At 121eCommerce, we’ve helped a lot of B2B companies launch successful B2B eCommerce websites using Magento Commerce, which has a lot of amazing, built-in B2B functionality.
But whenever we meet with a new or prospective client, we hear the same objections about B2B eCommerce.
And they really don’t hold up.
Why? Well, in this blog, we’ll take a look at the 4 most common objections that we hear from B2B stakeholders and executives, and explain what’s wrong with each one.
Join us, won’t you? And see why so many B2B companies are adding eCommerce to their existing sales channels.
Some of them might be. There are some products out there, particularly when it comes to industrial equipment, machinery, and electronics industries – that simply don’t lend themselves to an online format. We’ll give that to you. It’s true!
But, chances are, that doesn’t mean all of your products are too complicated for eCommerce. In fact, if you do a little bit of thinking, you may find that the vast majority of your products fit perfectly into an eCommerce environment.
Let’s say you sell a specialized product like machine knives for processing meat at meatpacking plants. Your company specializes in custom-built knives that are built to fit each unique machine. That’s not really something you can implement in an eCommerce store, since each product will be built to the specifications requested by a company.
But what about pre-manufactured knives that are built to fit popular meat processing equipment? Accessories such as lubricants and cleaning supplies? These are perfect for eCommerce environments. So, chances are, there are a lot of SKUs that you can easily sell online – no matter what your business may be.
You can even use configurable workflows, buying wizards, and other customizable tools to help online customers choose the right products – just like your sales team would over the phone.
And even if you can’t manage to get all of your products to work in an eCommerce environment, you’ll still enjoy the added flexibility of offering your B2B customers a new way to shop for the items and products they need.
No process is too complicated for an eCommerce store. Just like order fulfillment from ERPs (Enterprise Resource Platforms), modern eCommerce platforms like Magento can be built with customizable rules that can handle even the most complex and difficult shipping and fulfillment processes.
For example, let’s say your business has one distribution center in Newark, New Jersey, one in Cleveland, OH, and one in Phoenix, AZ, and you want to make sure that your customers always get their orders ASAP.
If one customer places an order in Boston, MA, you can set up a rule to ensure the order gets fulfilled from the New Jersey distribution center. Likewise, you could route orders from California through your Phoenix location, and orders from Detroit, MI through your Cleveland location.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Almost any aspect of a customer order can be customized with unique rules – ensuring even the most complex shipping processes can be accommodated on your B2B eCommerce site.
On the surface, an eCommerce site definitely seems like it would negatively affect your sales team. We get it. But in reality, this is not the case. Moving toward an online B2B eCommerce model doesn’t mean that your sales team will lose out on commissions.
In reality, an online system can work to the advantage of your salespeople. Magento, for example, can be integrated with a wide variety of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) products, allowing you to gain insights on what your customers are buying, identify new sales opportunities, and track sales performance more effectively.
Not only that, but an online eCommerce store can reduce the busywork your salespeople must do. They don’t have to worry about customers calling them to place small orders – small-scale orders for simple products can easily be routed through the eCommerce storefront.
In turn, that lets your salespeople focus more on high-value orders and building relationships with their clients. And that translates to more sales and more commissions! Plus, when your sales team is out in the field, they’ll have access to your entire catalog of items in a customer-friendly, easy-to-access format.
And we get it! Great service is all-too-rare these days, and the last thing you want to do is implement a “faceless” online ordering system that will scare away your customers.
But in reality, more buyers than ever are looking for ways to buy B2B products online. 73% of people involved in the B2B buying process are millennials – who have bought things online for pretty much their entire adult lives. This new generation of B2B buyers appreciates the convenience of ordering after-hours and the ease-of-use of B2B eCommerce websites.
Not only that, but your eCommerce website doesn’t have to provide a bad customer service experience. There are lots of ways that you can invest in improving the shopping experience – from providing detailed and comprehensive product description to adding support for live customer service chat, building comprehensive FAQ sections, and so much more.
By 2023, B2B eCommerce is anticipated to reach a market value of $1.8 trillion, which would represent about 17% of total B2B spending. So if you’ve been looking for ways to reach new customers, boost sales, and prepare for the future of B2B sales, eCommerce is a great option.
And at 121eCommerce, we’re here to help. We’re experts with the Magento Commerce platform, which has one of the most comprehensive suites of B2B tools of any eCommerce platform on the market.
If you’re interested in exploring B2B eCommerce in more detail, just contact us online. We’d be happy to schedule a consultation with you, discuss your company’s needs in more detail, and help you explore the possibilities that eCommerce may offer for your business.