Owning a B2B eCommerce business can be extremely profitable, but it comes with a lot of work and required knowledge and skills. You need to know why the B2B customer journey matters, the best way to market your products or services, how to create lasting relationships with clients, and many more things.
However, sometimes B2B online merchants get so wrapped up in what they need to know and do that they forget to think about the things they shouldn’t do. That is how a lot of them make some of the biggest B2B eCommerce mistakes.
If you don’t want that to happen to you, here are some common mistakes to avoid.
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Electric procurement, better known as e-procurement, is the process of purchasing, ordering, and requisitioning both goods and services online. This is a strictly B2B process that is only available to registered users and it works by utilizing a supplier’s closed system.
E-procurement uses a networked system such as a web interface to connect suppliers and customers. The goal is to get the best possible price for a product or service and do it at the best possible time. If you use e-procurement, you won’t have to manually carry out tasks related to procurement.
There are multiple components that are included in the e-procurement process, such as:
- E-sourcing, which defines requirements and pre-qualifications for potential suppliers.
- E-auctioning, which is the process during which you evaluate your suppliers, and negotiate and manage their contracts.
- E-ordering and payment during which you create purchase orders and requisitions, and receive the items you have ordered.
- Analytics, which allows you to view your spending and take all the corrective measures that are required.
There’s also e-tendering during which you send requests for proposals, information, and e-quotes. E-procurement is great for B2B businesses because it comes with a plethora of benefits. It will provide your business with centralized transaction tracking, contract compliance, simplified reporting, and built-in monitoring tools, just to name a few.
Failing to focus on customers
One thing all businesses have in common, regardless of whether they’re B2B or B2C, is that they wouldn’t exist without their customers. That is why you need to put a lot of focus on your customers and ensure they have a great experience.
After all, there is an 80% increase in revenue for businesses that focus on improving customer experience, and that’s not the only benefit. Businesses that focus on their customers have better feedback, higher customer satisfaction, and bigger customer lifetime value.
If you put your customers’ wishes, needs, and desires at the core of your entire business, it will have an amazing impact. Regardless of what industry you’re in, if you focus on being customer centric, it will pay off in more ways than you can imagine.
Multiple indicators show you’re not focusing on customers as much as you should be:
- You aren’t thinking about what your customers want and need when making decisions about your business and are only depending on guesswork and speculations.
- You’re focusing all of your customer-centricity on the customer service department without getting the rest of the company involved.
- You don’t know anything about your customers besides demographics and other surface-level information.
- You stop all customer engagement when you make the sale.
Being a customer-centric business takes a lot of work and dedication, but it’s worth it when you take into account the benefits you receive when you make customers a priority. However, issues might be in delivery to end customers, like usps missing packages creating impact that hinders the growth of your ecommerce business.
Not providing a digital-centric ordering process
Just because you have an online store doesn’t mean you’re a good eCommerce merchant. If you want to succeed in the B2B eCommerce game, you need to ensure the ordering process is digital-centric while not being overly complicated.
Traditional buyers who want to call up a company and place an order are fewer and farther between than ever before. This generation of buyers wants a different approach. This is why you need to prioritize digital channels and allow for a streamlined, simple, and hands-off ordering process.
One very important thing you need to do when creating a digital-centric ordering process is to focus on providing as much flexibility as possible. This includes flexibility for both new and returning customers, product catalogs, filtering and scaling, and website usage.
Leaving out self-service options
Ever since the B2B business model has existed, the importance of developing great seller and buyer relationships has been on the forefront. In the past, this included a lot of back and forth between the two until the buyer was sure they had all the necessary information to make a purchasing decision.
But things have changed, and in today’s digital world, a lot of buyers prefer to do product research by themselves. And if you want to make that easier for them, you need to provide them with self-service options.
As much as 98% of customers use FAQ, help center, or other self-service online resources and if you leave them out of your website, you will alienate a lot of potential customers.
The B2B eCommerce market is very competitive, and if you want to succeed in it, you need to know what to do. But more importantly, you need to know all of the mistakes to avoid if you want to achieve the success you’re hoping for.