B2B E Commerce Buzzword or Business StrategyAs a manufacturer or distributor you are probably hearing a lot about B2B ecommerce these days. There’s a lot of buzz about how ecommerce is changing the playing field for B2B businesses across the country.

Chances are good that you are in one of the following camps:

  • Maybe you’re kicking around the idea of implementing a B2B ecommerce strategy to grow sales.
  • Or maybe you’ve heard that your competitors are taking their business online and you want to stay ahead of the competition.
  • Perhaps ecommerce is the next big project being handed down to you from your executive team.
  • Maybe you think ecommerce for manufacturers and distributors is just a fad that will disappear eventually as all fads do.
  • Or maybe you know you need to have an ecommerce strategy–but where to start?

How do you cut through all the noise?

While there is a plenty of “buzz” otherwise known as industry attention around B2B ecommerce and the profound effect it can have on a company’s bottom line, B2B ecommerce is not a fad. B2B ecommerce is changing how B2B companies conduct business. These changes allow B2B organizations to reach new customers, improve service to existing customers, streamline processes and cut costs—all at the same time.

Here are some resources that you might find helpful based on where you’re currently at with B2B ecommerce:

Just kicking tires. If you’re out there kicking tires on ecommerce platforms, no doubt you’re a little overwhelmed by the over-abundance of information on some topics and the surprising lack of information on others. Quite often, B2B business processes are hidden behind password-protected portals, so feel free to use the following resources to get you started on researching B2B ecommerce:

Ecommerce as a B2B Growth Strategy

7 Reasons Distributors (and Manufacturers!) Should Get Into Ecommerce in 2011

Pondering an Open-Source Ecommerce Platform? Read This!

Leapfrog Your Competition With B2B Ecommerce

Gaining the competitive edge. As more B2B organizations recognize the untapped opportunity in B2B ecommerce, the competitive edge goes to the first movers. If you don’t have an ecommerce site yet, you are probably scrambling to get one launched. If already have a site, you are probably looking for ways to eclipse the competition and make your site even better. Consider these resources:

Nine Things Your Ecommerce Customers Won’t Tell You

FIXED! Nine Things Your Ecommerce Customers Won’t Tell You

Trends in B2B Ecommerce for 2011 and Beyond

You Know Your Ecommerce Content Stinks When…

The next big project from senior management. If senior management has earmarked B2B ecommerce as your organization’s next big project, no doubt you will be well on your way to an ecommerce site by the end of the year. Be the hero and lead the charge into ecommerce with the proven strategies in the following articles:

8 Steps to Creating a Comprehensive Ecommerce Strategy

How NOT to Choose an Enterprise Ecommerce Platform

Before You Buy Enterprise Ecommerce Software

What Are Your B2B E-Commerce Goals?

Where to start? If you are in this category, you know you NEED an ecommerce site but you’re looking for a good set of guidelines to get you started off on the right foot. Consider the follow posts as starting places:

Creating an Ecommerce Launch Team

B2B Ecommerce Site Design Tips

5 Reasons Why Choosing Ecommerce Software is Like Getting Married

8 Steps to Creating a Comprehensive Ecommerce Strategy

Just a fad. Whether its executive leadership that thinks B2B ecommerce is a fad or whether you have your own misgivings, it’s time to examine the facts and consider the implications of NOT having an ecommerce initiative in place. Can you afford to wait?

The Benefits of B2B Ecommerce

How B2B Ecommerce Improves Customer Service

Will Ecommerce Cannibalize My B2B Business?

Definitely buzz-worthy, B2B ecommerce is not passing fad. A new endeavor for some companies, B2B ecommerce is a solid business strategy that will help manufacturers and distributors reach new customers, increase efficiencies, and cut costs.

To discover how a B2B ecommerce initiative will grow your organization, download the white paper, B2B Ecommerce Success—Seven Questions to Consider When Beginning an Ecommerce Initiative.

Photo credit: Bob_Rayner via Flickr