B2B eCommerce Platforms: The 3 Types of Businesses That Have the Most to Gain

By
Nick Flambard
January 28, 2019

B2B eCommerce platforms are becoming more of a norm among manufacturers and distributors selling to retailers and other businesses. As this kind of technology-enabled omnichannel selling proliferates, it’s becoming obvious that there are three types of businesses that stand to reap outsized benefits from B2B eCommerce platforms that facilitate both in-person and online selling.

Here are the three kinds of businesses that benefit most from implementing B2B eCommerce platforms that include ordering software for both sales reps and customers:

3 Types of Businesses with the Most to Gain from B2B eCommerce Platforms


1. BUSINESSES THAT ARE GROWING FAST


Businesses that are growing quickly need to scale their operations to keep up with demand. For these types of rapidly growing businesses, manual sales and ordering processes are no longer practical.

Rather than writing orders on pen and paper forms or getting orders called and emailed in to the back office from various constituencies, growing businesses are realizing that B2B eCommerce platforms, offering both a field sales application and online customer ordering portal, can allow them to manage all their orders in one place.

Not only is it easier and faster to place orders, they can connect their B2B eCommerce platform to their backend ERP system and automatically sync orders for immediate fulfillment.

This speeds up the sales, ordering and fulfillment process, and also gives customers the choice and convenience of ordering through a rep, website, or mobile app, allowing growing manufacturers and wholesale distributors to scale while also providing a great customer experience.

Businesses that have outgrown manual ordering and sales processes, need to be fitted with B2B eCommerce platforms that can grow with their needs.

For a great story of this concept in action, check out our case study with Spicely. By implementing Handshake’s B2B eCommerce platform, they enabled their merchandisers to be more efficient than ever, allowing them to see more customers per day and alleviate the company’s growing pains.

2. BUSINESSES THAT VALUE IN-PERSON SALES

For many manufacturers and distributors, sales reps continue to play a key role, especially when it comes to acquiring new customers, introducing new products to existing customers, and conducting product trainings.

B2B eCommerce platforms that offer a mobile sales rep solution make the process of adding a new customer––and selling in-person––much easier and more seamless than the more traditional suitcase full of product samples, price lists, and bulky paper catalogs.

Instead, reps can present products on a tablet or other mobile device, swipe through high-res images, scan barcodes, easily surface product videos and description details, and also make sure they are only showing products that a customer is eligible to buy, at the pricing that applies to them, with customer-specific catalogs and promotions already programmed in.

Customers can browse the catalog and place re-orders online, but since the B2B eCommerce platform’s sales rep ordering solution and online ordering portal have the same back end, sales reps can check in and approve orders their customers place on their own, and customers can have a seamless buying experience, regardless of whether they’re placing an order in-person or online.

Review B2B eCommerce orders
When buyers place orders on a B2B eCommerce platform powered by Handshake, sales reps can review and modify those orders before submitting.

B2B eCommerce platforms optimize the in-person sales arm of your business by allowing greater online collaboration between sales reps and buyers.

3. BUSINESSES SEGMENTING CUSTOMERS BY PROFITABILITY


Manufacturers and distributors that understand the profit potential of their customer base at a granular level, factoring in both sales revenue and cost-to-serve, can use this information to determine the optimal mix of high-touch (in-person) sales interactions and more automated, scalable online interactions with B2B eCommerce platforms.

Complete B2B eCommerce platforms for both sales reps and customers include something for every customer segment, including online ordering for customers who are too expensive to send sales reps out to every month, or mobile apps to speed up ordering and enhance conversations between sales reps and the business’ most valuable customers.

Sound familiar?

If it sounds like we’re describing your business, it’s because we are! Businesses that are growing fast, using in-person sales tactics, and ready to get the most out their key accounts are the perfect fit for B2B eCommerce platforms.

To learn more about how a B2B eCommerce platform can revolutionize your sales and ordering functions, sign up for a 10-minute demo of our software that was built for businesses like yours.