In the present digital environment, e-commerce has given an excellent opportunity to business for growth and expansion. This fact is equally applicable to B2B e-commerce. The wholesale businesses and brands are leveraging this fact and have taken the online route to explore new channels of sales and business growth..
No doubt, retail businesses are embracing the e-commerce culture yet B2B e-commerce is still far behind in the digital race. Most of the manufacturers and wholesalers restrain from wholesale e-commerce because of common myths around online business.
Why so many myths around B2B e-commerce?
The myths are one of the primary reasons why manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors hesitate to take the digital plunge. The myths around e-commerce is the main culprit that have made wholesalers paranoid about their online business success. Read on to know about the B2B e-commerce myths and how to cope up from them in business.
1. Build a website and get millions of customers flocking-in
According to Forrester, the B2B industry is growing at a very fast pace and will become a staggering $1.8 trillion-dollar industry by 2023. It seems that most of the businesses are available online but the fact is that there are more businesses that still restrain from online mode and prefer face-to-face interaction. So, there are many reasons for wholesalers and manufacturers to set up their online business but what is stopping them? They don’t know where to start?
Well, having a website is not the only requirement for starting an online wholesale e-commerce business. You also need to promote your website through all the available channels. These channels help in spreading the word among people in the most convenient manner. Social media, contacts, support services, email, sales representatives and many other sources are available for website promotions.
You can also offer support and service channel to your B2B buyers so that they can contact you in real-time in case of any queries. It provides a sense of trust and also, enhances customer experiences.
Another perk for customers can be promotions and discounts that can be availed online only. It gives a boost to the customers to break the stereotypes and buy online through B2B e-commerce.
Lastly, follow-ups play a major role in online business. The B2B brands can take regular follow-ups on cart abandonment. Act proactively with the help cart system monitoring and support team to complete customer orders.
2. Sales representatives are not required in online B2B sales
E-commerce has brought major changes in the industry, especially for the role of sales representatives. Most of the buyers now-a-days prefer self-service and scan all available resources online. However, many people still prefer interacting with a sales representative while researching a new product, or purchasing the product.
With the emergence of B2B e-commerce, more and more customers are shifting to online buying. This means that your sales rep can graduate from their traditional role and offer additional services based on the new challenges of wholesale online businesses.Sales representatives can play a consultative or advisory role to guide online buyers appropriately.
The gist is that the role of sales representative should not be undermined. They are one of the most precious assets when it comes to promoting your online store. They prove to be a great promotional tool for wholesale e-commerce business because they act as your brand ambassador. With a dedicated team of B2B sales representatives, you can focus more on offering business advice, new product sales, cross-selling and up-selling products, handling large scale orders.
3. Online wholesale business is difficult to handle
This is one of the most common myths in the B2B e-commerce industry. Many business owners think that an online store is a retail concept and does not go well with the wholesale business. But the fact is that e-commerce empowers the customers by bringing convenience, speed and accessibility, irrespective of B2B or B2C industry.
This myth usually prevails in the business to business industry because they have longer sales cycles; the purchasing process is time-consuming and involves numerous decision-makers. The order amount is also comparatively higher than the retail market. Moreover, the business model of B2B e-commerce relies on customized pricing structures and product offerings. And for the same reason, the one-size-fits-all approach does not work in the online wholesale industry.
The online retail is incorporating the features of 24-hours accessibility, product and price transparency, etc. At the same time, B2B market has got even better with the features of products and price configurations to match individual preferences.
4. Wholesale customers do not want to deal with technology
When you use the best-in-class online platform for e-commerce, it makes the processes, tasks much easier and quicker. So, it is a myth that wholesale customers do not want to deal with technology and in fact, it saves time, automates repetitive processes like order management, etc.
Similarly, your business buyers also expect ease and convenience.They are used to online modes of shopping in their personal lives and prefer the same comfort level in their professional lives too. Moreover, your team gets additional time to help you with the priority business tasks.
Automation helps in streamlining the customer purchase journey, provides excellent customer experience and makes deals a much easier job. For example, customer service portals and live chats provide better customer experiences and increase the possibilities of retaining customers in the long term. Technology in B2B e-commerce provides an unobtrusive experience to the customers by making their entire buying process easy and convenient.
5. Wholesale websites cannot look cool
As technology and e-commerce are changing, so are web design trends. A website that looked very user-friendly and amazing a few years back might not appeal to you now. And just because you deal with B2B e-commerce, does not mean that your website should remain static and the same for life. Having cool websites is not only for B2C businesses. Enterprise businesses should also consider the latest web design trends and use them to provide better customer experience.
All you need to do is here:
- Do not focus too much on newfangled web designs and focus on building a sustainable website
- Make a mobile responsive website for better website access by your customers
- Tweak your content into video format to drive maximum customer engagement
- Research well for your B2B e-commerce store and get the set of features that only enhance the look of the website but also, adds value.
- Lastly, engage your customers with regular website updates and improvements.
6. Building a website for common users is a better option
No, it is not true. Building a website exclusively for your customers is a far better option than building it for the masses. In fact, the website should serve as a point of interaction between your brand and the customer needs.
The online buying journey is all about being relevant for your B2B customers, getting to know them, understand their needs, and serve them in the best possible manner.
You can also consider building detailed buyer personas to offer customized deals to the customers. After identifying buyer personas, the customers can be targeted and catered better through compelling marketing messages, customized quotes etc.
7. Social proofs are not required for business clients
It is a common myth that social proof like reviews, testimonials, and success stories are required only in the B2C business cycle and not B2B e-commerce.
Every customer wants to make the right choice, whether it is retail or wholesale. They want to feel that they have invested in a good product or service that has been validated by customers. Wholesale customers would also like to see a great number of satisfied customers before they go for a product.
So, you can encourage maximum customer to leave reviews on your B2B e-commerce website. Some ways of of getting feedback is through post-purchase emails, asking them to share their opinions and knowledge with the wider community.
8. It is very expensive to start with digital wholesale business
It would have been correct if this conversation was about a decade ago but not today. Nowadays, it is very easy and affordable to create a business website. Many budget-friendly B2B e-commerce services offer powerful online solutions at affordable process. These online platform providers also provide an amazing set of in-built features for a robust wholesale e-commerce business.
Busting the myths
Myths often distort the facts and figures of B2B e-commerce and busting these myths is even easier when you know the truth. It will enable you to take the right set of actions and make great strides for your B2B business. Today, getting started with a powerful, flexible and easy-to-use online e-commerce platform is very easy and helps you with better customer conversions.
The modern-day e-commerce platforms debunk all of these prevailing myths about wholesale e-commerce. Try it Now. Book a free demo and start a free trial before you sign on the dotted line to go with the services of any given service provider..