There are trillions of dollars in the B2B eCommerce industry. So, what’s stopping you from grabbing a piece from all that money out there?
Let me guess: the old-school belief that “people buy from people” is what stops most companies from moving their pen-and-paper business to the digital era.
If you’re feeling skeptical about investing in an eCommerce channel, here are some of the best B2B eCommerce examples of successful companies that experienced massive growth by leveraging the opportunities present out there. These are the disruptors that have completely overhauled how people buy and sell in the B2B world.
As Rick Warren says, “While it is wise to learn from experience, it is wiser to learn from the experience of others.”
So, get ready to be inspired by these 7 examples of B2B eCommerce companies.
1. Werner Electric
Werner Electric Supply has been around for a century, providing wholesale distribution of electrical products in the United States. They have thousands of customers, hundreds of thousands of products, and hundreds of suppliers.
While the company has had a web ordering portal for over 5 years, they only recently made efforts to fully digitize their operations and implement eCommerce to its true potential. Their earlier portal was tied to their ERP and their customers had to understand the language of their ERP to be able to place an order online.
They soon realized that this wasn’t how eCommerce was supposed to be. It should instead meet the unique needs of their customers and make it easy for customers to find what they need, have all the information at their fingertips, and place an order seamlessly.
Working with a Project Partner, Werner Electric started the journey with a deep and thorough analysis of their customers, their own sales teams, and their goals, and then looked for a B2B eCommerce platform that met their business requirements.
Their new website, launched a year back, is totally focused on delivering a great overall customer experience apart from providing a way for customers to place orders online.
Werner believes that eCommerce is only one piece of the pie and that complete digitization involves a lot of other aspects like digital marketing, customer service, etc.
Grainger is one of the first few names that pop up when we talk about the best B2B eCommerce examples. It’s also one of the oldest players in the game that took the digital move right after the launch of Amazon Business in 2015.
Grainger is an industrial supply and equipment provider with more than 1.6 million SKUs and billions of dollars in eCommerce sales. One of the reasons why Grainger has been able to stockpile such a massive amount of growth is because of its heavy focus on customer and user experience.
They invest heavily in their eCommerce platform, optimizing every step of the buyer’s journey. A few places where its B2B store truly stands out is in product search and navigation. They use extended filters and an optimized search box to make it easy for customers to look for what they need. Instead of asking the customer to log in, they allow the customer to checkout as a guest.
Grainger took B2B eCommerce one step further and created a mobile app that even allowed customers to scan barcodes and reorder easily.
Noritex is a distributor, importer, and re-exporter of home décor, Christmas, religious, textile, and school items. In a podcast, Nessim Btesh – the Digital project manager at Noritex – explained how he moved his Panama-based family business to 100% online sales.
With a background in software and startups, Nessim starting pushing for a digital transformation early on. However, he faced resistance internally as family members were skeptical of taking the company in that direction.
However, as the world shuttered down due to coronavirus, Nessim’s family business was forced to move online. They started their journey by understanding the buying process and customer personas. They started testing eCommerce waters through Shopify and experimented with different Shopify solutions including Shopify Plus.
However, Nessim soon realized that Shopify wasn’t capable of accommodating their unique business needs and meeting their operational complexities. They started looking for other software and platforms and then took a daring move to build their eCommerce infrastructure from scratch that was completely tailored around their business model.
The result was a headless eCommerce platform that pulled in information from different sources like their ERP through APIs to deliver a fast and efficient user experience. Their eCommerce solution was perfectly suited for their buyers in Latin America who often faced slow connection speeds.
Growing up in the industry and having a background in digital marketing, Sean McDonnel disrupted the industrial equipment parts industry and create an eCommerce channel for his family business that dated back three generations.
What started as a small eCommerce website from his one-bedroom apartment grew fascinatingly to be an international company that served more than 45,000 customers with an explosive catalog of millions of SKUs.
TruPar started by deeply analyzing the customer’s buying process and figuring out what needed to be done to make it easy for the customer to buy from them and for their own sales reps to sell. Their aim was to digitize and automate as much as possible so their customers didn’t have to pick up the phone to place an order.
Currently, their eCommerce infrastructure is focused on delivering a superior customer experience, which has resulted in having 85% of customers that they never have to talk to with the rest 15% calling their reps before placing the order online.
Ins’tent is a high-end manufacturer of promotional tents and tradeshow displays that help businesses and brands stand out. Based in California, Ins’tent saw the growth opportunities present in eCommerce and decided to create a storefront that allowed their buyers to place orders online without any friction.
However, the biggest roadblock they faced was their overly complex sales processes and customer needs due to the custom printing work involved in their line of products.
By analyzing their customer needs and business processes, Ins’tent started out by painting a clear picture of the problem at hand and then working forward to create the best solution.
Working with Codup as their B2B eCommerce development partner, Ins’tent created a fully self-service platform on WooCommerce that met all of their complex customer needs.
Stran is another leader in the promotional products industry. They offer a range of services and products that help businesses in their marketing efforts.
Realizing the opportunities present in the digital sphere, Stran started their transformation journey way back in 2016. Instead of diving all in, however, Stran has been following an iterative approach to eCommerce development.
Unlike many other B2B companies that pay the least attention to design elements and aesthetics, Stran’s online store is really well-designed and offers a seamless user experience. Even though with all the customization artwork involved with their orders, Stran has perfected the buying process to provide a fully self-service model.
7. Atlanta Light Bulbs
Atlanta Light Bulbs is one of the oldest players in the eCommerce game, having started in 1999. Their eCommerce presence at that time was the sole differentiator that gave the brand an edge.
However, after the launch of Amazon Business, the eCommerce landscape began to change drastically and more B2B brands started selling online. With competition getting fierce, ALB shifted their strategy from merely having an eCommerce presence to winning big with good customer experience.
Since then, they have started using integrations and various different tools to digitize not just the commerce part of their business but also go full-on with online marketing.
Inspired by these B2B eCommerce Examples?
Ready to take a dive in B2B eCommerce? B2BWoo is an eCommerce platform designed specifically for manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors to help them in their digital transformation.
It was built following a deep analysis of customer needs and business complexities, giving you a mix of all features you need to digitize your operations.
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