B2B ecommerce is no longer “cutting edge” or “the latest craze.” For manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and importers who haven’t made the jump to digital yet, I only have one thing to say:
Any good B2B ecommerce strategy is going to be built on a solid foundation, but that foundation will crumble if it doesn’t take the needs of its customers into account.
Technology has made it easier than ever to lose customers.
Recently, Salesforce released a report on the state of customer service in the manufacturing sector. This report is full of helpful information, and if you haven’t already read it, you can check it out by clicking here.
I want to start with some basics about fulfillment strategy and then dig into the details a little bit — this is something that a lot of B2B companies struggle with, but getting it right can be the difference between blowing customers out of the water…
B2B ecommerce is a strange beast — in many ways, it is extraordinarily similar to B2C ecommerce, and in other ways, it couldn’t be more different.
It’s one thing to attract new business to your website, but it’s another matter entirely for you to retain that new business. All customers want a streamlined, easy ordering process, but the customers in the B2B segment are often relatively neglected compared to those in B2C.
QuickBooks is a powerful piece of software, but, like all pieces of software, it has limits. This is nothing against QuickBooks — far from it. QuickBooks does what it does very well, it’s designed to take care of very specific tasks, and it doesn’t make the mistake that many pieces of software have made over the years by trying to be something it’s not.
You probably started your business using excel spreadsheets, faxes, and emails to help you keep your orders straight. If you’re like many small B2B businesses, you have a stack of invoices printed to hand off to your warehouse staff to pull and fulfill orders.
One of the most difficult aspects of order management for wholesalers has always been the management of sales reps.
Thirty years ago, Amazon didn’t exist, the World Wide Web was still a twinkle in Tim Berners-Lee’s eye, and nobody (except maybe a few science fiction authors) could have possibly predicted the effect that ecommerce websites and online sales systems would have on the world.