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We live in a digital era. Today more than ever it is crucial for businesses to deliver strong online experiences. But what exactly is eCommerce? Why is it important for manufacturers and distributors to invest in an eCommerce solution built for the complexities of B2B as opposed to a solution more suited to handle B2C?

In a nutshell, eCommerce refers to the buying and selling of products online. An eCommerce website enables customers to shop like they do in stores, but by using an online catalog, selecting items for purchase and virtually checking out.

B2C eCommerce refers to online transactions that occur between a business and a consumer for personal matters. On the other hand, B2B eCommerce is much more complex. In B2B eCommerce a business makes online purchases from another business. B2B eCommerce solutions must be able to manage complex pricing, quote workflows, advanced product configuration, branded micro-sites, and even global inventory.

What kind of eCommerce strategy does your company need?

While building your eCommerce strategy, it is important to understand all the roles involved within the B2B buying cycle. You should consider how the eCommerce platform enables everyone from the customer service representative to the service technician in the field. The platform you select should be able to integrate right into your backend business systems like your ERP, CRM or PIM.

Focus on designing a personalized experience for your customers.  B2B buyers’ expectations have been shaped by their personal shopping lives. They want to self-serve whenever possible. In fact, according to Forrester 70% of B2B buyers prefer to purchase from a website rather than a sales representative whenever possible. Giving your customers the ability to self-serve is a win-win as it also frees up your internal team’s time to focus on improving other parts of the business.

How can a B2B eCommerce website improve your company’s bottom line?

In B2B, your eCommerce platform should not only drive revenue but also increase share-of-wallet, automate low-value tasks and reduce inefficiencies from redundant, manual processes.

These are often the main goals of implementing a B2B eCommerce platform as well as strong measures of success, especially for newly launched websites.

How can a B2B eCommerce website help manage everything?

To manage the complexities inherent in manufacturing and distribution, your eCommerce solution should have robust B2B capabilities built-in to the platform including functionality like:

  • Simple or complex promotions
  • Dynamic product catalogs with customer-specific pricing
  • Advanced search capabilities customized for each user’s unique needs
  • Multi-site support, including multiple delivery locations
  • Exact inventory levels based on delivery locations
  • Reports designed at a rep, product or customer level

Developing a strong set of business use cases can help you identify other specific customizations you’ll need in your eCommerce solution. A B2B eCommerce platform should meet the most common B2B requirements right out-of-the-box.

What platform has the most out-of-the-box requirements?

This is where InsiteCommerce comes in! Since day one InsiteCommerce was built specifically to handle the complex needs that manufacturers and distributors face. InsiteCommerce is a cloud-based solution that connects your existing systems like your ERP or CRM and scales with your business. InsiteCommerce is truly geared to drive transformational business outcomes.

Become a B2B eCommerce expert with Insite Software and begin identifying your unique eCommerce needs by requesting a free eCommerce assessment!

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View the out-of-the box B2B functionality available in the InsiteCommerce solution.

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