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Online B2B retail has seen huge growth in the last decade and is even expected to outgrow the online B2C market by 2025. It’s clear that today’s buyers are turning to the internet and eCommerce platforms to find and buy the products and services they require.
As the buying habits of B2B customers are changing, it is becoming increasingly important for electrical wholesalers to adapt and invest in eCommerce platforms if they want to achieve significant growth. In order to be successful online, there are a number of B2C strategies that you can also adopt and incorporate.
The key to a successful B2B eCommerce site is ensuring that the focus is on functionality and how easy it is to make a purchase. The differs from B2C which focuses more on providing an engaging experience. Below are some more valuable tips that will help electrical wholesalers to leverage online selling to drive business growth.
If your customers have negotiated specific, individual price lists it’s important that these prices are available to them on your eCommerce platform. You should develop a system that allows you to tailor customer price lists and be able to easily update pricing in real time.
Your repeat wholesale customers will often know exactly what they want to buy, and they should be able to quickly find and order the products they want online. It’s also important that it is easy for them to bulk order items they have ordered previously.
An effective eCommerce platform should be able to replenish orders in the future, automate replacements and tell customers when certain stock is available or unavailable.
In order to effectively manage your supply chain and customer expectations, your stock availability should be clear and up-to-date on your eCommerce platform. It is also helpful to show future stock orders even if the product is currently available.
It’s important for B2B customers to be able to quickly access reporting information such as invoices, returns and credits. This is because they will need to add this data to their own systems in order to manage their own inventory and cash flow.
Manually organising and sending this data would be expensive, so it’s crucial to have an eCommerce system that automates reports and makes data readily available to your customers.
Your B2B customers will still expect a ‘consumer-like’ experience when they are shopping online e.g. promotional offers and recommended products that are relevant to them. If you are creating an e-Commerce platform, you should invest in innovative technologies that will create a unique and personalised experience for your customers.
Electrical wholesalers are expected to support their customers during the buying process, and this also applied to customers who are buying online. In order to deal with support issues quickly, you should ensure that your customer representative can access the same tailored platform as their customer.
Creating and managing a big technical infrastructure in-house will be extremely costly for electrical wholesalers. However, you can reduce costs and operate more flexibly by harnessing and outsourcing cloud-based systems.
B2B customers are clearly following the B2C market by buying online. For electrical wholesalers this presents a huge opportunity for growth if they can get their eCommerce platform right. If electrical wholesalers don’t adapt and incorporate online into their sales strategy they could end up losing customers to those that do.
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If you’re an electrical wholesale, distribution or manufacturing professional interested in developing your career, get in touch with us today.