Top 10 things to consider when evaluating B2B eCommerce software solutions
The B2B ecommerce landscape is growing fast and buyers have high expectations. We’ve seen massive changes in the B2B ecommerce space in recent years — from skyrocketing market value, to shifts in the customer experience. The demand for B2B ecommerce and the players within the environment are increasing rapidly, so how do you know what to look for when selecting your B2B ecommerce software solution?
1: Can your B2B platform increase your average order values ?
Growing sales is important, but where businesses can really add value to their bottom line is by fulfilling increased demand more profitably. By processing more orders less frequently your teams can sell the same amount with less time incurred per order, which increases your returns on hours spent.
The TrueCommerce platform provides you with an intuitive B2B toolset that allows you to influence and encourage the types of purchasing behaviour that best suits your business. Quantity based pricing allows you to increase Average Order Values (AOV), encouraging customers to purchase bigger quantities less often, increasing your profitability whilst delivering better value to your customers.
2: Can your B2B ecommerce software solution help you reach new markets?
The world is a smaller place in the ecommerce era. Customers expect to be able to purchase whatever they want from any company anywhere in the world and it's within this environment that businesses need to be able to tailor individual visitor experiences to global audiences.
The European Commission corroborated Common Sense Advisory’s findings into online language and found that ‘42% said they would never purchase products and services in other languages.’
Your B2B ecommerce software solution should bring barriers to doing business down and your opportunity for expansion up, which is why the TrueCommerce B2B eCommerce platform is built as a global solution with its core functionality catering for regional differences. Combined with the user intelligence that B2B trading provides, the solution automatically presents products in the right language with the appropriate regional tax corrections. This functionality provides the familiarity customers require to make purchasing decisions with confidence.
3: Will your B2B ecommerce software solution help you sell more to your client base?
It can cost 5x more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one and research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company highlights how increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits by 25%, but here at TrueCommerce we still speak to companies that are not maximising their sales into their client base.
TrueCommerce helps you quickly increase average order value and customer satisfaction by providing visibility of relevant products throughout the buying cycle. Cross selling can increase your sales whilst better informing your customers about products that you have available. Up selling options are also a positive way of account managing your customers whilst they are online, informing them of more efficient product options and even alternative products that will save them money.
4: How much time will you have to invest into your B2B ecommerce software solution?
Whether you are launching an online store for the first time or changing platforms, speed of deployment is critical. Ultimately the longer the deployment takes, the longer it takes for you to start seeing value from your investment. Our B2B eCommerce platform offers the fastest time to value in the market. Online stores can be up and running without hours of development. Instead you select the features you require and we configure it.
Capturing sales at the click of a button, from anywhere at any time of day enables sales growth, but companies can really reap the rewards of an online presence when they can correlate sales growth with a reduction in administration by doing more business online.
The most substantial ecommerce efficiencies are often delivered through a self-service model whereby customers can access and conduct all their post sales activities through their account online. Managing account finances, returns, back orders, obtaining copy invoices and live statements of account are all tasks that can easily be automated online through our B2B eCommerce platform.
The platform also allows your customers to instantly view and pay invoices online by credit card which reduces their account balance allowing them to place new orders without the involvement of your finance or sales team.
5: Can your B2B ecommerce software solution offer online promotions to your customers?
Online promotions are a key component of successful ecommerce strategies. They’re used to inform or persuade target audiences of the relative merits of a product, service or brand and with the corporate landscape becoming increasingly more competitive, it’s pivotal to optimise your online strategy.
The TrueCommerce B2B platform has one of the most sophisticated promotion engines available, with the ability to run promotions against pricing, choice of reward items, must buy items and free POS material to name a few. With an endless combination of promotional options, the solution provides you with extensive reporting with detailed insight into which types of offer are most relevant and attractive to your customer base.
6: What ERP integration options are available?
The TrueCommerce B2B eCommerce software solution seamlessly integrates with almost all back office or ERP systems.
With integration that facilitates the transfer of data between your storefront and ERP system, remove the need for retyping and reduce the time and resources required for administration.
In addition to this, you can also integrate with your customers’ procurement systems to win new business and improve customer retention. And, because customers can order online, your customer service team can focus on core customer service functions, rather than taking orders.
7: Are existing customers willing to speak to prospective clients? Are case studies available?
Case studies substantiate the service businesses provide and offer real life justification of the solution on offer. With clients ranging from startups to large global companies, the TrueCommerce B2B platform is a popular choice because of its extensive functionality, speed of deployment and scalability.
8: Will your solution deliver peace of mind with advanced spending controls?
B2B buyers need flexibility when it comes to ordering and payment. Large companies often have complex and rigid purchasing processes in place, whereas your B2B platform should make it simple.
Some customers may want to order products that are allocated to specific staff such as uniforms which require extra controls to track and limit over ordering in a specific timeframe, whilst other customers may need to set spending limits or allocate orders to employees, departments and locations. All of these scenarios can be fully configured in our B2B ecommerce software solution along with purchase approval processes and effective reporting of the respective cost centres.
Providing structures and workflows that mirror your customer's hierarchy and processes adds value to a B2B ecommerce solution by making the ordering process more streamlined and controlled.
9: Will you be able to levy different pricing strategies per customer?
Pricing is one of the most important and complex elements of any B2B eCommerce strategy, so it’s important to choose a provider who can cater for the multitude of different pricing strategies in today's market.
Having all orders charged to a single account, variable pricing for different regions and bespoke pricing for special or congurable products are all examples of B2B pricing functionality provided by the TrueCommerce platform. In addition, when used as a physical product catalogue by your customers and the end user, sensitive pricing can be hidden to allow the catalogue to be displayed whilst maintaining confidentiality.
10: How scalable is the B2B eCommerce software solution in terms of usage/volume/functionality?
Your B2B eCommerce solution should add value to your business, drive improvements and grow your sales, but you shouldn’t outgrow it.
The TrueCommerce B2B platform is a fully scalable solution designed to meet both your current and future needs as you continue to grow and expand your eCommerce operations.
By choosing our B2B eCommerce solution you are investing in the very latest B2B functionality. With quarterly platform updates bringing the very latest developments from the fast-moving world of eCommerce, you will benefit from a B2B eCommerce platform that continues to lead your digital strategy.
These are just some of the things that all businesses need to consider when evaluating a B2B eCommerce software solution for their business. For more information on how you can make the most of your B2B platform and improve your digital strategy, get in touch to find out how we can help.
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Contributor Richard Gallacher is a Marketing Executive here at TrueCommerce. As a key member of the marketing team, Richard provides insightful, accessible information to help businesses improve and grow their operations. Richard is based in our Manchester office.