Too many B2B companies shy away from ecommerce for one reason: channel conflict.
More to the point, they are afraid that ecommerce will steal sales from their more traditional business channels, in effect, cannibalizing their own business.
This is simply not the case.
There will always be people who want to buy in person. Plain and simple.
And the advent of ecommerce has generated a new kind of buyer in both the B2B and the B2C arenas: the kind who researches online, but makes the actual purchase in-store.
But more than that, it’s more important to realize that when implemented properly, B2B ecommerce will grow your traditional sales channels.
Let me say it again: B2B ecommerce will grow the sales in your traditional sales channels.
B2B ecommerce increases brand awareness. It’s no secret that search engines LOVE content and reward websites with lots of relevant content with higher results in the search engine results pages (SERPS). A B2B ecommerce initiative with public-facing pages will catch the attention of search engine crawlers, boosting your position in the SERP.
B2B ecommerce reaches NEW customers. Humans are creatures of habit. We buy products and services from the same companies over and over again out of habit. The Internet allows us to search for a better offer where we might not have comparison shopped before. With the increased brand awareness generated by a B2B ecommerce site, your products and services are more likely to catch the eye of a new buyer and convert that person into a customer.
B2B ecommerce drives traffic to your physcial locations. As I mentioned before, there is a new breed of online shopper these days–the one that researches all the potential options online, but buys in person. A robust B2B ecommerce site will educate these shoppers about the products you offer and, if you play your cards right, will direct those shoppers to the dealer or distributor location nearest them to make their purchase via a dealer or store locator.
Remember, B2B ecommerce isn’t a threat to your business model–it’s your competition implementing ecommerce before you do.
Ready to take your B2B business to the next level? View the on-demand webinar, Ecommerce Best Practices for B2B and B2C.