4 Ways B2B Merchants Can Stay Competitive and Grow Their Businesses

— March 7, 2018

4 Ways B2B Merchants Can Stay Competitive and Grow Their Businesses

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B2B buyer preferences are changing. They want both self-service and full-service purchasing options. According to Forrester/Internet Retailer B2B Buyer research, 53 percent of these buyers will make half or more of their work purchases online by 2018, and 74 percent say buying from a website is more convenient. This means they’re looking for self-service buying tools that enable them to purchase 24×7, track new orders, view their order history, and manage their credit without having to talk to a sales rep (60 percent said they’d prefer not to speak with a sales rep). However, when they do want to speak with sales, reps will need assisted selling capabilities so they can deliver high-touch service. These capabilities include creating orders for customers, recommending products, quickly responding to quote requests, and troubleshooting issues with orders started online.


Personalization is key to driving sales and enhancing the shopping experience, even for B2B. B2B companies need to run targeted promotions and make personalized product recommendations for different customer groups. And to ensure a seamless experience across channels, they must provide custom catalogs and pricing to individual customers or groups of customers so they see their negotiated products and pricing online. B2B companies should also prepare for these campaigns with tools to easily stage, preview and schedule product, pricing, content, and promotional updates


To meet rising expectations, B2B companies need tools to access and analyze data for better decision making, greater personalization, and automation. According to a report from Teradata, 87 percent of marketers consider data their most underutilized asset, and 60 percent of them cite the ability to make faster decisions as the key benefit B2B companies should have access to dashboards and easy-to-use business intelligence tools that non-technical team members can easily use, customize, and understand. This will give them the ability to integrate data from multiple sources (ERP system, Google Analytics, CRM etc ) and from multiple channels to get a complete picture of their business. With this comprehensive view, they can easily share insights with colleagues for more data-driven decision making and deeper understanding of their customers and business.


Years-long implementations are no longer acceptable. Commerce solutions must be cloud-based and flexible to meet rapidly changing needs and to accommodate new innovations. Built-in flexibility enables merchants to not only support multiple B2B selling models with native functionality but also allows them to sell to both businesses and consumers from the same platform. Flexibility will also help B2B merchants easily expand to new markets with the ability to support multiple sites, languages, currencies, and tax policies out-of-the-box, and easily integrate technologies to enhance their core eCommerce platform as new solutions emerge.

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Author: Peter Sheldon

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