Modern technology is finally making its way into the B2B world, but many B2B business are still struggling to adopt the technology. B2B businesses have even more complexities than their B2C counterparts which makes considering implementing eCommerce a daunting task. Before you jump on the internet and call the first eCommerce provider you see, make sure that you fully understand a few things about your strategy and goals.
So you’ve decided that your B2B business needs to invest in eCommerce – now what? When defining your B2B eCommerce strategy, start by taking a look at your business as a whole so you know and understand your goals and requirements.
Here are 3 things to do first to ensure you create a great B2B eCommerce strategy:
- Decide if you need a truly custom applicationYour business and customers are unique, and a B2B eCommerce application isn’t one size fits all. While it may be tempting to just go with the first out-of-the-box solution that you come across, this may force you you shouldn’t have to change your business to fit your technology. With headless eCommerce, the front-end and back-end architecture are decoupled meaning you can design your eCommerce experience around your customers’ needs, instead of forcing them to change their behavior to fit into the confines of the software.
- Evaluate Legacy Processes and SystemsAs with any good strategy, it’s essential to define where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going. When it comes to B2B eCommerce, this means looking at your current ordering process. Do you currently take orders over the phone at a call center, or do you have a team of sale reps who tend to write down orders on the back of their receipts? Determine how an eCommerce experience can provide value at every step of your process. A modern B2B eCommerce platform can allow customer service and sales reps to place orders on behalf of buyers, improving the efficiency and accuracy of their ordering experience. At the same time, field sales reps can be using your B2B eCommerce application to better educate and inspire buyers out in the field. And ultimately you want your buyers to be able to self-serve, and place orders online themselves, too, with access to the parts of the catalog their need at the price points applicable to them.
- Get the Team TogetherB2B eCommerce doesn’t just affect your sales team or call center. Implementing eCommerce affects and provides many of benefits to every department in your company – and each department brings different goals and objectives to the strategy. Whether it’s being able to integrate with your ERP, or a better view and level of control of inventory for your operations team, each department should get a seat at the table and will drive the direction of the strategy. As you map out goals for each department, you’ll be able to start building a roadmap of requirements that are necessary to create a custom eCommerce solution that’s specific for your business.
Taking your B2B business to the next level through digital transformation is a big decision, but it doesn’t have to be a hard one. When you build your strategy around the most important parts of your business, your customers and your team, while evaluating your legacy processes and systems, you’ll be able to create a roadmap to B2B eCommerce success. If it feels like eCommerce strategy is still out of reach, Four51 is your partner in long-term eCommerce success and we want to help. Contact us today to get started!