How do you increase your B2B business

Success factor B2B online shop: Increase sales with strategy

More and more wholesalers are opening their own B2B online shop. You have discovered the chances of success in this sales channel. But as is generally the case in e-commerce, the following also applies here: whoever invests risks! In this article you will learn all the advantages and disadvantages of the digital sales channel and how you can best proceed with it - so that you are successful in the retail of the future.

Online trading is driving the economy and will become increasingly important in the years to come. This is also confirmed by the market research institute Statista: According to their forecast, sales in the B2B e-commerce sector will be in 2019 to an impressive 46 billion euros - and that only in Germany. The question arises why, given these prospects of success, only 16 percent of medium-sized companies have opened a B2B online shop so far.

But the market is growing slowly: More and more companies are digitizing their tradeto reach more customers and thus increase sales. Because actually More and more customers from the B2B sector are also shopping online. The current study "Online buying behavior in B2B e-commerce 2017" by Creditreform, SIX Payment Services and ibi research shows the following results.

However, new opportunities also mean that companies can share their Rethinking and rethinking structures have to. This is shown by the example of Thyssenkrupp: In 2016, the industrial group launched the B2B online shop materials4me - a shop where traders can get materials. It is surprising that private customers also have the opportunity to shop there. The previously classic B2B company is thus drawing on a further market and expands its target group.

This shows: In addition to companies, end customers are also interesting and the boundaries between B2B and B2C are becoming increasingly blurred. Thanks to simple ordering options and automated business processes, more and more B2B companies are reaching their end customers directly.

Be ready to change: break down old structures and break new ground. A comprehensive change management process ensures that you succeed in this optimally. The following applies: Whoever faces digital change processes in good time wins! Because the digital B2B industry is growing rapidly.

This is how you are successful with your B2B online shop

B2B online shops are promising and yet many companies are backing down. You do not understand online business, you are overwhelmed and therefore let it stay. Some are looking for help from an agency, but they are only very familiar with the B2C area. Simply transferring their concepts to the B2B area unfortunately only works to a limited extent. In B2C, it's primarily about gaining a lot of new customers. In B2B, on the other hand, digital business is turning around long-term business relationships and individual purchasing processes with graduated discount structures. In order to cover these processes, B2B online shops need different and additional functions than shops that Designed solely for end consumers are.

We STARS know what is important for your online shop to run successfully: the appropriate functions of your shop system. The following features are important for you as an entrepreneur:

  1. Customer-specific product display: Adapt your articles and catalogs to the wishes of your respective customer. Show him only the products that really interest him.
  2. Personalized prices: Show prices and discounts for specific customers only for that customer.
  3. Individual payment: In the B2B area, the payment method is usually agreed on a customized basis. Make sure that your B2B online shop takes this information from the inventory control system. Smooth and automated.
  4. Dealer data and delivery addresses: While only one or two delivery addresses are often required in B2C, B2B companies specify other branches or their construction site as the delivery location. Take this into account in your B2B online shop.
  5. Accelerated ordering processes: B2B customers buy in a more targeted and unemotional way than end customers. Functions such as quick order lists and uploads from inventory management are helpful here. This is how you accelerate the purchasing process for your customers.
  6. Self Service: B2B customers need detailed overviews of, among other things, orders, invoices, delivery notes and open items. Make sure that this information can be found in the Info Center or Self Service.
  7. Users and rights: Several employees work for purchasing in B2B. Depending on the position, they carry out different actions: While one person is only allowed to see products and prices, for example, others can order and view shopping carts. Therefore, offer in your B2B online shop to set this depending on your authorization.
  8. Dealer integration: The B2B area thrives on good dealer relationships that have grown over the long term. You should therefore offer a multi-shop or retailer search function in order to include sales partners in the online concept.
  9. ERP integration: The merchandise management system is the center of the B2B universe. Together with the PIM system, it often represents the main administration of all product data. You should therefore guarantee that your B2B online shop is connected to the merchandise management system and that the data is in constant exchange. The STAR experts will develop the interface for you.
  10. International orientation: Think big. Align your shop internationally with the relevant markets.

Do you have questions? Contact Angela Quast- our e-commerce expert the STAR COOPERATION!

The STAR COOPERATION experts support you in finding the best IT infrastructure for your B2B online shop to find. We set up your webshop according to your wishes. And deliver thanks to you Business Intelligence and Big Data Key figures that you can use efficiently for your product development, sales and marketing. Clear recommendations for action - for measurably successful leads and increased sales.

Amazon Business: advantages for companies

Some B2B companies start with it first Amazon Business, because it seems faster and easier than running your own online shop. Amazon Business is the new marketplace for business customersopened by the vigilant online giant in 2016. In contrast to Amazon for consumers receive customers at Amazon Business Net prices and have the option to order by invoice. B2B dealers, in turn, use Europe-wide shipping Amazonto deliver to your customers quickly. It also offers Amazona strong customer base and high traffic, from which retailers and manufacturers also benefit.

These are the advantages of Amazon Business. And the disadvantages?

Amazon Business - Disadvantages: Why you should better rely on your own B2B online shop
  • Show individual customer prices after login: Many B2B companies are bothered by that prices Amazon Business are visible to all customers. Because in the B2B area, price scales and discounts are the order of the day. If you give a customer a discount, everyone else gets it thanks to the Amazon Business-Method with - and anger and disappointment are inevitable. You can solve this problem with your own B2B online shop by only displaying individual prices after logging in with the company account. So customer A does not notice anything of the low prices for customer B.
  • Collect customer data: If you run your own online shop, you have the opportunity to use your customers' data for analyzes and campaigns. That goes with Amazon not: As a dealer, you are allowed to use the email addresses of Amazon- Do not collect customers. And you miss important leads.
  • Strengthen your own brand: Your brand goes in too Amazon Webshop at: First, through that Amazon-Layout and, secondly, the limited opportunities to present your own brand. So you hardly stand out from your competition. You strengthen your brand with your own B2B webshop. You can also incorporate product information, videos and application examples - in contrast to Amazon Business.
  • Higher margin thanks to our own B2B online shop: With your own shop you achieve a much higher profit margin than with the Amazon webshop. The fees for a transaction at the Internet giant are between eight and 45 percent, depending on the type of article. An additional cost factor that you, as the operator of your own web shop, profitably forego.
  • Meet customer expectations: With your own B2B online shop, you can optimally merge your offline and online channels in the purchasing process. In the B2B and B2C area, customers increasingly expect a coherent image and exclusive service on all channels. The change in purchasing behavior is clear: If you want to meet customer demands, it is time to think through your e-commerce strategy. So that classic retail business and online retail go hand in hand.

The possibilities in B2B online trading are far from exhausted. They definitely offer the potential for steadily growing sales - take advantage of your chance! Many B2B entrepreneurs have already reacted and opened their own B2B online shops. Others have with Amazon Business started. And many do not know where to start. The solution: Develop an e-commerce strategy together with STAR that seamlessly picks up your customers across all channels. Your own B2B online shop, which skilfully integrates the dealer network, is the focus.

Discuss your individual business processes with us. Together we develop Your personal strategy for successful e-commerce. Contact us!

Cover picture source: CC BY-SA 3.0 Nick Youngson / Alpha Stock Images