons why you should take the leap. 

Buying Behavior Has Changed 

There’s this big misconception in B2B that you’re selling to a faceless organization. Not true. Smart B2B marketers have long recognized that the trends influencing B2C buying are applicable to B2B. The same concept holds true for eCommerce technology. 

 Consumers love the convenience of visiting a website, buying products and having them arrive a few days later. Because of the powerful role eCommerce plays in their personal lives, businesses are beginning to expect this level of convenience with their work-related transactions. If you don’t take action on this shift, your business risks losing sales to a competitor that does offer customers a convenient, easy way to buy online. 

eCommerce Scales Your Sales Team Cost Effectively 

Your sales people can only work so many hours a day. A website is on 24/7/365. With an online store, you’re opening the door for your business to process so many more transactions. Sure, not every customer is going to want to buy through your online store. Some people crave the personal touch that only a skilled salesperson can deliver. But by offering them the option, you’re creating the potential for a dramatic sales increase.

To validate this point, the same Forrester Research study found that when B2B customers buy both online and offline, they buy more in total and per order. 

Build A Larger and More Diverse Customer Base

There’s a good chance that you receive inquiries and leads from customers that you can’t serve profitably through your traditional sales process. They buy too little and not frequently enough to justify the sales and support costs required to close and maintain the relationship.

This is where the value of an online store shines through. Because these customers can now make self-service purchases, you don’t need to invest as much human capital into each relationship. This allows you to continue serving this market, without sacrificing your margins on these deals.

Tighter Integration With Your Marketing

With an online store, you can integrate your digital marketing efforts with a straightforward buying experience. The ability to link directly to product pages in your marketing dramatically reduces friction in the buying process, which can increase your conversion rate. 

Here are a few simple ways you can leverage your online store in your marketing: 

  • Use remarketing advertisements to reach shoppers that visit a product page but leave before making a purchase 
  • Send promotional emails to past customers linking directly to the products that are on sale
  • If your sales team is at an event, they can use your online store to take orders in-person
Scale Customer Support Without Hiring More Staff

An online store can also act as another arm of your support team. You can use your eCommerce platform to host written tutorials, video tutorials and FAQs. This kind of rich documentation can answer many of your customers’ questions without having to work with one of your reps. This approach can help you scale your support efforts without having to hire more staff, keeping your costs in check.

These are a just a few of the many ways that an eCommerce platform can help to transform your B2B business. If you’re ready to take the leap and start looking for the right eCommerce platform for you, take a look at Zoey. We have a complete suite of tools designed specifically for the unique needs of B2B businesses. Learn more about Zoey’s B2B tools

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