As B2C (business to consumer) sales have skyrocketed with the growth of eCommerce, many B2B (business to business) companies are beginning to take their first steps into the world of online sales.
According to Internet Retailer, online B2B sales will grow to about $1.13 trillion by the year 2020, which shows just how much potential is available for B2C companies online.
eCommerce has many benefits to offer B2B businesses, however it does come with its own set of unique challenges that many B2B business owners may not expect. These challenges serve as barriers for B2B business operating online, however they can be overcome to achieve exponential growth, as long as you have the patience and know-how to make it happen.
One of the biggest issues many B2B companies run into when operating online is the personal preference of their customers. According to many B2B sellers, the biggest challenge they face when opening an online store comes from the customers themselves, as not all of their clientele is interesting in doing business over the internet.
There are many reasons customers may not want to shop online; some may be concerned about security issues, while others may feel overwhelmed by the change.
If a company pressures its customers to switch from in-person sales to online sales, it’s understandable that some clients will be reluctant to give in to the idea.
Customer reluctance to online sales is a real issue for many B2B companies, however it can be combated with the right strategy. If you’re looking to beat customer reluctance effectively, your first step should be to include a reliable online sales support team to help your customers. This team should be able to thoroughly answer any questions your customers might have, and should be trained to put any concerns over security at rest. This should be combined with effective email marketing methods in order to get word out about your online shopping experience, without making the customer feel pressured along the way.
Another major reason many B2B customers are hesitant to shop online is as a result of the company’s website itself. It’s common knowledge that customers want a responsive and simple web experience when shopping online, and this is applicable to online B2B companies as well.
A proper eCommerce website should not only look great, but it should include the following factors as well:
- Updated and relevant content.
- Online loyalty programs
- Dedicated online teams of professionals who are ready to help customers with any questions or concerns they may have throughout the process.
By incorporating the above factors, B2B companies can give their business an effective website that suits the needs and requests of their customers.
Finally, the biggest issue many online B2B companies have when operating an online store is with the capabilities of their website itself. If you’re looking into running an online store for your B2B organization, you must first understand that not all websites are designed the same. In order to handle your many sales, you’ll need to invest in a website that can cope, otherwise you’ll hurt your company in the long run.
The only way to create a website that can handle your business is to invest in the right team, commerce platform and the tools to make it happen.
Unless you happen to be an experienced web developer, you’ll need to hire an Agency that can create a website for your business that can handle your orders. My team and I are available each month for a select few new projects. Message me >> here.
This as an investment for your company, and you’ll be sure to see the benefits of a fully functioning B2B web store in no time.