While technology is the catalyst to succeeding as a B2B eCommerce company today, the first step is knowing what you need your software to help you accomplish.
In this post, we’ll outline the strategic goals that B2B eCommerce companies should implement and plan for in order to achieve long term success. Ideally, your cloud-based software platform of choice should help you accomplish these goals.
Multichannel Selling is a Must
Today’s B2B businesses need to enable much more than just an easy-to-use eCommerce site to win in today’s highly competitive digital economy. B2B companies need to be able to easily sell in multiple channels.
B2B customers may want to buy directly from their sales representative, online and marketplace of choice. Buyers want to be able to buy when and where they want. By making sales possible anywhere, there’s less missed opportunity, helping to increase overall sales volume.
While it’s important to enable eCommerce sales on your website as a B2B company, companies also need to sell on popular, high-volume marketplaces like eBay, Amazon and Etsy.
Rather than manage product listings separately—which can be time consuming—businesses need an eCommerce platform that helps to automate multiple listings.
By listing in multiple marketplaces, companies can also reach a new demographic of buyers, establish greater brand awareness and create B2C stores to dispose of returned goods or slow movers.
Automated Inventory Management
In order to optimize warehouse operations and deliver on time to customers every time, it’s critical to implement software that enables B2B companies to automatically track inventory in real time. By setting minimum stock levels, companies can avoid running out of inventory.
Not only does automated inventory management help warehouse managers to better manage inventory, it also helps customers to determine if there’s enough stock to meet their needs. If a product is out of stock, visually display product availability on your website so that customers can decide if they still want to place an order.
Accelerate Fulfillment and Operations
While an advanced shopping cart and real-time inventory tracking improve consumer trust at the time of order, a less obvious factor that improves the overall customer experience is what happens in the fulfillment process.
By automating order fulfillment, companies remove the chance for human error and save time and money. Simple workflows or triggers can enable companies to automatically push an order through the full cycle of fulfillment.
Automations can push a pick and ship list to the warehouse for fulfillment—including an item’s location in the warehouse. In advanced cases, it can produce a picking list across dozens of orders, allowing your warehouse team to pick all of the items needed to fulfill those orders in one pass, all of which can improve the time from order receipt to shipment. This inherently improves customer satisfaction as it speeds up the time it takes for the customer to receive their goods.
Because volume or custom pricing is frequently used in the B2B world, it’s imperative that companies implement and display a customer’s unique pricing when shopping online. Customers want to know what their price is when viewing a product page or utilizing grid ordering. What’s my price for 10 items? What’s my price for 1,000? This is often achieved within a B2B eCommerce platform that makes pricing clear and ordering as simple as the consumer experience.
24x7 Access for Ordering
Today’s buyer is not only making purchases when at work, they often want to shop and buy from a mobile device when at home or traveling. By giving buyers the option to shop anywhere, anytime, sales increase and the convenience factor will keep them returning. Such convenience will create more loyal customers and increase CRR (Customer Repurchase Rates) as well.
Automated Sales Tax Calculation
Because sales tax varies by state and companies are legally required to comply with such regulations, it’s imperative that companies use software that helps to track and manage taxes.
An automated tax software solution helps companies reduce human error, alert accountants to what is owed in real time and avoid any costly fines or penalties for not paying taxes on time.
A tax calculation solution should integrate with a company’s eCommerce platform and make it easy for accountants to export the data needed to reconcile taxes owed.
Solutions like TaxCloud can automate this process even further, by not only calculating the amount of tax to charge, but they also offer a settlement service whereby a single payment to TaxCloud, settles all sales tax liabilities across the US.
Reduce Tech Stack by Using a More Complete Platform
Instead of putting together a puzzle of software tools to accomplish everything needed as a B2B company, search for a complete platform that enables eCommerce, shipping and logistics, EDI, a B2B portal, real-time order and inventory tracking and a CEO dashboard.
This helps to remove data silos that make it difficult to understand and view how inventory, sales and operations are performing across every business channel. Without this, many business owners struggle to aggregate data to truly understand how their business is doing.
If you’d like to learn how Systum’s B2B eCommerce platform can help you achieve your strategic goals, fill out the form below.