While we can understand why some B2B manufacturing brands cling to the traditional sales model the same way some people cling to their landline or fax machine, we have to be blunt:
You’re getting left behind if you’re not utilizing ecommerce for your business.
According to recent data published by Grand View Research, the global B2B ecommerce market was valued at $6.64 trillion in 2020, and it’s expected to grow at an annual rate of 18.7% between now and 2028.
As millennials ascend the ranks of the workforce, they bring their buying habits with them. A whole generation of B2B buyers has become accustomed to purchasing things online – a trend only accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before we dive into the benefits, let’s consider the traditional sales model. You have a sales person tasked with business development and that includes taking orders, ensuring the inventory is available, and processing the order. A B2B ecommerce system moves those elements into an automated platform and there are three key benefits to making the move.
1. Convenience and Client Experience
Why miss out on sales just because it’s outside business hours?
With the ecommerce model, you’re giving customers the opportunity to submit orders around the clock, without waiting for a salesperson to check their email. After all, the people you’re selling to probably aren’t just working 9 to 5, Monday through Friday.
Buying and selling online also allows customers to view real-time inventory and shipping information. Clients will be able to see right away what items are in stock and track them throughout the shipping process—the way they’ve become used to doing with their retail items.
This is especially important for clients making big purchases. They want to feel like they have a sense of control over the shipping and handling process.
All of this adds up to more sales in the queue, and orders flowing through the system faster.
2. Integrating CRM and ERP
The ecommerce model also allows you to seamlessly integrate two essential systems – Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
This will allow you to see which customers are visiting your site most frequently and what products they’re interested in. With this information, you can tailor your web marketing presence with pinpoint accuracy.
Having solid data on which products your customers are buying and how often, allows you to fully engage with them. This increased visibility can also help you identify problems. For example, if a regular customer stops visiting the site for an extended length of time or starts purchasing different products, you can determine what adjustments you need to make to meet their new needs.
3. Company Owned Info
With ecommerce, all of this customer data is available at your fingertips, not locked in the mind of a salesperson. As an owner or business leader, it will allow you to make more informed high-level decisions that will affect the future of your company.
Is the data telling you there’s been a surge in interest in a certain product? Maybe that means it’s time to adjust the copy on your website to rank for different SEO keywords, driving more customers to your site.
Adopting ecommerce will bring in new customers and help your business move forward in today’s rapidly changing environment. If you’re interested in making the leap, the experts at MarksNelson are here to help.