“You can’t wait for customers to come to you. You have to figure out where they are, go there and drag them back to your store.”- Paul Graham

With the world becoming more and more digital, now is the right time for you to revamp your distribution methods. Embracing B2B eCommerce using the right B2B eCommerce platform will help you stay on the radar and grow further. According to Statista, B2B eCommerce sales are expected to bring in $1.8 trillion in 2023. And, as per Accenture, 86% of US-based B2B companies with over $500M in annual revenues have already implemented a B2B eCommerce solution. So, if you haven’t explored the digital space yet, what are you waiting for?

While you read this blog, you will get to know the reason behind B2B eCommerce being the next big thing for distributors. Also, what’s more? You are sure to have a better idea about the right eCommerce platform and how Magento 2.4 can come up with a solution for all your impediments. 

 

B2B eCommerce platform

Let’s start with the most basic question. 

Why Do Distributors Need eCommerce?

In a B2B environment, a distributor’s role is not just restricted to managing inventory. You bridge the connectivity gap between B2B manufacturers and customers by optimizing sales processes, reducing costs, and even offering post-sales services. 

With effective channelization of operations, you can accelerate response times and enhance brand reputation, refuting the general misconception about the distributor’s role being limited to stocking shelves and taking orders. In this fast-paced world, carrying out your activities from a brick and mortar store alone can be quite overwhelming. This is why adapting to the changing trends becomes imperative and eCommerce is the perfect way to connect with your potential buyers. 

So how can eCommerce benefit you? 

Transparency

As buyers have become particular about their shopping habits, transparency holds the key to your B2B eCommerce sales. It has the power to influence their decisions. You can provide accurate details about product availability, pricing, and any additional charges clearer than your brick and mortar store. 

All the information will be readily available for the visitors, reducing added efforts from both sides. A B2B eCommerce website will help you convey the exact idea about your sales activities, ranging from promotions to the minute details of your store. Maintaining a transparent website will also develop a trust factor among customers.   

Enhance visibility

Going digital will benefit you in bringing in more traffic with each passing day. By adopting specific strategies, you can increase your reach among the masses, making you a known name. With the implementation of proper SEO strategies, you can improve the search engine ranking of your eCommerce website. 

With the improved ranking, there are greater chances of potential customers visiting your website and by maintaining a reliable B2B eCommerce website, you can turn them into regular customers as well. Moreover, a strong web presence will enhance your brand reputation, thereby widening the business opportunities and triggering sales.     

Ensure speed and scalability

By expanding your business to cater to a large section of customers with B2B eCommerce websites, you will now be a part of the dynamic market. There is no better way than eCommerce if you are planning to scale up your enterprise. You can ensure speed and scalability through an efficiently designed website. 

Creating the least inconvenient shopping experience will automatically lead to a boom in sales. As obvious as it sounds, online traffic can be handled gracefully through eCommerce platforms rather than managing foot traffic via traditional methods. Improved search engine rankings and faster page loading rate will add up to enhance scalability. Proper scalability ensures managing your operations better, even as you witness unparalleled growth. 

Upselling and cross-selling 

Compared to the traditional distribution methods, upselling and cross-selling can bring in more revenue through the B2B eCommerce platform. You can display higher-priced alternatives to the products that are currently being considered by the customers. 

From email marketing strategies to displaying product recommendations, customers can be led to buying higher-priced or additional products. By creating an algorithm, B2B customers can be shown all the related products as well as the best-sellers. Through efficient upselling and cross-selling, you can also promote your products while luring them to buy more. B2B eCommerce platform

Customer experience

Distribution operations can be made easier with the right B2B eCommerce website. Through digital platforms, you can understand the shopping history of your customers. This, in turn, helps in providing a personalized shopping experience the next time they visit your website. 

Presenting dynamic pricing and online product catalogs can further strengthen your ties with your B2B customers. Quicker navigation, simpler check-out options, and multiple payment gateways together can help you gain more regular customers. Good experience would result in lower customer churn, which again indirectly heightens the profitability rate. 

Choosing to go digital is your first step to success. The next major step is the choice of the right platform to support your B2B eCommerce. There are a plethora of B2B eCommerce platforms for you to choose from. But choosing the right one makes all the difference.

Magento 2.4: The Right B2B eCommerce Platform

The commerce edition of Magento 2.4 has come up with exciting features for B2B eCommerce websites. The new features of Magento 2.4 are particularly designed to enhance the performance of the website, ensure security, and provide a better experience for the customers.

Purchase Approval Workflow

Specifically introduced for the Commerce edition, the Purchase Approval Workflow is one of the major features of Magento 2.4. Through the Purchase Approval Workflow, B2B companies can customize their approval process using a simple form. Approval rules will be designed according to the shipping costs, order value, and number of SKUs.

Verifying and managing customer’s order is more efficient, saving your time and effort. Approvers receive notifications when in need of a review, and can approve, reject, or even comment on the orders placed. Buyers will receive a notification at each stage, ensuring transparency.       

The timely notifications and intact processes will ultimately strengthen the buyer’s trust in you. Through the Purchase Approval Workflow, a very convenient way of purchase process comes to place, making it a win-win situation for both the parties. 

Seller Assisted Shopping

A perfect way to enhance customer engagement, the Seller Assisted Shopping feature strives to do away with any problems that the customer faces while placing an order. In case the customer gets stuck midway due to any problems or confusion, admins can analyze and solve those issues by accessing the customer’s account. 

With the Magento 2.4 commerce edition, your role as a trusted distributor becomes stronger, enhancing customer relations. Apart from troubleshooting, you can even enhance the customer experience by helping them create a wishlist. Custom functionalities like product configuration can be easily presented to the customer, which was otherwise possible only through a storefront experience.

Most importantly, Seller Assisted Shopping can save the time of your customers as you can place orders or create quotes on their behalf. Through this feature, the convenience of the customers is secured, a factor that could pull them into your B2B eCommerce website more often. Thus, indirectly this feature of Magento 2.4 can increase revenue and sales.

New Media Gallery

According to a recent study, the images that you provide can gain 94% more views from your customers. A perfectly organized B2B eCommerce website should include an equally organized gallery. As a distributor, you are most likely to have large inventory, so categorizing and arranging them is quite a task unless you don’t choose the perfect B2B eCommerce platform.  

A completely rebuilt feature of Magento 2.4, New Media Gallery is an improved version that can work 30 times faster. With an enhanced media gallery you can manage and sort media files on the server. Even though functionalities of the already existing media storage remains the same, this new version is integrated with Adobe Stock. With this integration, licensing stock preview image is made simpler. You can now license them from the media gallery itself.

New Media Gallery comes with an increased user interface and can be enabled through a simple process. You can now filter, sort, and search images without much effort. Assessing the storefront image usage with this tool is another added advantage. With the new image details that explain when and where images were used across pages or categories, you can easily manage images. 

Upgraded Search Performance

After landing on your website, the first thing that most customers do is search for the products. 76% of customers have stated that enhanced search performance is one of the three most important features that define customer experience. The commerce edition of Magento 2.4 supports Elasticsearch 7.6, which means the default catalog search engine is now Elasticsearch 7.6. It is not powered by MySQL anymore. 

Through this feature, searching for products in the catalog is much easier and simpler than before. Along with synonyms, stop words that are usually ignored by other search engines are supported by Elasticsearch. Language identification enabled in this latest release can predict text in any language, supporting searches in multiple languages.

B2B eCommerce platform

The search results are more accurate, thereby enhancing the performance of your B2B eCommerce website. Its algorithm sorts dates and numbers real quick, making the Elasticsearch 7.6 faster than the previous versions, providing an unparalleled end-user experience.    

Security and Performance Upgrades

The two most important factors of any B2B eCommerce website are its security and performance. B2B wholesalers, manufacturers, and distributors can scale up their operations with the Magento 2.4 security and performance upgrades. Among the major security enhancements in Magento 2.4, two-factor authentication enabled in the new version secures the admin portal from any malicious users. Magento 2.4 caters to over 30 security enhancements that could eradicate cross-site scripting and remote code execution vulnerabilities.

With a shift to Vendor Bundled Extension, all updates regarding your B2B operations are made available. Scope for scalability of your business is assured through Redis optimization that helps you to cope with increasing online traffic. Also, through this optimization, pages will load 43% faster.  

B2B eCommerce platform for distributors

Apart from these features for your eCommerce website, B2B integration is another factor that ensures the scalability of your business.

Integration Possibilities and Solutions for B2B eCommerce

B2B integration is optimizing, integrating, and automating all your operations that could enhance your connectivity with customers, manufacturers, and other trading partners. With proper integration solutions through Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Product Information Management (PIM), the success of your entity is guaranteed.

With ERP integration, you can easily manage and coordinate with back-office functions connected to inventory, finance, or human resource. You will have a wider understanding of all areas of your business, a benefit that eCommerce puts forward which is otherwise nearly impossible. 

A Microsoft Windows-based software package, Epicor Prophet 21 or P21 ERP system assists wholesale distribution by zooming in on various processes including shipping, warehouse management, supply chain management system, and so on, which provides foundation for distribution. Order entry, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and order management are few among the intricate modules supported by Epicor P21.

Since distribution involves handling large volumes of inventory, you might get stuck with the huge data entry procedure. Here is where PIM integration comes to your rescue. It supports product catalog consistency while storing and managing information of products in a single database. Additionally, PIM enhances SEO ranking of your website as it calls for detailed and clear product information.

With the suitable B2B integration, reaching the pinnacle of success will not be an exaggerated thought. To substantiate this, let’s take a look at how Moody Price sets itself as a real-time example of ideal businesses transformation through the right Magento platform and integration solution.

  • What’s next?

Since your role as a distributor involves connectivity with manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers, projecting your eCommerce website to cater to their expectations and customer satisfaction are the main ingredients for your success. Make sure you choose the perfect B2B eCommerce platform that would fit your needs. With the Magento features explained above and the right integration, you can ensure the scalability of your B2B eCommerce website. The most crucial part lies in the next step- selecting the right Magento developers.

DCKAP- Your One-Stop Solution

With over 15 years of experience, DCKAP works closely with you at every step, right from developing your B2B eCommerce website on the ideal B2B eCommerce platform to maintaining it to reach its full potential. Being the certified Magento solutions partner with expertise in providing the right service, our in-house developers strive to ensure that you host the perfect online store just the way you want it.  

In these changing times, adaptability is the doorway to success. It is time for you to move on from the traditional practices to embrace the new ones. With the right eCommerce platform, your rung in the digital arena will only scale up, securing you with a bright future. 

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