Businesses selling online are disrupting the traditional B2B landscape in so many ways. This is not surprising, given the ease, speed and personalisation that e-commerce marketplaces offer. Merchants the world over are always on the lookout for innovative ways to grow their business and reach new customers. The quickest and cheapest way to do that is to leverage e-commerce marketplaces that connect business buyers and sellers with ease.
e-commerce platforms give sellers the ability to connect with customers who cannot normally be reached either in the home market or in new geographies. They open up a whole new world of opportunity to reach a much wider audience. It’s win-win for all. Sellers connect to a far bigger potential customer base than they can fathom, while buyers get the chance to search for products, compare prices from multiple sellers in one place. B2B e-commerce platforms, like Tradeling, cater to the business buyer’s needs far better than B2C platforms, which are geared at the end user. B2B platforms not only offer enterprises the chance to connect with more suppliers locally, regionally and globally, but they also offer extended payments schedules, access to finance, the ability to order in bulk and get quotes and RFQs. This is the added advantage over B2C platforms which have suddenly seen the value of the business buyer, but don’t quite cater to their business needs in the same way.
Sellers who are not yet capitalising on the B2B Marketplace trend are missing out on untapped opportunities and access to a whole new customer base. Whether you are a manufacturer, distributor or otherwise, there are significant benefits to trying out a B2B marketplace that can expand your sales channels with little to no complications.
There are advantages aplenty for merchants who not only get better access to clients, but also have lower outgoings as a result of moving to an online platform. Here’s a look at some of the ways B2B eCommerce can save sellers money and boost their bottom line.
- Low-cost of entry onto a platform
You don’t have to invest in a proprietary online platform
- Save time and money
Getting up and running on the platform is quick and easy, saving you time and money
- Less marketing costs
Marketing spend is reduced as a result of increased visibility through the eCommerce site
- Easy access to customers
You get instant access to clients in both your home market and new markets
- Product testing
You can easily test out different products in different markets
- You don’t even need a physical store
Once you have an account you can upload your products and start selling straight away
Put your ducks in a row
As more and more sellers shift to digital, it is important to make sure your company is not left behind in a competitive space, but it is just as important to make sure you are aware of the potential pitfalls before you embark on a fast-paced tech journey. Before you take the plunge, do your due diligence first to ensure you are ready. Many businesses make the mistake of jumping on the bandwagon in the rush for gold without doing their homework first. It is important to define what you want before you shift to online selling and being conscious of maintaining your unique identity so that your products stand out and you don’t look like everyone else.
Your online strategy needs to be clearly defined before you enter a fast-moving environment that you could struggle to keep up with. You need to ascertain your business capabilities before you open your products to a worldwide audience.
Ask yourself a few simple questions first, especially if you are a small-to-medium-sized business:
- Can you keep up with demand?
- Can your production line cope with a much larger customer base?
- Do you need to hire more people?
It is a whole new world, and you need to ensure you are ready for it, or else you could do significant reputational damage to your company if you can’t meet your new –and existing– customers’ demands. If you are not yet ready to handle online orders, you need to take stock and ascertain what needs to change internally first so you can best capitalise on the financially rewarding benefits of a digital world.
Only the agile will win
This is where business agility comes in. If you are not willing or able to adapt to change then you will be left behind and lose significant market share to others. Once you get your orders – either from your bricks and mortar business or via an eCommerce platform – you have to make sure your customers get their goods in the timeframe they are expecting them. Whether they are in your physical space or on a digital platform, the customer should be central to everything you do, and you must always deliver on your promises.
Joining the right platform that can complement your business with technical know-how and hands-on expertise to bring customers directly to your products, while streamlining your procurement processes, can make each transaction a breeze for you and your customer.
The opportunities for business buyers entering the e-commerce marketplace space are exponential, so make sure you are ready to fast-track your business before you leap. And, once you do, you will undoubtedly look back and ask yourself, “why did it take me so long?”