Why should a distributor try eCommerce in 2021

B2B commerce is undergoing a sea change. Despite changing consumer expectations and habits, the business is expected to expand to $6.7 trillion in gross merchandise value by 2020, more than doubling the size of the B2C market. The choices around eCommerce for wholesale distribution are palpable. 

According to a Merit study, millennials account for 73% of B2B purchasers. 44% of millennials engage in purchasing decisions, and 33% identify as key influencers or recommenders. 60% of millennials are loyal to businesses that offer unique shopping experiences.

What precisely does this mean? B2B transactions are scrutinized the same way as consumer-to-consumer purchases by millennials. They may not be interested in demos, meetings, or sales calls in any way. They are looking for a fast and straightforward way to find, compare, and buy the products they need.

E-commerce provides distributors with several new avenues for growth. As a B2B distributor, you have access to a large pool of potential customers and an easy method to get in touch with them. 40% of B2B buyers expect self-service, which might save distributors a few bucks.

What is the difference between B2B E-commerce and traditional B2B e-commerce?

When a manufacturer conducts business with a wholesaler or a wholesaler conducts business with a retailer, the transaction is referred to as a business-to-business (B2B) transaction. B2B transactions are separate from consumer-to-consumer (B2C) and government-to-government (B2G) transactions. Historically, manufacturers and distributors have conducted business-to-business (B2B) transactions.

In contrast to traditional business-to-business sales, which need salespeople and order takers, e-commerce transactions are entirely electronic.

As a result of the introduction of online purchasing, B2B distributors now have access to an expanding number of online B2B customers. According to Google, millennials account for more than half of all B2B researchers. Today’s clients want to study and purchase products at their leisure – not only during business hours but from anywhere.

Convert your B2B website into an online store

B2B e-commerce now accounts for more than half of all business-to-business transactions, and this ratio is anticipated to grow. B2B wholesalers and distributors willing to embrace the digital revolution should consider converting their existing website into a modern B2B e-commerce store.

You may elevate your sales strategy to new heights by digitizing your business. Businesses with an e-commerce presence have a competitive edge over their competitors. Customers may obtain what they desire expeditiously. OroCommerce supports both traditional and headless e-commerce, ensuring that your website looks precisely as you want it to.

The advantages of an e-commerce distributor

Distributors can benefit in a variety of ways from an e-commerce channel.

Maintain your market share.

The figures are accurate! If your firm is not taking advantage of the expanding number of B2B businesses adopting e-commerce, you risk losing ground to those who are.

Increase the number of consumers interested in doing business with you.

Consider B2B online sales as a secondary channel of distribution. In 2019, B2B digital sales were expected to increase 11.9 percent across all channels. A growth plan that integrates your current B2B practice with the online channel may be possible.

Enhance the efficiency of your sales process.

As said previously, one of the objectives of coping with economic changes in the United States was to reduce labor expenses and operating costs. Using an e-commerce channel streamlines these transactions and eliminates additional salespeople. A sophisticated e-commerce platform should integrate online orders with your accounting and warehouse management systems (WMS). Gross profit margins on sales made through this channel will be more significant.

Increase the size of your consumer base.

After you’ve established a strong foundation of existing consumers, you may expand your e-commerce site to new clients and channels. With the right plan, you can grow your business and geographic reach. For example, the standard B2B technique is unprofitable for firms with tiny drop sizes. You may, however, broaden your market reach by partnering with a delivery firm such as UPS. The same is true for stores that are not immediately adjacent to you.

Acquaint yourself with the market.

You may have access to customer data and insights that are not available anyplace else through online purchases. This might prove advantageous for your product and marketing plan.

Distributors are confronted with the following issues:

Despite much data supporting the wholesale move to the internet, several distributors have struggled to match customer expectations for digital shopping experiences. What is obstructing their progress?

Understand the complexities associated with B2B (business-to-business) transactions

They believe that e-commerce is not a viable alternative for B2B businesses owing to the complexity and diversity of their customers’ purchasing behaviors. Several of the most often stated difficulties include the following:

  • In other words, the contract’s price is determined by the number of customers who are bound by specific terms and conditions.
  • Limited-edition merchandise
  • Numerous payment and delivery options are available.

This is a list of issues to discuss with your e-commerce technology supplier, but they should not be seen as roadblocks to your business’s transition. With the right e-commerce platform, these difficulties are quickly addressed.

Collaboration and culture are critical

Starting an internet business may appear to be a significant project that would require a substantial investment of time and money. If your crew is already overburdened, who will oversee the new e-commerce project? Is your team capable of successfully launching this project? Is it going to take an extended period?

Likewise, you’ll face ‘change resistance.’ Sales representatives may be anxious about introducing a new self-service purchasing experience. IT is afraid that the new site would add to their workload and delay the buying process. What would you do if it were to fall or if it were to be breached? Others may be unable to appreciate the value of the investment.

The whole leadership team will be required to participate in managing change and transforming mindsets. Nonetheless, if you’re worried about your business’s long-term viability, it’s worth taking the risk.

Final thought

Business-to-business (B2B) commerce is booming. Wholesalers and distributors get access to a new, lucrative sales channel, enabling them to attract new customers while providing significant service to current ones.

The danger of becoming irrelevant and losing customers exceeds the risk of entering a new market. If you’re serious about your distribution firm’s long-term growth, you should consider including an e-commerce solution.


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