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The Benefits of B2B E-Commerce

To stay competitive, you have to be willing to evolve. While many businesses have embraced e-commerce, not everyone has fully realized the potential it offers — especially in the business-to- business (B2B) sales arena.

What Is B2B E-Commerce?

B2B e-commerce involves the sale of products from one business to another using an e- commerce website. This allows the purchasing business to buy products without having to interact with a salesperson. This creates a more convenient shopping experience for buyers, and saves sellers a lot of time and resources.

Why Is B2B E-Commerce Important?

In today’s economy, it’s necessary to have a digital platform in order to sell your products. More and more, customers are expecting to order products online and have them shipped directly — especially after the pandemic pushed so many people to online shopping.

Traditional B2B sales aren’t going anywhere, but B2B e-commerce grew 17.8% in the first two years of the pandemic, up from $1.39 trillion in 2020 to $1.63 trillion in 2021. Expanding your marketing to focus on online B2B customers is critical to success. This will position you to capture more millennial and digital-native B2B customers in addition to retaining older customers who changed their behavior due to the pandemic.

What Are the Benefits of B2B E-Commerce?

There are multiple benefits to expanding your business plan to include B2B e-commerce:

  • Meet customers where they are. By 2026, it’s estimated that B2B e-commerce sales will grow to over $2.4 trillion per year. B2B buyers are as interested in shopping online as B2C shoppers.
  • Capture the next generation of decision makers. Millennials overwhelmingly shop online in their personal lives, and they expect the same convenience in their professional lives. One study found that 73% of B2B buyers are already millennials.
  • Build better customer profiles. With so much now driven by data, in-store interactions with customers aren’t as preferable for marketing and sales. Shifting more interactions online through B2B e-commerce channels makes it easier to automatically gather insights about customer preferences, purchases, and feedback.

What Are the Best Practices for B2B E-Commerce?

There are several steps you can take to add B2B sales to your e-commerce site. These include:

  • Make your entire catalog available online. Your website should be easy to search or navigate through each product category. Add rich descriptions of your products and, if possible, include reviews.
  • Integrate your website with your enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution so you can have real-time updates on products in stock. Automate fulfillment to improve efficiency. Offer multiple delivery options and when orders are fulfilled, provide your customers with the ability to track their packages.
  • Add a visual configurator so your customers can customize their products to fit the specific needs of their business. This also lets customers see exactly what they’re ordering as they update in real time.

Give Your Customers What They Want

The buyers have spoken, and e-commerce is the next frontier of B2B sales. The faster you adopt this new market, the more you can realize its potential. Setting up shop online now will also keep you ahead of the competition, and could even move you to the head of the pack when e-commerce overtakes traditional sales. Want to create your own online B2B retail presence? Configure One Cloud from Revalize is a leading solution for selling configurable specialty products online.
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