If you’ve yet to discover the power of selling online, or have so far been reluctant to take the plunge, then 2017 is unquestionably the time for a re-think. Never has the B2B realm experienced such change when it comes to the expectations of buyers (which we recently spoke about in our blog article: ‘How your B2B customer base is changing, and what you need to evolve’). Here we take a look at the top five reasons why today is pivotal to your future business success – and why selling online is now non-negotiable.
Stay, or get ahead
(don’t be overtaken by your bolder and more brazen competitors)
The B2B ecommerce world is undergoing rapid evolution – so fast is this industry growing, that it’s set to outpace and outperform the growth of B2C ecommerce over the coming months and years.
Businesses are now coming to expect the ability to order online – however, herein lies a pretty surprising revelation. While around half of companies make purchases online, less than 22% of B2B companies offer an ecommerce option (Mintel).
For you, this ultimately represents a fantastic opportunity. The demand is there for your customers to be able to order online, and if you’re meeting this need when your competitors aren’t, there’s serious ground to be gained.
An ecommerce store never sleeps – even in the middle of the night or in the midst of Christmas celebrations, it’s acting as your ever-ready sales representative – 24/7/365 days a year. Of course, unlike human staff, it doesn’t demand holiday pay or overtime.
Your workforce – they’re only human, they make mistakes
Providing a human connection in the form of customer services is unlikely to become any less important, even in the face of demands for online ordering. However, there’s a problem – and it’s existed for as long as humans have accepted orders via phone or fax. Managing orders in this way is simply too problematic. If you haven’t been tracking the cost of human error when going about your business so far, then you need to start thinking about more than just the cost of correcting orders, as there’s also the financial implications of lost goodwill and bad word of mouth to consider.
Then, we move on to the time consumption of these processes. Compared to online ordering, having your workforce manage orders is impacting on your bottom line.
Would your most invaluable assets – your employees – not be better working on tasks that contribute to growth, rather than administrating orders that achieve a business plateau?
Your sales team – is it time for a digital makeover?
Digital marketing has revolutionised the ways in which businesses gain customers. Today, B2B companies benefit from lowered overheads as their sales teams have moved from on-the-ground to in the office. Routes to market such as social media, blogs, emails, sales funnels and industry platforms are each vital to your business connecting with others in the modern age, as these statistics go to show:
81% of B2B purchase cycles start with web search, and 90% of buyers say when they are ready to buy, “they’ll find you”. Earnest Agency, 2014
57% of B2B marketers say SEO has the biggest impact on lead generationNews red, 2014
B2B marketers invest in social media to; increase brand exposure (83%), increase web traffic (69%), and gain marketing insights (65%) Marketing Tech Blog, 2014
If these stats go to show anything, it’s that digital marketing should now be considered as an invaluable investment to make, while traditional sales teams may well begin to look like an expensive liability in comparison.
Are you ready to transform your business and accelerate growth?
Harnessing the online world demands the right online solution. Here at Shopcreator we’ve been helping our clients make the most of the ecommerce opportunity since 1998, ensuring they stay ahead of their competitors, time and again, and we can do the same for you.
If you want to increase your online sales or you’re just uncertain what your next few steps should be, then get in touch and we can run you through your options.