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A checklist for your B2B eCommerce

Actualizado: 16 nov 2023

A checklist for your B2B eCommerce

From online portals to marketplace storefronts, there’s something for everyone in the B2B eCommerce world. And if you’re an ambitious B2B merchant, you’re in luck, as the online selling trend is here to stay. The global B2B e-commerce market size was valued at $7.9 billion in 2022 and is tipped to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20.2% from 2023 to 2030.

But before you hop on the B2B eCommerce train, it’s important to assess when and how to get involved. So, in this article, we’ll explore some tell-tale signs you’re ready for the eCommerce challenge. We’ll also lay out the formula for B2B eCommerce success in a handy checklist to get you ready for the ride.

Buckle up!

Table of contents

  • Is now the right time to invest in a B2B eCommerce store? Here’s how to know

  • Your checklist for B2B eCommerce greatness

  • All aboard the B2B eCommerce train

Is now the right time to invest in a B2B eCommerce store? Here’s how to know

Whether you want to optimize an existing website or set up a new one; assessing whether you can take on this long-term project before investing is a good idea. Let’s run through some green light signals signs you’re ready for a B2B eCommerce store.

✅ Your retail arm is steady

Nailed your sales processes, have consistent revenue, and got a well-trained team? This setup is a giveaway sign that you can take an eCommerce store without rocking the boat.

✅ You’ve got the budget

The bills can rack up fast when in the launch and scaling phases of a B2B eCommerce store. You’ll need to consider the costs for inventory, site development, and everything in between. So if you’ve got profits to allocate from your retail arm, plus a credit line and some cash set aside for a rainy day setting up a B2B eCommerce store is a good shout.

✅Your team is ready for the challenge and in good time

While rewarding, building a successful B2B eCommerce store is no small feat. You’ll need all hands on deck to handle the highs and lows of the journey. Good timing is also essential. For example, setting up shop with plenty of time before peak periods to get time to optimize systems, ads, and listings.

Your checklist for B2B eCommerce greatness

Amazon, Walmart, Alibaba. It’s easy to reel off a list of online stores that have taken B2B eCommerce by storm. But what’s not immediately obvious is the “magic” behind their triumphs. Good news. These winning brands' successes aren’t down to some elusive hocus pocus but rather an effective formula you can follow. Let’s break down what you need to have to increase your odds of success.

Nail your inventory and order management

Did you know inventory mistakes rack up $1.1 trillion dollars each year?

That’s a huge opportunity cost that slows growth and wipes out profits. Thankfully, inventory errors are avoidable. The trick is to tackle your inventory management from two angles: tech solutions and internal processes. Here are some pointers to get started:

  • Avoid spreadsheets like the plague. Manual tools often lead to inconsistent and incorrect stock data. Instead, choose a comprehensive inventory optimization solution that will keep you updated on stock levels in real time and provide insights on seasonality and buying trends to make informed purchasing decisions.

  • Use robust order management software to accurately view your stock availability and where stock is in your supply chain to avoid stockouts and overstocks. Reducing stockouts and overstocks can lower inventory costs by 10%, leaving more money for growth-boosting initiatives.

  • Set up your warehouse for quick order packaging, train staff on efficient work processes, and automate processes wherever possible, e.g., unpacking and sorting shipments. As your operations grow, hire experts to observe your processes, eliminate unnecessary steps, and customize your fulfillment setup for maximum efficiency and productivity.

Map out enticing marketing campaigns and back them with a sizeable budget

As the saying goes, “You only get one shot to make a first impression,” so aim to make it a great one. Marketing will play a crucial role in gaining eyeballs, trust, and sales, and when done correctly, will solidify your business in the B2B eCommerce market.

Your marketing campaigns should be a mix of offline and online campaigns to capture your target customer’s attention in ways they like to consume content and build genuine connections with them. The average B2B buyer consumes 13 pieces of content before selecting a vendor, so don’t be shy about putting your brand message and products out there. For instance, you could mix influencer partnerships, social media, Pay-Per-Click ads, and trade shows.

With so many moving parts, staying organized in your marketing efforts is crucial. Creating an annual calendar with key holidays and events is one way to monitor your progress. From here, you can manage your campaigns in three simple steps:

  1. Scope out your competition and scour companies' social channels into different niches to find fresh ideas for your promotions capabilities.

  2. Plan your marketing campaigns into monthly sprints on the calendar.

  3. Review your campaign’s results and use them to optimize the next one to generate more conversions. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Now let's talk numbers. Most of us have heard the opinion that “it takes money to make money’’. Running with this ideology, you’ll need a healthy budget to generate a consistent lead flow and nurture them for the close. Yet 25% of B2B companies only allocate 5% of their budget to marketing, and just 15% said they aim to dedicate 8%. So there’s a lot of cash up for grabs for brands willing to take calculated risks in their marketing investments. So seize the chance to grow. Study your marketing performance and reallocate funds from poor or average-performing campaigns to your winners.

Organize your sales, marketing, and admin data

Having specific prospect information like their buying history and preferred purchasing method makes it easier to close sales and boost customer satisfaction. That’s why it pays to invest in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to equip your sales, marketing, and customer support teams with deep customer insights. The average ROI for a CRM is $8.71 for every dollar spent, and 92% of businesses say having a CRM plays a critical role in achieving their revenue goals.

Also, reinforce your CRM by going paperless and implementing a reliable document management solution so your team can access mission-critical files on-demand.

Keep an updated product catalog

In our noisy, fast-paced digital world, buyers need quick access to accurate and detailed product information to make the right decisions. So, it's essential to keep your product information in tip-top condition. There’s just one problem—time or, should we say, lack of it. When you’ve got thousands of products in your catalog, things can go array quickly.

Soon you’re sharing incorrect information, which damages customer trust and provides a poor buying experience. So, don’t settle for average product catalogs. Here are a few things you can do to make your listings pop:

  • Use a content management system to update all company assets at scale.

  • Implement pricing software to keep prices competitive and listing software to make uploading new products to your online store(s) a breeze.

  • Use a search and discovery tool to optimize products for search.

  • Invest in video and virtual reality solutions to give shoppers a more realistic view of your products.

Offer flexible payments via a B2B Buy Now Pay Later solution

Want to make your store a hit? Help your customers is to help them reach their goals quicker and easier. A great way to do this is to offer flexible payment through a B2B Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) solution. The reality is 95% of B2B Buyers still want to pay by invoice on net terms. Luckily, you can offer such through a B2B BNPL solution.

To increase adoption and customer satisfaction, onboard a B2B BNPL solution crafted for B2B commerce with comprehensive location coverage, fair rates, and a high approval rate.

Remember to promote your B2B BNPL option on your website and social media and relay the benefits of such a payment option, like streamlined payment processes, better cash flow, convenience, and more time to check the inventory is good quality before paying the bill.

Make Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) a priority

With the typical conversion rate for an eCommerce store sitting between 2.5%-3%, making every lead count is critical. Consistent CRO efforts can not only help you make your B2B eCommerce stores more fruitful, but they can also reveal your top customer profiles, products, and sale channels. You can then know where to double down for even bigger wins. Some CRO initiatives you can execute include heat maps and A/B testing on:

  • Home pages

  • Product pages

  • CTA buttons

  • Conversion triggers

  • Navigations

  • Color themes

  • Images and videos

  • Shipping offers

  • Pricing

  • Checkout

  • Mobile and tablet-optimized website or app

  • Ads

  • Blog posts

  • Landing pages

Facilitate self-service

Gone are the days when B2B buyers expected a company rep to guide them through the buying process; they’re becoming increasingly autonomous.

A VentureBeat study found almost 100% of buyers prefer to take control of their shopping experience with self-service solutions, a 13% increase on 2021’s results. This shift has increased demand for self-service solutions like reviews, product demos, and transparent pricing. Simultaneously, there’s been declining interest in sales meetings and calls, with 64% of respondents citing cold calls as the number one reason they’re less likely to buy a product from a vendor.

If you’re a merchant or work for one, the change in buying behavior is excellent news for you as Accenture found implementing self-service saves companies between $1M-$3M per year. Plus, you can invest the time saved to build assets that empower prospects at scale and generate recurring conversions like blogs, ads, infographics, and video tutorials. So what can you do to help your customers help themselves?

  • Have a transparent pricing structure: Display pricing in easy-to-find areas on your website with clearly defined parameters for discounts and simple yet exciting offers.

  • Use an intuitive, helpful website design: Build a store that makes buying without the help of a rep or assistant easy and accessible 24/7. This includes chatbot assistance on product pages, live chat options at checkout for immediate assistance, and links to useful content and reviews on product pages.

  • Provide educational resources: Create a knowledge base in different content formats to inform buyers how to use your products, answer frequently asked questions, and solve common problems.

  • Utilize social commerce: Set up shop on social media channels your target customers spend the most time on to increase brand awareness and sales. You can combine a social media store with influencer marketing to capture attention.

All aboard the B2B eCommerce train

With B2B eCommerce’s ability to explode business growth, release your team from manual tasks, and drive customer happiness, it’s an opportunity you should be seriously considering.

But to drive long-lasting results in your eCommerce business, you’ll need to pick the right tools and partners. Make continuous improvements to your products, services, and resources, and don’t be afraid to try new things.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” so don’t wait. Take your leap towards eCommerce success today. Book a demo to learn how Sprinque can revolutionize your business.

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