B2B eCommerce: Getting Started
Post on 16-Apr-2017
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B2B eCommerce:Getting Started
1.3 Your questions, answered
Moving into a new channel or going from offline to online can be daunting and were sure youll have lots of questions. Here are 3 common ones:
Depending on lots of factors of your business, like how tech savvy you are, and how much data you have to upload, it will take you some time to get setup and figure out how to make the most of your online platform. But once you do, the time investment will quickly be worth it.
With everything automated and connected youll be saving big time in operations in the future.
Unless youre working with some really old-school computers, you shouldnt have to invest a lot in your laptops and other devices. Because your storefront is online, along with all your backend operations, the only investment required will be in the software youll be using.
You can keep your business running just as it is, the only difference is how you store the information and interact with it.
2. Do I need to buy a bunch of new
stuff to support going online?
1. How much time will I have to
invest to get online?
2.1 Your wholesale workflows and how theyll get better
Your day-to-day workflows as a wholesaler will also benefit from getting online. Overall, theyll be simpler, with all the information you need in one centralized place, your workflows will get more efficient and accurate. Here are a few examples.
These are all to do with the more technical aspects of the day-to-day. Your high-level workflows will also benefit from online operations.
Sales teams have better information when youre online,
along with quick and easy access to product
catalogs, product photos and updated
These workflows will benefit from real-time
updates and centralized data. When the status of any of these items
changes, i.e. from packed to shipped
online updates simplify the process.
purchase orders With in-house fulfillment, everyone
in the company will be working from the same,
updated inventory levels. With a 3PL,
operating online means better communication
3.1 Optimize your site!
Once youve moved your business online, how can you optimize it? You want to make sure it stands out from the hundreds of other businesses that are sure to get in on the B2B eCommerce market as well.
Spend some time making sure your products are showcased in their best light in your online product catalogs. Spend the time to write long, detailed product descriptions and to create quality product photos. For photos, use plenty of natural light and a solid background. Consistency in your photos makes them look good as a collection. These details, if theyre good, can convince a customer to buy from you without seeing or touching the product in person.
Personalize your store and make sure that you have a strong brand. In many cases, if customers are shopping online, your brand may be the only way they get to meet you. If its strong enough, it can substitute those in-person relationships that are important in B2B exchanges. Choose an online platform that lets you personalize your store (like TradeGecko!), to make sure your branding comes through on everything from packaging to quality standards.
There are several areas you can focus on when it comes to making your site stand out. In particular, SEO, product catalogs and branding.
Higher quality images rank higher in search engine results. Ensure your file name is descriptive of whats in the pictures, which will also improve your ranking in search results.
2. OPTIMIZE PRODUCT IMAGES
Use the same URL structure for all your pages, and make sure that each page is easily linked to. The words in the URL should also relate to the content thats actually on the page.
4. STRUCTURE YOUR URL
Another way to optimize your site is to make sure that people can find it. This is where Search Engine Optimization or SEO comes into play. Here are a few key tips for SEO optimization, find the rest here.
Instead of creating pages and hoping people will search for them, do it the other way around. Think first about what customers search for and create pages for those needs.
1. CREATE PAGES FOR SEARCHES
Include well-written copy on every page and for every product that uses key search words. Make sure that all the copy is unique and isnt duplicated anywhere around your site.
3. MAKE YOUR COPY GOOD
3.2 Working with your customers
So how does moving to a B2B eCommerce platform impact your customers? What about when your customers have to change the way theyve been ordering? Will they adapt? To those concerns, we have one word: empowerment.
Moving online empowers your customers to take ordering into their own hands. They will be able to get online at times that are convenient for them. If they have a question about the product, they log in to their personal account and see the details from themselves.
Private online platforms allow for customized pricing, which helps you control what your customers see.
They no longer have to wait for you to make an order, they can do it in their own time. This means no more waiting for the sales team to be available, being able to order on bank holidays or other times when youre not in the office.
Working with international customers becomes a much more viable option, as time zone issues will be great reduced.
You can make wholesale online ordering as easy, convenient and pleasurable as online shopping!
If you use a review or reference section, those all-important B2B customer referrals will be up for customers to look at at any time, letting your wholesale website spread the word, even when youre not doing the talking.
In the end, moving online makes it easier for the customer to order from you. It saves them (and you!) time spent on phone calls, paperwork, and waiting for forms to be sent back and forth. The time they save allows them to focus on other aspects of their own business.
B2B eCommerce is all about time savings and empowerment - things both you and your customers can never get enough of!
Visit tradegecko.comto download the full eBook!