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3 Ways eCommerce Can Grow Your Manufacturing and Distribution Organization

Gian Genovesi
February 12, 2016 | 10:51 AM

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Did you know that 70% of business-to-business revenues come from customers using digital channels? What is your company doing to accommodate that audience?

Technology can provide a competitive advantage  through changes to your online site, data management, and integration between your online site and back office systems. Read on to learn how technology can meet your manufacturing and distribution challenges. 

How can eCommerce grow B2B organization?

Between the convenience for customers of buying online and the cost-savings for sellers of operating online, B2B eCommerce activity is growing. Forrester Research recently reported that total B2B eCommerce sales in the US alone are expected to hit $780 million in 2015. By 2020, that annual amount is expected to reach $1.132 trillion. The market exists, but are you providing the right services for it?

Here are three ways that an eCommerce site can help grow your B2B business:

1. Embrace the “Age of the Customer”

In today’s market, the buying process is very different from what it was even just a decade ago. As that process changes, so must the relationship between the customer and the supplier.

In B2B transactions, it is no longer just face-to-face interactions that make sales. Digital has come to play an important role. In fact, according to CEB, it is estimated that a customer is usually 57% of the way through the buying process before they have their first contact with the supplier.

This means that your potential customers are doing their research online and beginning to make decisions before even contacting you. Because of this, your organization needs more than just a static website; you need an interactive online presence.

2. Give B2B Buyers a B2C Experience

When it comes down to it, B2B customers purchasing for work are the same customers who shop the B2C space online for personal purchases. Just because the purpose of the purchase is different does not mean that the experience should be. Give your B2B shoppers a B2C experience through some of the following techniques:

Make it Mobile

Mobile eCommerce is an ever-growing industry, and 52% of B2B customers use their smartphones or tablets to research products for their business. Optimizing your B2B eCommerce site for mobile makes your site accessible and flexible, giving your customers even more opportunities to shop.

Solidify Your Search Functions

Searchers are your most valuable site visitors, with searchers having an 11% higher average order value and a 2.7 times greater conversion rate than non-searchers. Additionally, 60% of B2B online buyers want a better search experience on their suppliers’ eCommerce sites. Enhance your site’s search functions by providing relevant results, showcasing your expertise, and being mobile-friendly.

Relate to Researchers

Many B2B shoppers use eCommerce resources for research purposes. Comparing prices, product information, and services easily and on their own time is part of that aforementioned 57% of the buying process that occurs before your client gets in touch with you. Ensure that they have the best possible information by keeping you site updated and loaded with relevant information.

3. Get Your Systems to Talk to Each Other

According to a survey by Internet Retailer, 56% of B2B professionals listed integration of website and business operations software as a top planned investment for 2015. Order management is a crucial aspect of B2B brick and mortar operations, and that remains true online as well. Getting your back office and eCommerce site to communicate with each other will significantly improve sales interactions for your company.

Automating formerly manual sales functions not only frees up time for customer service, but it eliminates the possibility of human error throughout the process. The order management process becomes seamless, and data and order information is easily accessible. Learn more here.

Above all, the best way to maximize your B2B eCommerce presence is to partner with the right team. Briteskies has years of experience and a team of talented developers to help you achieve your eCommerce dreams.

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