Updated: Nov 20
Growing your business in B2B eCommerce is no small feat, considering the complexities involved with multiple parties in the ecosystem. The game completely changes when you have to sell to retailers and dealers instead of direct consumers.
However, with the right strategies and approaches, you can expand your reach and tap into the immense potential of the B2B business model.
To rapidly expand an established business that relies on general offline trade, the first step would be to create an online B2B sales channel that mimics the traditional way of working.
But just setting up a website or a mobile app does not encourage adoption across retailers. In this post, we’re going to look into some of the growth strategies that can fuel growth once you have established a B2B eCommerce platform.
B2B eCommerce growth strategies
Once you have a B2B eCommerce platform set up, here are some of the growth strategies you must implement:
1. Optimize the B2B eCommerce platform for speed and conversion
In the B2B eCommerce ecosystem, customers are accustomed to the offline way of working - this includes both exploring the products available and placing orders. In most cases, they are also aware of what they want to order.
Hence, patience is not the strongest suit of B2B eCommerce customers. Any delay in the online shopping process can be frustrating and detrimental to their experience and will ultimately result in poor adoption of the solution.
If your page doesn't load within the first two seconds, the conversion rate would be low.
It is important that B2B eCommerce businesses prioritize platform optimization and fast-loading pages to cater to the expectations of their customers and ensure a seamless online buying experience - that almost replicates the traditional pace of placing orders offline.
2. Streamline order-placing and tracking process
Apart from a platform that makes it simpler for your target audience to browse through your collection, ensure order-placing is not a complex process.
Ensure you meet customers where they are - this can include creating an extensive product catalog, offering the ability to place orders 24x7 and providing something like WhatsApp-based ordering. As the messaging platform has become a primary source of communication across the world, this can be a game changer.
Apart from easing the process of placing orders, businesses should also offer visibility into order and inventory status.
One effective way to achieve this is by providing retailers with live product updates and embracing consumer-preferred channels of communication like (again) WhatsApp. By leveraging WhatsApp, you can send order tracking details, making it easier for customers to monitor their orders in real-time, ultimately leading to a more satisfied and informed clientele.
3. Simplify payments for transactions
To meet the evolving expectations of buyers, it's crucial to offer expanded payment options. With the increasing prevalence of digital payments in the B2C eCommerce landscape, customers now seek similar flexibility in the B2B eCommerce space.
Here’s what B2B eCommerce companies can offer:
Credit-based payment :
Having a credit period and credit limit gives them the flexibility to pay comfortably —a practice commonly observed in the offline world. Replicating this approach online for distributors and retailers will encourage seamless and faster transactions, ultimately promoting growth for your business.
EMI Based Payments :
Think about offering EMI payments through different payment gateway options. Choose the payment gateway that will suits your distributors and retailers. Consider factors like transaction fees, setup costs, integration choices, and customer support while making your decision.
Another way to unlock new growth opportunities in B2B eCommerce and get a competitive edge in the market, is to offer NBFC financing.
In this scenario, your business can grow its retailer base by issuing credit cards to select retailers, which can only be used on the brand website. Schneider Electric used this strategy to provide easy payments for large orders and also boost loyalty, leading to repeat purchases. This also resulted in them being able to increase their base of retailers and distributors.
Businesses can easily offer the above payment options using a solution like Graas which enables setting up a B2B platform that readily provides all of the above.
In addition to the above mentioned methods including payments via credit cards, ACH transfers, and wire transfers, are also recommended to businesses for increasing conversion rate on campaigns.
4. Offer localization
Personalizing experiences is important in B2B eCommerce too, and localization is an untapped opportunity.
Studies have shown that localization can improve conversion rates by an average of 70%. This may include businesses offering a multilingual platform to cater to a diverse audience, or present order total/ checkout experiences in multi currencies based on where the platform is being accessed from. Businesses can easily offer this with the ready-to-use B2B eCommerce platform created using Graas.
5. Focus on experience through data
Be it in terms of the customer support offered to the ease of requesting returns, refunds and exchanges, or the purchase patterns, B2B eCommerce companies need to use technology that helps them consolidate data in one place - distributors, retailers, different geographies to make informed business decisions 2X faster.
Brands can understand how their new products are performing, which retailer has been able to sell the most and gather more insights through similar data. Graas’s ready-to-use eCommerce platform is built for distributors and retailers, but is deployed to also benefit companies.
Companies like Schneider Electric and L&T have been using the platform to uncover market opportunities and gaps through data to meet demand, and offer enhanced customer experiences.
6. The referral economy is a real thing in B2B eCommerce marketing
In B2B eCommerce, the referral economy plays a crucial role in driving growth. It relies on the power of satisfied customers (retailers and dealers) & partners (distributors)to share their positive experiences through word-of-mouth.
By implementing a well-designed referral program, businesses can tap into this influential network and attract new retailers and distributors with ease. In lieu, they can also be offered credits for their next purchase.
Referrals provide social proof and build trust, making them an effective marketing strategy for B2B eCommerce businesses looking to expand their reach and increase sales.
7. Create engaging content and marketing campaigns
To truly captivate your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and get good output from your B2B eCommerce marketing campaign, it's crucial to go beyond generic manufacturer content. Invest time in creating unique and compelling content that attracts customers, educates them about your products, and motivates them to choose your brand.
Use various media types — product pictures, videos, and informative guides — in addition to your product catalog - to provide the kind of content your audience desires. You can also publish case studies for each customer segment to enhance your appeal and attract a broader customer base.
Once you have created a scoring method for your ideal customer persona, you can also use search engines and social media ad campaigns to acquire new retailers. Remember to optimize your site for conversions, addressing specific needs and pain points of those you’re targeting.
Time to elevate your B2B eCommerce game
By implementing these B2B strategies, businesses can skyrocket their growth and stay ahead in the competitive landscape.
To further enhance your customer journey, Graas offers a B2B eCommerce solution that gives brands more visibility and control over the full downstream network.
From building a branded storefront to offering a frictionless shopping experience to B2B, B2C or hybrid model customer segments, the Graas B2B eCommerce solution enables intelligent commerce between distributors, retailers and the brand in a more seamless manner.
Take your eCommerce B2B growth to new heights — Get in touch!