Success Moving From B2B Ecommerce to B2B2C Ecommerce
The success of your B2B2C ecommerce efforts is directly proportionate to how you position the launch of your site to your channel partners. Set up your B2B2C ecommerce site as competition or as a potential replacement for your current sales channels,and you’re likely to ruffle some feathers. However, with the proper messaging and positioning, your channel partners will come to see your direct-to-consumer site for what it is—your newest sales guy—and not as a threat to their relationship with your organization.
To position your direct-to-consumer site for success, consider the following:
- Evaluate your big box retailers, dealer network and B2B2C ecommerce site using the same criteria. Set independent sales goals for each channel with the understanding that there are more than enough customers out there to keep all three in business. Make sure your retailers and dealer network understand that they are valued as the preferred sales channel for their customers and that the B2B2C site is a way to reach out to those who prefer to order online.
- Demonstrate how the B2B2C site will increase brand awareness for all channels. As you launch your direct-to-consumer site and the advertising that supports it, brand awareness across all channels will increase. Individuals who find your product online are bound to visit and purchase from a local dealer location. Your brand will gain increased consumer recognition on a big box retailer’s shelves. As awareness of the brand grows, so will sales within all sales channels.
- Create a referral program to benefit your retailers and dealer network. Launch a Dealer Locator or Store Finder tool on your B2B2C ecommerce site to refer online shoppers to a location near them. Spotlight the dealers and stores that carry the most products so that customers know where to go for the best product selection. Create a referral program that gives credit to local stores that refer an in-store customer to purchase on non-stocked item on the website.
- Advertise the customer service your customers will get when they shop at a dealer or retailer. Most manufacturers and distributors know that nothing beats the personalized service that customers get at a local retailer. Promote the customer service a buyer will receive from in-store sales representatives who can properly fit, service or tailor the item in question to best suit the customer’s needs on the B2B2C site.
- Create specific B2B promotions. Promote special pricing and sales online that can only be taken advantage of through a local dealer. Utilize unique promotional codes or coupons to identify a channel-originated sale to ensure that the channel partner receives credit for directing a shopper to the online site.
Organizational Impact of Digital Transformation
Change can be hard, especially when the change could be perceived as a threat to the way a company and its customers currently do business. When companies decide to craft a new eCommerce strategy, they often underestimate the impact it will have on internal operations. To ensure your B2B2C ecommerce initiative’s success, take the necessary steps to ensure your organization, dealers and distributors know that they are a valued part of your total sales strategy.
Take look closer at how this digital transformation impacts every area of a business in this 10 page eBook: Organizational Impact of Digital Transformation >