If the Pandemic has taught businesses anything, it’s the importance of having an online presence.
Case in point: Primary, one of Europe’s biggest retailers sees its revenue plummet from hundreds of millions to…wait for it, zero all because they didn’t have an eCommerce presence.
Every year, consumers from both B2C and B2B are increasingly turning online to make their purchase and the B2B eCommerce trend is all and well in full force with the sector expected to be worth a whopping $6.7 Trillion by 2020.
It is still surprising to find so many wholesale and B2B businesses are still not leveraging the incredible growth they can find online and if your business is one of them, here are just a few benefits of how adding an eCommerce element to your operations can help your business grow.
1- Engage with buyers 24/7
Many wholesalers depend on phone calls or trade shows to engage with retailers, but it’s 2020 and that’s simply not enough.
If you want to attract more customers and generate more leads, you should set up additional ways to engage with them 24/7. Ecommerce lets you do that.
For example, you can offer an online catalog that keeps potential buyers interested in your products. It also helps you build hype for your product as you will be able to show everything you have virtually.
Partnering with top ecommerce agencies in London will help you start your own ecommerce store where you can start selling your products online with ease.
Another advantage of a B2B online store is that there is no limitation that you have with physical space on how much information you can add- demo videos, reviews, and testimonials to highlight why customers should choose you over your competitors.
By integrating a chatbot on your website, you can instantly answer the most common questions of your buyers. Besides, chatbots can also help you capture the prospect’s information, enabling you to retarget them later.
2- Get More Sales
One of the obvious benefits of eCommerce is that it helps you accept sales even outside of business hours and quite simply, the more hours you can sell, the higher your sales are likely to be.
Wholesale ecommerce, combined with digital marketing, can help you get in front of potential buyers right when they’re looking for it. You can also leverage other online channels, such as email marketing, social media, and paid ads to target more customers and drive them to your website.
Another benefit is that you can also offer personalized recommendations to customers based on their browsing behavior and purchase history. This not only engages the customer but also increases the chances of upselling.
Unlike in traditional wholesale ordering where you calculate pricing based on volume manually, ecommerce can help you display high volume quotes accurately and instantly. This makes it even smoother to place wholesale orders online.
3- Boost Brand Awareness
Many wholesalers still rely on word-of-mouth marketing and a single faceted marketing approach used to work just fine a decade or two ago but won’t be that effective anymore.
Consumers are getting tech-savvy and their search for a product or service like yours will usually begin online so if you’re nowhere to be found, that makes generating new business that much more challenging.
This is where Content marketing comes in and is one of the best ways to boost brand awareness. It costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates three times as many leads.
Even B2B wholesale companies like ThomasNet (an online supplier discovery platform) uses content marketing to increase their online visibility and drive traffic to their website. they publish articles on topics related to their business, such as manufacturers, warehouses, and more.
4- Manage Supply Chain Effectively
The benefits of going online isn’t just limited to your own wholesale business either.
Ecommerce and ERP systems can help create a bridge between your business and that of your suppliers making the entire process more seamless and easier to manage and scale.
Not to mention, much quicker tools such as one-tap re-ordering, you can make it easier for your customers and suppliers to make repeat purchases a breeze.
5- Reach Mobile Users
There has been massive growth in the number of mobile consumers. 70% of B2B buyers report that they have increased their mobile usage over the past few years. And, 40% of all online transactions are made on a mobile device.
By optimizing your ecommerce website for mobile, you get the opportunity to reach a wider audience and increase sales.
You can also incorporate mobile apps so that when your sales reps are on the move, they can display all your products on the mobile or tablet’s screen which makes for a more immersive (read: effective) presentation.
PWAs (Progressive Web App) that works even without the internet connection by leveraging cached data during your last interactions means the sales process can continue even without the internet. Sidenote: PWAs increase the average conversion rate by 52%.
Companies like Alibaba have created effective PWAs to engage more users and drive repeat business. Their PWA highlights the most important parts above the fold, such as messages, requests for quotation, and account.
6- Lower Operating Cost
When moving your wholesale business online, you eliminate a lot of overhead company expenses. For example, when setting up a physical store, you have to consider costs, such as rent, maintenance, electricity, etc. However, in the case of ecommerce, you only have to invest in creating an online store and managing it, which is way less than operating an offline store
Your main costs are to do with the eCommerce site build, the ongoing maintenance and hosting.
Another place you reduce the operating cost is in advertising. A lot of money is spent on printing flyers, billboards, and even TV ads. With ecommerce, your main investment will be in digital marketing which is proven to be far more cost and time effective in generating sales vs traditional media.
Hopefully, this article gives you enough food for thought for testing the eCommerce waters if your business hasn’t done so already.
If you need help or to speak to someone, we’d love to hear from you.