Think about how often you’re seeing your customers––the number of times your sales reps are out in the field visiting each retail store. Now think about how often your retailers are placing orders.
It’s likely that those timelines are pretty closely correlated. When your primary sales channel is field sales, your customers’ ordering cadence is largely determined by the frequency with which reps go out to see them. You may give customers the ability to call in orders or send emails, but it’s not the most efficient way for orders to come in, nor is it a great experience for your customers.
This kind of strategy creates natural lulls in the time when your reps are away from that customer, creating peaks and troughs of ordering activity that are dictated by your reps’ schedules or events like trade shows.
But what if there was a way to stay constantly connected with customers so that they could place reorders on a more consistent basis? Enter: B2B eCommerce solutions.
How the Shift Is Happening
During a typical meeting between a sales rep and a retailer, the result of that direct interaction may be a large order. But between sales call, the story is lost. That connection between the retailer and your brand/company goes dormant, and you may not get another reorder until your rep is able to return, resulting in empty shelf space or opportunities for competitors to move in.
B2B eCommerce technology changes all that. By giving retailers 24/7 access to place orders, what was previously considered “down time” becomes a time for reorders. Instead of waiting to place a call to your customer service team, retailers can go online any time of day and find what they need.
Some brands, manufacturers, and distributors are even equipping their retailers with mobile eCommerce, so that a retailer can see an empty shelf and place an order on their phone while they’re standing in a store aisle.
How Do B2B eCommerce Solutions Increase Order Frequency?
B2B eCommerce is fundamentally changing how retailers place orders. Brands using this technology are seeing higher reorder frequency and are winning business from competitors who may have less convenient ordering processes.
1. Making the ordering experience easier and more convenient.
Customers will place orders more often when making a B2B purchase is as simple as shopping online at any B2C eCommerce site.
2. Allowing retailers to place orders on the go.
Timing is also critical. By giving customers the ability to place orders with a B2B eCommerce solution on a mobile device, they can place that order anywhere, any time––immediately upon seeing an empty shelf.
3. Enabling better marketing.
With an online destination for customers to place orders, doors open for all kinds of online marketing strategies, like email campaigns to drive customer traffic to your B2B eCommerce site more often.
The ultimate impact of a B2B eCommerce solution?
- More sales.
- Increased cash flow, with less cash tied up in inventory costs.
- Faster order processing, with integrations between B2B eCommerce platforms and ERP systems.
- A more strategic role for sales reps, who can concentrate less on the transactional activity of taking an order, and more on having strategic conversations with customers.
Questions about B2B eCommerce solutions and how they can help your business? Let us know in the comments.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community