B2B Stores: 3 Manufacturers Selling Online in B2B

By
Max Bailey
December 21, 2018

Most manufacturers selling direct-to-consumer have eCommerce solutions to reach customers right where they are—online. Manufacturers selling to wholesale B2B customers, however, haven’t necessarily caught up to this trend.

But B2B stores are not a trend. In today’s digital selling environments B2B stores are the expectation. Remember, your B2B customers are not in a bubble. When they’re not working, they are online consumers, just like everyone else.

Smart manufacturers that embrace B2B eCommerce, offering B2B stores for their wholesale buyers to purchase from them at their convenience, are reaping all the benefits that companies like Amazon, Etsy and eBay have experienced in consumer segments, and more.

This blog post shares the stories of 3 manufacturers that had the foresight to launch B2B stores with Handshake—ultimately increasing demand for their products and solving challenges in their sales processes (that they might not have previously realized were even there).

B2B Stores: 3 Manufacturers Selling Online in B2B

BUFF, INC.


Buff, Inc.
is a Barcelona-based manufacturer of tubular headwear accessories for the sporting goods industry. Perhaps you’ve seen their products featured in the CBS reality series Survivor.

Like others in their industry, Buff processes orders through sales reps in the field and orders coming in direct from retailers. Without an online B2B store to reach customers, however, they were inundated with fragmented orders coming every which way from their customers (faxes, emails, and lots of back and forth communication).

It wasn’t working. Buff knew that they needed to provide a B2B store to make customer ordering easier and more manageable. That’s when they found Handshake Direct, our customer ordering solution that provides B2B stores for manufacturers and distributors.

Buff B2B Store Login Screen
Buff's B2B store login page uses bold imagery to draw buyers in.

It wasn’t long before Buff starting seeing results. In just 2 short months after launching their B2B eCommerce portal, 25 previously dormant accounts started placing orders again. It seems certain buyers were frustrated with their sales process as well, since they were waiting with baited breath for Buff to implement a better solution.

Now, customers buy more products than ever because they have a better idea of the breadth of Buff’s full catalog. Satisfied with the new process, half of all Buff’s customer orders are now being placed through their B2B store.

WALMAN OPTICAL


Turns out, Buff is among many suppliers that have experienced greater product discoverability by launching B2B stores. Another great example is Walman Optical, the largest independent optical wholesaler in the U.S., based out of Minneapolis.

Walman Optical originally turned to Handshake because their sales reps were finding it difficult to make their customer base of independent optical practitioners aware of their full product offering. In fact, many of Walman Optical’s sales reps were struggling to grasp the product mix themselves!

By implementing Handshake’s full platform, Walman Optical solved this issue for both their customers and sales reps.

Walman Optical B2B Store Catalog
Walman Optical makes it easy for their buyers to navigate their B2B store and find new products.

As a result, sales reps were able to sell smarter during in-person meetings by simplifying the product discovery process—through a digital catalog on an iPad, instead of sifting through heavy bags of product samples.

Their new online B2B store has also contributed to a 5% increase in revenue, simply because their customers are better able to browse and discover new products.

SUGAR PAPER


Sugar Paper
, an L.A.-based stationery brand that specializes in high quality antique letterpress printing, has also experienced great results with their Handshake B2B store.

Originally, Sugar Paper came to Handshake in search of a solution that could streamline and standardize their order writing and fulfillment process during trade shows. As a company that sells handmade products, they don’t have time to bother with cumbersome ordering processes, so being able to scale their business is key to their success.

With orders now automatically synced directly to their Quickbooks back office system, Sugar Paper doesn’t need to think twice about their order processes.

Sugar Paper B2B Store Design
Sugar Paper's design expertise shines through their B2B store's custom homepage.

Sugar Paper now runs every single one of their orders through Handshake, whether it was taken at a trade show, in the back office, or in the field. Orders are synced directly to their Quickbooks back office system, so Sugar Paper does not have to divide their attention.

With all their orders being placed through Handshake, the company has a greater ability report sales, forecast inventory, and inform production. This allows them continue to meet the demand for their handcrafted products and scale their business.

CONCLUSION


Put your consumer shoes on with me again
. Imagine you had to do all your holiday shopping in a physical store. Worse yet, imagine having to call a customer service line anytime you needed to buy anything. If you’re like me, you’d get frustrated pretty fast.

Today, people just want to buy online (especially B2B buyers). For some reason, however, this desired workflow is often ignored, and suppliers and their buyers are suffering for it.

Suppliers who have not yet moved their sales processes to digital B2B stores have lost customers and sales opportunities—and wasted countless hours on manual order entry—along the way.

But, there’s no need to suffer.

With Handshake B2B stores, companies like Buff, Walman Optical, and Sugar Paper (and many more) have revolutionized their sales and ordering processes, increased revenue, and become suppliers of choice.

You can join them! Sign up for a demo with one of our B2B eCommerce experts to see if Handshake is a fit for your business.