According to a recent survey, in today’s corporate world, almost 48 percent of the companies conduct up to 50 to 70 percent of their business purchases online. From Alibaba to Amazon, the popularity of B2B eCommerce stores has continued to rise. It provides an opportunity for enterprises to adapt to automated web-based solutions for increasing the efficiency of their businesses.
Creating a successful B2B online store is a challenge since its ultimate goals are to increase customer reach and decrease the cost to serve the businesses. Companies should have a robust business plan to cover everything from website development to digital marketing, ensuring that all the implementation and execution activities of a B2B eCommerce store are performed smoothly and efficiently.
In this blog, we will provide you with the step by step guide on how you can create an online store.
Why do you need to start a B2B eCommerce store?
With the world and businesses shifting their focus towards digitalization, having a B2B eCommerce store has become a prerequisite nowadays. The points mentioned below will provide you with a detailed overview of why businesses need to start an eCommerce store.
Able To Sell More To Existing Customers
When a business creates an online store, it not only attracts new customers but also enables cross-sell and up-sell program recommendations. It provides a customizable experience to the customers. Thus, companies can better assist their customers in finding the product or services they are looking for, without any interaction.
Helps In Managing Suppliers And Customers
Creating a B2B eCommerce store offers the benefit of managing both the suppliers and customers efficiently. By using business management software, companies get access to the shopping activities and preferences of their customers. These activities allow them to create better and customizable shopping experiences, making it beneficial for both the customers and the company.
Helps In Data Analytics
With the help of an eCommerce store, a company gets a platform to perform in-depth data analysis and generate crucial customer-related information. These analytics allow B2B businesses to make better informed and accurate decisions. Every eCommerce platform provides this feature that also aids them in analyzing sales effectiveness. Businesses can also prepare reports related to their progression in the market.
With analytics, you get an insight into the needs of your consumers and enable you to fulfill them in different ways.
Types of B2B eCommerce store
If you think of starting an eCommerce business, you are likely to choose from the types of B2B eCommerce stores. Before you opt for any type of eCommerce store for your business, there is a need to understand each of them in detail.
The supplier-oriented model is the ordinary form of a B2B eCommerce store that deals with multiple buyers and a few suppliers. Organizations either tend to amalgamate with supplier directories or set up an online sales portal with the purpose of meeting the demand and scalable selling. This model allows suppliers to handle pricing and customer experience that builds a long-term relationship of the suppliers with the buyers.
In a buyer-oriented B2B eCommerce store, there are many buyers with their online store and the number of sellers is relatively low. They look for different suppliers and manufacturers to show their products and accept bids from different sellers. This model is suitable for wholesalers as they allow you to promote products and services to buyers and retailers by implementing minimal marketing efforts.
The intermediary-oriented eCommerce model comprises a third party that matches buyers and sellers. They generally handle activities related to product catalogs and information. Thus, businesses dealing in the intermediary-oriented marketplace have to follow specific rules and regulations to sell their products online. They also maintain buyer’s orders, contact information, and relationships.
Steps to start a B2B eCommerce store
If the primary goal of a B2B business is to establish a long-term relationship with customers, it becomes essential to initiate certain functionalities in the B2B eCommerce platform. It further helps to obtain value for the business. Follow the steps given below to start an eCommerce business.
Select a niche and set up a business plan
The selection of a profitable niche is the foundation stone of any business. It is always a great idea to establish a B2B eCommerce store with a particular niche or sub-niche rather than looking at every industry and marketplace altogether. Therefore, while selecting a niche to create an online store, you need to consider the following factors.
- The niche should have a wide spectrum and focus on a vast range of products and services. It should also provide enough room for the growth of the business.
- The businesses should focus on remunerative and non-commoditized niches to build a brand and obtain higher margins from them.
- Keep an eye on the evergreen niches with steady growth trends.
Select an appropriate eCommerce platform
A good B2B eCommerce platform gives strong supporting pillars to your online business. It is a very crucial step to take when you want to start your B2B eCommerce store. A good eCommerce platform defines the scalability and long-term growth of a B2B business. It also creates a tremendous impact on the profitability and stability of the business.
An eCommerce platform that gives you ease to create your online store, design it and an opportunity to scale up, when asked for, is what you need. Not to forget the importance of seamless integrations with software like CRM, CPQ, procurement software, etc. for the smooth running of your online business.
They should also look for a platform that provides dynamic pricing and delivering services.
Consider outstanding customer services and UX as important points in your checklist to choose an eCommerce platform. It is effective in offering highly personalized shopping experiences to its customers.
Look for reliable vendors
A B2B online store that attracts multiple visitors regularly and has capabilities to obtain sellers is the one that can create an internationally thriving wholesale multi-vendor platform. Look for reliable vendors and consider them as valuable assets for your business. Here are a few points that you should consider when you look for a vendor:
- Their relevant industry experience
- An existing, long-term, or collaborative B2B partnership with different multi-vendor marketplaces
- Their recent customer base
Vendors with good credentials are easy to trust and maintain long-term relationships.
Implement Payment and Logistics Methods
Just as B2B businesses offer a better and personalized way of shopping for products and services to their customers, wholesalers need service providers that are willing to fulfill their needs of payment customization. Thus, organizations should integrate with an eCommerce platform that provides secure and latest payment and logistics methods.
Businesses should also work on implementing multiple ways of payment to wholesale vendors. With the advancement in the wholesale marketplace, B2B enterprises should be flexible enough to implement purchase processes, payment, logistics, and supplier and order management.
Establish a Support Team for Customer/Vendor Queries
Businesses in a multi-vendor marketplace tend to encounter all types of customers. Some will be patient enough to wait for the solution, while others will eagerly ask to provide them with immediate solutions. Establish a support team that will work efficiently and answers all the queries of the customers or vendors immediately.
Implementing an appropriate support system is helpful as it sends email notifications to the support team whenever an inquiry is being made. It helps the support team to clear all the queries of the customers within the time allotted to them.
Every business is different based on its size, environment, workforce, and resources. So, it is significant for business owners to consider every aspect needed to sustain its development.
Changing the working of the business according to the trends and search engine algorithms is extremely necessary to remain consistent in the virtual marketplace. Though the process of starting a B2B eCommerce store is challenging, it is exciting as well.