The launch of Amazon Business signifies Amazon’s second major move into the wholesale arena. A larger and improved version of the former AmazonSupply, the new site touts its success to encourage businesses to buy wholesale products from the site. Beyond that, Amazon’s entrance into the B2B marketplace demonstrates where the industry as a whole is headed. Business buyers and sellers are feeling the pressure to exchange goods on platforms of the same caliber as the B2C marketplace.
As Amazon puts pressure on B2B companies to be more responsive, they also have to differentiate the benefits between a massive overhaul and a small turnkey commerce solution. The good news is that there are ways in which a B2B brand can build a successful online marketplace without the eCommerce talent or budget needed for a complete overhaul. With the right strategies and technology, B2B sellers can quickly implement digital experiences that are on par with the B2C world and see fast ROI as a result.
With a B2C platform, players at every point along the path to purchase can connect with each other with ease. Retailers can confirm a purchase, communicate delays or mistakes, and easily cross-sell directly on the site.
A B2B site should be no different. Like consumers, retailers or businesses expect a transparent shopping experience. Look for eCommerce technology that allows you to provide immediate communication channels and cross-communication capabilities. If you’re able to better understand customers during each step in the buyer journey, you can show the same level of personalization and ease that B2C sites possess.
Find Production Efficiencies
Business orders are not only increasing in size but also complexity. Wholesalers need to move toward solutions that allow for an efficient process from order placement to packaging and distribution.
Look for a technology that allows you to provide your customers with self-service options. Your B2B platform should allow customers to make larger, more complex orders on their own from a desktop or mobile device. They should also have the option to automate recurring purchases. Aside from increasing the efficiency on the customer side of things, easy-to-use eCommerce sites also reduce the labor-intensive tasks on the suppliers end that were once required with traditional in-person sales methods.
Additionally, with so many important contributors across the supply chain, using a technology that provides and encourages visibility at every touchpoint is vital to maintaining and accelerating product efficiencies. If an order is delayed for missing palates, a commerce platform that offers a transparent supply chain enables everyone from manufacturers to distributors to get ahead of the problem and communicate accordingly.
Integrate with Salesforce
It’s no secret that the most talented and tech-saavy developers often get swept away by sexy and exciting B2C product lines like Nike or Apple.
Because of this, many suppliers often have trouble rebooting their digital presence. But by integrating their commerce platform with their existing marketing technology, such as Salesforce, B2B companies lacking the resources to work alone can access design capabilities and gain the means to develop a more fluid eCommerce experience. These platforms can make it easy to develop a user-friendly site without the skilled eCommerce experts and at a fraction of the cost.
As Amazon enters the B2B marketplace and industry continues to move online, business sellers need a turnkey commerce solution that can be purchased and implemented without the burden of a massive overhaul.B2B brands need to respond to demand for a streamlined, user-friendly buying experience by providing more efficient e-commerce sites or risk being left by the wayside. If B2B companies are able to adapt, they will experience increased accuracy at every point of the supply chain, lower costs, faster time to market, and a boost to their bottom line. With the right technology investments and strategies, B2B sellers can make cost-effective digital changes to meet the ever-evolving needs of today’s business customer.
Chris Dalton is CEO of CloudCraze