Preparing to Introduce Ecommerce to Your B2B Company

February 5, 2016

When you consider how widely adopted ecommerce now is in the B2C market, it may seem strange that many B2B companies are still functioning with a route to market that usually involves an individual sales person or team, rather than having clients order services or products via an ecommerce website.


Of course, there is generally a good reason for this – the sales made in a B2B marketplace tend to be of a more bespoke nature and a higher financial value than in most B2C situations, and this means a personal connection is often required not only to sell the product or service, but to determine its actual specifications with the buyer.


Ecommerce in B2B


While it is less widely adopted in B2B than B2C, for a lot of B2B companies it is becoming apparent that some ‘out of the box’ products and services could be offered quite effectively via ecommerce. This can allow for routine orders and reorders to take place without the intervention of sales personnel, and can be an appealing prospect for some clients who prefer choosing and buying things for their businesses online.


If you are thinking about introducing ecommerce into your B2B enterprise this year, here are some things to consider in your preparations to do so:


Can You Integrate Your Ecommerce Solution with Existing Applications?


While setting up an ecommerce solution from scratch is not difficult, when you already have a lot of processes in place and simply want to add ecommerce to run alongside them, rather than it being the focus of your business, this can add complexity. Looking into a solution that is the same technology as you already use to manage things like customer records and fulfilment – for example SAP – means you can get an ecommerce solution in place that runs on your existing infrastructure without any integration, rather than adding a whole new sphere to it. You can find out more about SAP ecommerce for B2B companies at www.weaveability.com.


How Will E-commerce Change Your Marketing?


If you have always only encouraged potential clients in your marketing to contact your sales team, then how will you change your marketing message to promote your new ecommerce capabilities? Will you want all new customers to check out the site first, or only those interested in a particular one of your offerings? Would you prefer new business to still talk to one of your reps for their first engagement with you, and only push existing clients towards the ecommerce option? You need to understand who you want to come to you via ecommerce and how you plan to tell them about it, and align your marketing accordingly.


Planning for the right kind of ecommerce solution and thinking about the strategy you’ll use to market it initially is important, before you jump in to trying to add ecommerce to your business model. Through managing both the design and the marketing to create the best results with the least time overheads, you can add ecommerce to your strategy with very little stress.

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