Let’s play a game called “Can eCommerce Solve It?” I’ll provide examples of 3 common problems faced by a business and you determine if you can create a solution to solve the problem using a B2B eCommerce platform…let’s begin.
Sales Team Collateral
Many businesses have to deal with the sales team having access to product samples for a variety of reasons, like supporting training sessions, trade shows, or simply to demonstrate capabilities or product quality to prospective customers. The process to obtain these sample products normally involve a call or email to some support group within the business and the requests are fulfilled in a haphazard manner. Many times the requests are not fulfilled properly and not adequately tracked.
Can eCommerce solve it? Yes! The B2B eCommerce solution will allow the sales reps to enter an order, then the order can have their cost center or PO attached automatically, the order can be sent for electronic approval, and can be fulfilled same day or next day. At the end of the year, all of these no cost or no charge orders can be tracked by user, by cost center, or by product line. By using an eCommerce platform, the process will be more efficient and provide better service to the sales reps and customers.
Many franchise organizations (as well as many other types of businesses) have the need to provide co-branded or personalized collateral for their remote locations. These companies have traditionally made the ordering of static or standard items available to their remote locations via an eCommerce platform but have not provided the ability to customize pieces online. The requests for customization of collateral and other materials can overwhelm the marketing team.
Can eCommerce solve it? Absolutely. There are eCommerce platforms that can allow for customization of these types of materials online by providing the capabilities for the marketing team to provide a brand compliant template and for the remote location to customize certain content like local contact information or business hours, see a proof of their work online, and place an order for that item through the eCommerce platform.
Employee Incentive Programs
How about an employee incentive program? There are specific applications provided by some of the major employee incentive companies out there. But how about using an eCommerce platform? Many times, the incentive program is really composed of two separate orders. The manager will place an order on the eCommerce platform to award an incentive to an employee by putting some currency in the account of an employee. Once the employee is notified of the award (notified automatically & electronically by the eCommerce platform), the employee will logon to the redemption site (created in the eCommerce platform), see the award balance in their account, and place an order for their individual incentive. So yes, eCommerce can solve it!
You’ll find yourself saying more often than not, “There’s a B2B eCommerce solution for that.”
The above scenarios are all very typical B2B problems that many businesses face. While these business issues may not be obvious in terms of being able to use an eCommerce platform to solve the problem, the key in all of these scenarios is that orders are being created. Good B2B eCommerce platforms will allow for all types of orders, in all types of scenarios, and include features such as approval rules, the ability to automatically assign cost centers, and allow different types of payment methods.
There are real dollars to be saved and real process improvements to be achieved. To learn more, check out how Four51 has solved complex order management issues in businesses like Papa Johns, GC Incentives, and Turtle Wax.