How To Improve Your Wholesale eCommerce Experience
Looking to expand your B2B business or improve your eCommerce for wholesale customers? Read on to learn about eCommerce wholesale best practices.
In some circles, a myth persists that eCommerce is somehow a niche pursuit for B2B companies, but that is far from the truth. In 2021, B2B eCommerce sales in the U.S. reached 1.7 trillion dollars. This figure is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 10.7%, reaching over 3 tillion dollars by 2027. This growth is largely driven by the ubiquity of online purchasing models across geographies and cultures and the benefits that B2B eCommerce delivers to buyers and wholesalers.
If your business is looking to expand to B2B eCommerce or improve your wholesale eCommerce experience, there are several factors to consider. First and foremost, your solution must meet specific eCommerce wholesale requirements. It is also helpful to follow several best practices to maximize your success with eCommerce for wholesale.
Here at DynamicWeb, our mission is to simplify eCommerce - even for the most advanced B2B use cases. In addition to offering a comprehensive and composable eCommerce suite, we also share our insight to help you bring your vision to life. In this guide, we outline the wholesale eCommerce requirements to look for and share our tips for wholesale eCommerce success.
DOWNLOAD NOW: B2B ECOMMERCE TRENDS REPORT 2022 (FREE WHITE PAPER)
Wholesale eCommerce Requirements to Look For
The number one rule when developing a wholesale eCommerce solution is to choose an eCommerce platform that supports B2B requirements. After all, wholesalers are typically selling to other businesses, and businesses have some buying needs and behaviors that differ from everyday consumers. Here are some specific B2B requirements to look for:
- Volume Pricing and/or Customer-Specific Pricing - Some companies have trade or contract agreements with suppliers that lock them in at a special price. Choose a platform that can display the customer’s real price on the front end to make the buying process efficient for you and the customer.
- Flexible Payment Methods - When purchasing large quantities, organizations often pay by invoice or sophisticated methods like ACH. Unlike B2C buyers, credit card and Paypal payment methods do not always suffice for wholesalers. Look for an eCommerce solution that supports the payment methods your customers prefer.
- Quotes - When purchasing large quantities, companies often want to negotiate a quote and not just place an order. For example, they may be ordering a considerable amount, want to place orders multiple times over the year, and feel they should get a special discounted price, not just what is on the website. Alternatively, the person conducting purchasing may need quotes to compare and present to other organizational stakeholders before getting the authorization to make a purchase. Ultimately, when wholesale customers can create their own quotes easily and quickly, they can proceed much faster through the buying process and feel more confident in their purchases. Look for an eCommerce solution that allows you to customize and automate quotes to suit the needs of your business and clients.
- Multi-Website and Multi-Storefront Management - Wholesalers often sell a wide variety of products or have multiple markets and brands under their parent company name. If this describes your business, choose an eCommerce platform that can run and manage multiple stores and websites from the same solution. This makes managing the sites more efficient and allows you to integrate only once into your ERP. With the proper ERP and PIM integration to your eCommerce solution, all your websites can connect and operate from the same database, and products can be partitioned across sites or brands as needed.
eCommerce Tips for Wholesalers
Regarding B2B eCommerce, trends show that buyers prefer and expect a shopping experience that closely resembles what they encounter in B2C eCommerce. When customized for B2B, B2C eCommerce approaches can reap many of the same benefits - improving the customer experience, increasing sales, and cultivating loyal customer relationships.
Here are some strategies you can deploy to mimic the success of B2C eCommerce:
- Create loyalty programs and tailored promotions.
- Offer free shipping on specific products or order volumes.
- Create compelling and valuable content that strengthens your relationship as a trusted customer supplier.
- Provide product recommendations and related products on the website.
- Personalize website content based on purchase history. For example, show targeted promotions to visitors who have previously bought product X.
- Offer customers the opportunity to automate renewals or re-orders whenever possible.
- Provide a branded customer portal where customers can access order status, history, payment details, invoices, and more.
To smooth the transition to eCommerce, follow these tips:
- Integrate your eCommerce website with your ERP and Inventory Management software, ensuring real-time inventory updates for customers and fulfillment centers.
- Leverage sales staff to help first-time buyers navigate the eCommerce platform and support long-term customer relationships.
- Include online orders in your sales reps’ compensation plans
- Offer customer incentives for ordering online, like a discount on the first select number of online orders
To learn more about how wholesalers and distributors are getting the most from their eCommerce strategies, download our B2B eCommerce Trends Report 2022.