B2B eCommerce Platforms. You’ve heard the term before, but what exactly is the deal with these things? Don’t worry, we’re here to help.
B2B eCommerce platforms can be a lot of things, but at Traede, we have a pretty clear idea about what B2B eCommerce should be. A B2B eCommerce platform should let you to handle all your products, customers and incoming orders in a single place. It’s a way of taking the best features of the online B2C world and implementing them into the B2B world. One example is the ability for you to take orders 24 hours a day, every single day. Or to manage your operations from a single platform, reducing errors and saving time. These are features that have completely revolutionised traditional shopping. Now they’re ready to revolutionise wholesale and the B2B eCommerce space.
The Biggest Feature in a B2B ecommerce platform
One key feature of the B2B eCommerce ecosystem is the B2B webshop. But what exactly is that? Well, think of it as a normal webshop, except it’s used to sell wholesale to businesses, instead of to end-consumers. You can manage products, display different variants and invite retailers to place orders. Unlike by phone, email or face to face, retailers can place orders every second of every day. This moves the responsibility of taking orders off your shoulders and places it in the hands of your customers. You can read more about B2B webshops on our blog.
Although similar, a B2B webshop isn’t exactly the same as a traditional B2C shop, like shopify or woocommerce. By having features designed for wholesale, life is easier for both you and your customers. Bulk orders, invoice modules and an order matrix — these are all hardcore business features that you won’t find in the B2C space.
The Biggest Advantage of a B2B ecommerce platform
The single biggest advantage of a B2B eCommerce platform is the amount of resources you save. Using a centralised platform is faster and more efficient than using pen and paper, Excel and a host of other systems. It eliminates time spent on data input into multiple systems, error checking and manual processes. Instead, you can focus the stuff that’s actually important to your business. Be it designing a new collection, relationship building or even not putting in another 12 hour shift.
What Else Can It Do?
Your B2B eCommerce platform should play nice with all your other business software. Chances are, you already have some kind of ERP system or accounting software. In our eyes, all these systems should work together. A good B2B eCommerce platform should fit with the rest of your ecosystem. It should integrate with the other software solutions that your business relies on.
The Analog Alternative
A lot of wholesale still happens on the spot, offline, at trade shows or in meetings. We’ve all spent 5 minutes of an already packed trade show calendar, jotting down an order from a retailer. Digital or analog, the order still goes in your pocket, either as a crumpled piece of paper, or as a note on your phone. Back home, you collect all the orders, pour yourself a cup of pure caffeine and handle them from there. Now, this system works… but it doesn’t work smoothly.
No matter how good and foolproof a system you might have, there’ll always be one flaw. And that’s the conversion. When transferring numbers, orders, or spreadsheets from one place to another, mistakes happen. With a B2B eCommerce platform, you cut all that. You use one system, and one system only. Once.
Digital Is the Future
There are lots of different reasons for digitizing your business. The key one is the ability to automate and smooth out otherwise complicated or ad hoc processes. This applies to both internal and external processes. Your business gets to reap the rewards of technology, giving you an edge in a mainly analog industry. A digitised business is more nimble and futureproof. It will let you do more with less, ultimately increasing your bottom line. It’s no longer a matter of if, but when – the digital revolution is coming to B2B and it’s time to get on board.
The best of B2C webshops is finally hitting the B2B eCommerce space. You can finally start using a single platform to manage products, customers and orders. It cuts manual data input, human errors and allows customers to buy from you and any time of day. Ultimately, getting a B2B eCommerce platform is the best way to simplify your wholesale operations and increase your bottom line.