In the post-covid market, e-commerce is one of the most thriving sectors. Almost all brands have their B2C portals to sell goods and services, and there are many frontline marketplaces, too, like Amazon, which have exponential growth. E-commerce is more convenient and affordable for average shoppers across the globe. Hassle-free buying and question-free returns are now possible through e-commerce, and the credibility and security of the e-com platforms, too, are increasing day by day.
Over the last course of the last few years, B2B procurement had also been thriving over e-commerce but still not developing as fast as that of its B2C counterpart. Unlike the individual customers who discover the potential of e-commerce daily, many of the purchasing partners are still confused about adopting B2B e-commerce.
The actual question here is that, even when there are many technologies, why do the distribution and manufacturing sectors still fall behind the times of e-commerce? As this turns out to be, there can be many reasons as per the expert opinions. From complex sales channels to innumerable product lines, we can see B2B owners are facing big-time challenges with the retailers and getting overburdened with it to start. In this article, we will discuss some such major challenges B2B e-commerce users struggle with.
Customer-specific pricing needs
Channels partners and customers may not just instantly materialize things. They cultivate those relationships over time. In an online space where everything is automated, even first-time buyers and purchasing partners are the same. The ideal approach is to introduce some pricing and contract logic that can manage the B2B relationships more effectively based on some preset rules and terms. In terms of database management for B2B business apps, you may rely on remote administration services offered by RemoteDBA.com.
Tight deliver schedules
In a B2B space, customers usually are with incredibly tight delivery schedules. They want their items to be delivered in no time as the orders usually come based on the market surge, which they want to leverage. Sometimes, however, these delivered may not be business-critical. Sometimes, it may contain only a couple of items as opposed to the bulk orders. At a real-time example, using logistic tools like theSterling Transportation Management System of IBM, fulfillment of these may be further streamlined. The same can allow the distributors and manufacturers to turn around the orders quickly.
However, it may be easier to have a solid tool for supply chain management for B2B e-commerce. Most of the e-com development firms do this at their best by handling the integrations. They also make recommendations for a very new and scalable tool for logistics that a company can carry out so easily in the future to carry goods from one point to another.
Promoting various product lines
In the case of B2B, there can be many brands under one company. By making a microsite for each of the products and brand, the distributions and manufacturerscan further maximize the returns and minimize the overhead costs associated with the e-commerce site management. A microsite acts as a small part of a bigger system. Like most e-commerce enterprise platforms and as many mid-market priced platforms, it can accommodate the smaller subsets, too, on which the business owners can manage their e-com sites and when they need.
Branch to B2C
This approach can work along with avoiding conflicts in multi-channel sales. Selling on the e-com marketplace is a great way to reach a broader consumer base. On the other hand, some channel partners may get disappointed and even angered to experience that the industry giants like Amazon coming into taking away their existing customers. This can also possibly happen in this way. So, it is recommended that those products that are not flying off the shelves needed to be worked off with the sales partners. By giving those partners the first dips at the top performers, they can stay happy, and some of the lesser-known products can be made successful online.
Many products with only minor variations
This is another riddle to be solved in B2B commerce, which has to be achieved with a robust search function on the site. You need to enable parametric search, which will let the visitor search the same item based on various parameters and attributes. This can be done at a granular level based on the item dimensions and the material compositions. When the B2B decision-makers can bring true value to the commodity items like a nut and bolt, they can choose accordingly.
Custom-configuring the products
Even though some of the B2Bers may not fully realize it, sophisticated e-com technologies may exist, which will let the clients configure the products and view them in real-time. This is a technology we need to attain in the realm from where the manufacturers will be able to enter into the retail industry. As a real-time example, we can see how Converse shoes started to let their shoppers design custom sneakers and how Dodge released their Dart configurator. The car buyers were able to custom design their vehicles as they wish.
Managing customer relations
In B2B space, it is a big thing to maintain the customer relationship in high spirits. In this sector, most of such relationship building is the responsibility of the sales team. Often, it will include better coordination between the outside and inside sales or the independent sales representatives. The website content and the e-com can be integrated with the CRM solutions, including Salesforce.com, by informing the sales teams about the customer interests and giving credit to the self-service purchases.
Some additional issues which may affect the B2C and B2B businesses alike are the lack of e-com development and marketing skills etc. No matter which industry you are into, it is not necessary that you have to tackle all the technological challenges in-house. Many successful online stores reached where they are today by closely working with the contractors to adopt technology built by them and marketing support provided externally.
To tackle all these challenges in the B2B business space, you may comprehensively evaluate your needs and get hold of the best available technology suits to adopt.