My Business Doesn't Need E-commerce, It Sells Wholesale
If you run a business in manufacturing, or wholesale, you may think an e-commerce application on your is not something you need. That E-commerce features are strictly for retail Business to Consumer (B2C) websites.
Not True At All!
Why You Need E-Commerce For Wholesale/B2B Marketing
In today's fast paced world, where more and more, businesses looking for suppliers are looking to the Internet to find them. Gone are the days when a business will look in a phone book to find a new vendor, or wait for the next trade show, whenever that may be, to find a new supplier when they need one now!
Not only that, but even if they know who they want to buy from, the convenience of going to a website, and placing their order online is too big to pass up. Not only that, but when one of your business' clients needs to order more supplies, the convenience of an online ordering system, in other words, wholesale e-commerce, is too big to ignore.
Let's also look at it from your own business' perspective. If every time one of your customers wants to make a purchase, they have to call their sales representative ( or account manager), wait for that person to get back to them, then place the order, that's a lot of their valuable time your system is taking up.
Also, that means you have to have enough staff on hand at any given time to handle all incoming sales calls. B2B sales experts don't come cheap. They're premium people and they demand premium salaries and commissions. They need to devote a lot of their time to maintaining those relationships to keep your products moving down the supply chain. They need to spend a lot of their valuable time performing routine transactions, rather then keeping your existing clients happy and finding new clients.
Setting up a wholesale e-commerce site takes the data entry transactions out of your talented sales people's daily routines, except for those clients who prefer to place their orders the traditional way. Those who are ok with or even prefer ordering online, can do so, so your sales team does not need to take up valuable time taking an order. That order can be placed online, sent straight to the warehouse for fulfillment and the sales team need only follow up to ensure your customers are happy with your business. This frees up their time for finding new clients and growing your business, rather then only servicing existing clients.
Here Are Some Facts to Back Up What I'm Saying
89% - That's how many B2B researches use the Internet to research suppliers and options before they contact you.
57% - These are the buyers who have already made their decision before even contacting you.
$5.5 Trillion – The amount of B2B Ecommerce sales in 2012.
$12 trillion – Experts predict B2B Ecommerce will reach this level by 2020 – that's only about 2 years away now!
69% - Expect to cancel all print catalogs within the next 5 years.
So B2B Ecommerce is already a huge business and it's only growing. You don't have to be a massive company to take advantage of this, and in fact, if you're a smaller manufacturer or wholesaler, this is a huge opportunity for you to build your business and unlock new revenue streams you never would have thought possible even just 5 years ago!
With applications like Shopify and the popular WordPress ecommerce solution, WooCommerce all including support for B2B (or wholesale) Ecommerce, you don't need a huge marketing budget to get it set up with such off the shelf technology readily available.
Now is the time to take your B2B business online and get your B2B e-commerce up and running. Don't wait until all your competitors have already gotten set up and have their online traffic flow going. Don't let yourself be left playing catch up and losing your business clients to those who make buying from them easier then buying from you.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Feel free to leave your ideas, questions and feedback in the comments below.