Ecommerce has become a must–have in traditional business–to–consumer settings, as it’s nearly impossible to stay competitive without it. However, in wholesale & distribution and other B2B contexts, its value proposition has not always been as apparent.
But with end–users’ rising expectations for convenience, affordability, and value, embracing digital transformation has become a vital driver of success in today’s fast–paced B2B environment. As a result, many wholesale and distribution firms are now basing their growth strategies on this transformative technology – and you should be doing the same. This article will investigate what Ecommerce looks like for B2B benefits, as well as its barriers and benefits, as well as what to look for in an integrated ERP and Ecommerce solution.
How does Ecommerce work for distribution and warehouse?
Ecommerce for B2B businesses functionally works in a similar way to how it works for B2C businesses, with the primary difference being that access to the online store is often gated for known customers only. Platforms also typically provide features that are tailored to the unique needs of businesses, such as the ability to handle large volume orders, provide custom pricing, and integrate with inventory management systems.
4 signs your business is ready for Ecommerce
- Manual processes are becoming a bottleneck – Your current sales process involves a lot of manual work, such as phone or email orders, and this is a significant time–burden for your internal team.
- You can’t keep up with demand – Your business is growing – great! But what happens when you don’t have the human power to receive and process orders? If you rely on staff numbers to scale your business, it will always be an up hill battle.
- Your data is subject to manual error – Whenever humans are involved, errors are bound to happen. These errors can cause chaos for both your staff and customers, particularly when it comes to data quality. In fact, poor quality data can cost your organization thousands of dollars every year, adding to the overall impact of these errors.
- Your customers are demanding more information and convenience – An Ecommerce platform can help you build stronger relationships with your customers by providing personalised and more convenient ordering experiences, such as easy reordering and self–service options.
What are the immediate benefits of Ecommerce
There are several benefits of an Ecommerce platform for distribution and wholesale–based businesses, some immediate, and some to be realised across the journey. The main ones we often see in the industry are:
- Better data management
- Enhanced customer experience
- Improved efficiency
- Returning customers
- Reduced pressure on sales team
- Stronger customer relationships
- And most importantly, more sales!
What barriers stand in the way of adopting Ecommerce?
While B2B Ecommerce has become a growing trend over recent years, there are still some barriers that stand in the way of its adoption. The two most common ones we see are:
- A internal team resistant to change – Often internal sales teams become comfortable with how they do things, especially those staff members that have been loyal to your business for decades. They resist technology and process change, and getting them on board early is critical.
- Integration challenges – Integrating B2B Ecommerce platforms with existing systems, such as accounting and inventory, can be complex and time–consuming. At HARMONiQ we strongly encourage adopting a B2B Ecommerce platforms that natively integrates with your ERP system.
Implement a fully–integrated Ecommerce platform
Creating and launching a high–performance webshop for your wholesale and distribution customers is not difficult. HARMONiQ can deliver a streamlined, tailored B2B Ecommerce solution that integrates seamlessly with your ERP system.
Stock levels, pricing, and account information are pulled directly from your ERP in real–time, meaning your customers get access to the data they need without involving your staff. They can make purchases any time of day, and your inventory management is automated off the back of it – from updated stock levels to new inventory order requests.
If you would like to discuss how you can start leveraging B2B Ecommerce technology to achieve sales outcomes and business growth, or if you would like to demo our solution, please contact us here.