B2B eCommerce is on the rise. Recent studies have shown that the market for business-to-business goods is expected to reach a trillion dollars in the coming years.
Seeing the rise, many businesses are wanting in, and while it’s easy to get started with, going digital is not a get-rich-quick scheme.
Many try and fail, only to blame the digital landscape itself for the faults.
In this post, we will discuss five B2B eCommerce mistakes that you need to avoid if you’re looking to make it grow.
So, let’s begin!
Mistake#1: Failing to Plan Ahead
One of the biggest mistakes B2B eCommerce business owners make is being too hasty with their decision-making. It’s a common mistake for every business but for B2B customers, it’s a greater concern since the stakes of the trade are high.
Businesses fail to account for the time required for adequate decision making. Going about your planning processes at such a speed is a surefire way to make wrong decisions. With poor decision comes missed opportunities and disadvantages.
Starting out with eCommerce takes time. You don’t want to make hasty decisions that make you change platforms once you’ve launched.
The stakes are high, and you should leave no room for error in choosing the correct platform. We’ve compared the platform selection process to investing in real estate. While the expectations from the latter usually involve you living there for 40-50 years, the former should ideally last for a five to ten years at best.
If you’re not a tech company and want to go digital, then you need to select a platform with foresight and patience. If you don’t want to labor yourself with such a tricky and complicated process, then you can outsource that process to a third-party organization. While they will cost you, it’s worth investing in experts who can guide you on the selection process.
Mistake#2: Not Giving Importance to User Experience
We’ve seen B2B store owners add a storefront to their existing ERP systems and just wait for orders to come in. Those orders aren’t going to come and there is no need to blame eCommerce itself or your customers.
The problem lies in the business which doesn’t take into account the concept of user experience (UX). Most B2B eCommerce websites are built with a poor UX. The justification is usually akin to the professionalism of the industry itself. Is there a need to focus on UX if the users on the site are professional?
Yes, there is. The modern B2B buyers also consumes products from B2C eCommerce stores. The appeal of such stores also prompts users to expect the same UX when they’re buying products professionality.
When you combine all these factors together, it should explain why your B2B eCommerce store isn’t getting any traction.
The point is that UX plays a major role for your eCommerce store. You can improve the user-experience for your eCommerce store by adding clear site navigation, product details, and optimizing the shopping cart and navigation.
Investing towards improving all these aspects of your site will guarantee that your customers will keep coming back for more.
Mistake No. 3: Not Involving Your Sales Team
Your sales team is a vital part of your business operations, there’s no doubt about that.
When companies start up their eCommerce processes, they seldom involve the sales team in the planning process. Because of this, a significant amount of input is left untapped, and the sales team have to adapt to the new processes.
With an eCommerce store, there is a need for adjustment at level organizational level. However, the adjustment should take place rapidly. After all, you’re automating manual processes to make workflows quicker. It shouldn’t be that your sales team goes about scratching their heads in getting to know the platform itself.
To avoid such a scenario, you need to align your organizational teams together in one place. By ensuring organizational alignment, you reduce the time taken to learn the platform, and improve sales operations significantly.
Again, the platform selection processes shouldn’t be all about marketing but rather involve sales, operations, and other departments as well.
Mistake#4: Understanding Requirements of the Organization
There are misconceptions that eCommerce is a cash machine, and that once an eCommerce business starts out, it results in sales galore. While that is true to a certain extent, it’s not as quick and easy.
Ecommerce has certain nuances that traditional businesses don’t have. It’s very profitable if you play your cards right. By cars, we mean making investments towards allocating resources. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme, but a methodical system.
The first investment that you need to make is in your team. You need to assign the right roles to competent individuals who know how to manage things. Besides labor resources, you also need to spend money on digital marketing, web operations, development, logistical processes, and sales.
Don’t be afraid to hire the right people even if it will cost you more in the long run. Whatever investments you make today will provide you with a similar ROI later on, so be careful about them.
Mistake#5: Post Launch Planning Failure
One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is relaxing once their website goes live. This is a surefire recipe for disaster since you’re leaving out a major part of your process to chance.
Post launch planning is essential when starting up an eCommerce store. You need to plan ahead of time. Making the right investments for that, again, will lead to better ROI for the future. From marketing investments, to investments in operations, logistics, sales, and more – there are plenty of ways you can go about investing time and resources once you’ve launched your website.
In order to drive traffic to your site, you need to invest in paid search, SEO, email marketing, social media, and more. Your strategy could be a mix of paid advertising and the slow and steady organic marketing. Whatever strategy you select, it’s important that you have a strategy in place before or immediately after you go live.
Now by investment, we don’t necessarily mean lots of money. In fact, you can invest whatever you feel is a possible amount. In the beginning, you can also invest significant time on your project to make sure you grow seamlessly in the future.
The B2B eCommerce industry is growing tremendously as the years pass by. The future, as of this writing, seems bright for the eCommerce industry and the expectations are high in general. If you’re looking to start up a B2B store in the future, it’s best you start planning on a platform right now.
Hope you enjoyed reading!
If you’re looking to start your B2B eCommerce website on WooCommerce, then you should look at B2BWoo, an all-in-one WooCommerce B2B plugin bundle that lets you include all sorts of B2B functionalities on your WooCommerce store.
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