Even before the pandemic, many companies were slowly starting to turn to B2B eCommerce to improve their sales and their customers’ experiences. However, the lockdowns and changes in business and consumer needs made even more B2B businesses embrace online sales. How and why has this happened, and what can we expect to see in the years ahead?
Why B2B Companies Have Adopted eCommerce
B2B sales used to be very hands-on between seller and buyer. Businesses demanded personal attention when making large purchases, and B2B sellers happily complied. Being able to offer that dedicated attention to a B2B buyer was a highly competitive area.
However, when the pandemic forced lockdowns, remote work and online purchases to become the norm, B2B companies saw the added value in setting up eCommerce solutions for their buyers. People wanted the same experiences when completing B2B purchases that they were receiving when they went online to buy retail items.
B2B organizations also had one more reason for turning to eCommerce: consumer demand for access to items formerly sold only to resellers spiked during the pandemic, and many B2B sellers saw the opportunity to branch into B2C sales. Hybrid B2B/B2C plans demanded online selling options, and eCommerce was the natural solution.
How B2B Companies Have Adopted eCommerce
B2B sellers looking to take their sales process online have faced many challenges. While there are plenty of out-of-the-box, easy to implement solutions for retail eCommerce out there, like WooCommerce and Shopify, these options aren’t well suited for B2B sales.
In addition, merging offline and online data and making the shift from in-person purchasing to online purchasing isn’t automatic with more eCommerce solutions. Software and systems used by B2B sellers also didn’t necessarily translate to ease of use with eCommerce solutions either. Larger B2B sellers as well as those poised to scale were, in many cases, finding it difficult to get the support they needed.
The answer to successfully moving B2B sales online at scale? Working with partners who both understand the complexities of moving to an eCommerce platform as a B2B seller, and can support the shift as well as hybrid B2B and B2C options if desired.
B2B eCommerce Requires a Robust ERP Solution
B2B customer expectations have changed. They now want and expect a seamless online shopping experience, whether they are new customers or regular purchasers who want to zip through the reordering process as quickly and painlessly as possible.
An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solution helps you manage business processes and customer data. When you use an ERP and connect offline and online data as well as the front end and back end of your store, you make it easy for your customers to:
- Have an account that instantly lets them access special pricing and inventories
- Place new or repeat orders from anywhere at any time
- Look up items by name or brand and view product descriptions
- Verify inventory availability by ship-to location
- Review order history and track shipping
- Get real-time product recommendations based on order history
Turn to Pixafy for Easy, Effective eCommerce Adoption
Pixafy’s erpCommerce integrations make B2B eCommerce easy to implement and scale. By using Pixafy to unite the front and back end of your website and merge offline and online customer and order data, you can easily make the shift to online B2B sales that your competitors have already made due to the pandemic.