Every day, when discussing B2B e-Commerce software with people, I often hear phrases such as “customers don’t like to order online” or that “they are too old fashioned”, or “they prefer to see their rep”. Sometimes I even get the classic “I can’t trust them to order enough – I know a rep will sell them more”.
Now with Covid-19, old sales strategies are changing, and a lot of companies are now looking to online B2B eCommerce.
But still, many customers often ask me how they can get better value from their B2B eCommerce platform, and how they can encourage their customers to make greater use of it.
So here are some of my thoughts and ideas about how to take advantage of the systems you have, and grow your business even further.
1. Make your B2B eCommerce site a One-Stop Shop where customers can see their order history, frequently bought items (shopping lists), previous invoices or statements, and pay their bills. This will make your B2B eCommerce platform a focal point for your customers to interact with you – and while they are there, they can learn about your latest and greatest products, services and promotions. Provide functions like being able to upload their order from excel or via a mobile app with barcode scanning, so they can place orders quickly and easily.
2. Offer ‘Online Only’ specials so customers will need to log in to your B2B e-Commerce platform to get the best deals and latest products in your range. Add value to your customers’ interaction with your B2B store, provide them with wholesale deals that they can only access online, and have the ability to easily upsell and cross sell while you are at it.
3. Offer a discount or free shipping for online orders. Less overheads for you means you can pass savings on to your customers, and they can get their order faster too! Create a financial incentive for your customers to get online, so it is easier to change their habits in the long term. We do this really well with consumers, so why not do it with our business customers too?
4. Provide incentives for your reps to get the customers signed up to the B2B eCommerce platform, or to place their orders on the platform. Use the power of your people in the field to promote the new platform and excite them about all the benefits of signing up! You can even create a competition among your reps to win a prize for the most orders placed online by their customers, or the highest value of orders.
5. Ensure your field team don’t see the B2B e-Commerce platform as a threat. B2B e-Commerce is not all bad news for your sales reps. Instead it can add value to the territory they manage – helping them to sell more! An omnichannel platform can highlight the gaps in the B2B e-Commerce orders placed, so the rep can fill them and upsell where it adds value. Implement a wholistic rewards system for the field team, so they get recognized for growth in B2B e-Commerce orders too.
Sales Reps can also make better use of their time in store to develop the relationship with your customer, rather than simply taking orders. Reps become their trusted adviser on your brands or category.
6. Conduct a campaign for your customers on the launch of the B2B e-Commerce platform, with easy instructions or a video to show how it can make their lives easier. Any opportunity to communicate with your customers is a good one, keeping your company and your products front of mind. Here is a perfect opportunity to show them that you are making their lives easier when ordering your products, so they will want to order from you first.
To find out more about Pepperi’s B2B e-Commerce module, click here.