The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for B2B eCommerce, in order to survive in the market, it is no longer nice to have a choice, but more than a must-have choice for retailers. But for businesses that are already struggling to cope with the demands of a pandemic, how do you adapt quickly, without adding more risk to your business? With so many options out there it can be hard to navigate so we’ve pooled our knowledge and pulled together our top tips on how to choose a B2B eCommerce hosting for your business.
Review your digital strategy that goes with your customers’ needs
This thing is an initial step that people can firstly think of before making any kind of decision. How do your customers want to order from you? Are they office-based and using a computer, in a shop or on-site, walking around with their mobile phone? Or maybe they like to start an order on a mobile phone but then want to be able to finish it on their computer.
Make sure your strategy for your B2B eCommerce platform meets their needs. Some platforms are developed for computers and the mobile offering is often an afterthought. b2b.store has been developed to work equally well on both a computer and mobile and offers the best possible customer experience on both.
Don’t sacrifice customer experience
Not only on B2C platform but also for B2B, over 75% of B2B buyers are now digital natives. These digital natives see no delineation between their consumer habits and their expectations for the B2B world. As a matter of fact, you need to be offering them a superior experience. They want seamless integration between ordering on their computer and their mobile devices. Users expect an app icon on their phone, rather than needing to navigate to your website for every order. Moreover, your distributors expect a B2B eCommerce platform to be fast, slick, and responsive. They don’t have the patience to be waiting for pages to load or for the interface to be clumsy. Therefore, even when you are in a B2B platform, please make sure that you prioritize the customer experience.
Think about what functionality your customers will need
Different B2B eCommerce software solutions offer vastly different functionality. You need to consider the needs of your customers and ensure your solution meets those. For example, do your customers like to use a barcode scanner to add products to their digital basket? Do they need enhanced product information? What about individual pricing for individual customers? In B2B there are a number of requirements that are critical in ensuring that you get the most out of your eCommerce. B2B store has a wide range of features to meet the different needs of the end-users. These are flexible depending on your specific needs.
Some features might need a stronger B2B eCommerce hosting to run smoothly. So, it is recommended to have someone with a technical background check this thoroughly.
Consider the commercial risk
Investing in eCommerce can be a big step for many businesses. With eCommerce becoming more and more critical to business survival few businesses can afford not to take the leap. Opting for a Software as a Service solution can help to minimize the commercial risks.
Your eCommerce solution can be paid for on a monthly basis and can scale up as your online offer grows. B2B store has zero setup costs so you can get online without any commercial risk. There are premium features that you can subscribe to on a monthly basis, or turn on, off depending on your individual needs. The risk of investing in something up front that doesn’t work is removed and so there really is nothing stopping any business no matter what the size getting online.
Don’t sacrifice customer marketing opportunities
The marketing opportunities in physical depots and stores are tried and tested in driving up sales and securing additional revenue from suppliers. Don’t assume that once your customers move online these opportunities disappear. The best B2B eCommerce platforms out there have taken this into consideration.
Make sure you look for an offer that allows you to place advertising within the platform in the form of interstitial ads and banners. These can be used for your own marketing campaigns or sold to suppliers. Also, look out for platforms that enable you to send messages and rich push notifications. These messages ensure you can engage with your customers in the digital space just as you would in person in the physical world.
Above are some hints and advice that you can use to choose a perfect B2B eCommerce hosting for your business. Each company is different in the situation but all can come down to some concepts, so take into consideration carefully and we hope these tips are useful for you.