B2B E-commerce: A Different Animal
Are you stuck with an online store that half of your customers can’t use because they get special pricing as big customers or resellers? Are the tax implications for companies you work with making it so they still need to pick up the phone and place orders directly?
You’re not alone. Selling B2B has many differences compared with direct-to-consumer experiences. The scale of orders, specialty pricing, tax exemptions or international duties, and many other issues just make it easier to pick up the phone and call for help. It adds a lot of time to the process not just for you and your staff, but for your customers, too.
Not only that, but the entire user experience of your online store doesn’t really support your regular, repeat institutional customers. They don’t need all the extras of convincing them of the benefits. They need cold, hard specifications, reseller resources and collateral, and ease of re-ordering. They need ways to update corporate information, apply specific purchase orders to each order, and manage how fulfillment applies to their end-customer.
These issues are even more tangled when you add in the need to do both direct sales and re-seller fulfillment. Many specialty e-commerce options exist to cover these complexities but can cost $100s of thousands just to get, not to mention the operation and training for them. The good news is that even smaller companies have much more affordable options that can fit the bill.
Want to Talk about Making Your Online Store Work for B2B?
Interested in Solutions for B2B E-commerce?
One of the reasons we are so enthused by WooCommerce and WordPress is the ways both can be easily extended to fill gaps that other e-commerce platforms cannot. Both are very widely used, supported, and have a vast array of extensions pre-built by a community of providers that can help SMBs operate like bigger competitors. To learn more about our love for WooCommerce, read our post comparing the various options for growing e-commerce companies here.
In upcoming posts for this series, we’ll take a look at some of those extension and the problems they can solve for you all for much less money than massive ERP systems will cost.
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