Why Your B2B Business Needs an Ecommerce Portal
Following the many advances in tech, online consumer shopping provides a smooth experience for consumers for many years. As ecommerce websites are seamlessly automated and integrated, they’ve become more affordable and accessible meaning even the smallest of product-based business are finally getting the chance to compete. So if you’re a business that sells to other businesses (i.e. you’re B2B), it’s time to jump onboard because getting a dedicated online portal is easier than ever before.
What is a B2B portal?
A B2B ecommerce portal is an online system that lets you sell your B2B products directly to your clients and customers through a dedicated website. It takes all of the benefits of modern consumer shopping, bringing them over to the online world of selling to businesses.
Why would my business want a B2B portal?
B2B ecommerce portals are more accessible than ever. In fact, if you’re already thinking about one of the top-tier inventory software systems (like DEAR/Cin7, Unleashed, or Cin7), you can get a powerful B2B Ecommerce portal as an affordable add-on to your normal subscription.
B2B ecommerce is a huge time-saver
When your B2B clients can log in and shop online, you don’t need a dedicated team taking calls, manually updating stock levels or processing every order. It’s all done automatically through your dedicated ecommerce portal.
It’s integrated and automated – which reduces errors
When you leave the boring tasks to a human worker, you’re bound to run into trouble with human errors at some point. When you use a B2B ecommerce portal for all your sales, it’s fully integrated with your other software systems. When your customers complete an order, that means your stock levels, shipping details, and sales records are automatically adjusted with complete accuracy.
A B2B portal makes tracking data easy
If you’ve ever had to manually track your sales records, you’ll know just how tedious it is. But with your real-time sales linked up to your other software systems, you can get accurate data and analytics at any point in the week – helping you to stay on top of your progress and targets, and react quickly to any dips or disasters.
What should I be looking for in a B2B portal?
1. Complex pricing
One of the biggest differences between B2B and B2C (Business to Consumer) is that you won’t always be offering the same prices, deals, and discounts to every buyer.
You need to be able to tweak things like:
- Bulk-buy discounts
- Location-based pricing
- Deals for regular repeat orders
- Minimum order amounts
- And rewards for frequent buyers.
2. A personalised shopping experience
You need to be able to offer the same kind of personalised buying experience you had before.
Look for a B2B portal that can:
- Make it easy for your customers to set up a regular supply of the items they need
- Show your shoppers their ordering history and habits, and let them quickly re-order previous groups of products
- Let your shoppers browse through only the products they want to see – whether that’s by category, purpose, brand, or department
- Make recommendations for useful extra products that they hadn’t thought of
- And create personalised discounts, deals, and promotions for each customer
3. Integration with other systems
This one is so important that we wish we didn’t have to say it – and the chances are that any ecommerce portal you’re looking at will already have some kind of integration with another useful system.
You’ll need to find a B2B portal that:
- Has integrations with the specific software your business uses (e.g. Xero, Cin7, Quickbooks)
- Receives regular updates for new integrations with upcoming pieces of software
- Makes it easy for software developers to create new integrations with unsupported apps
- And has integrations for the software that your partners use (like your logistics and fulfilment companies).
So what’s the best way to find the right B2B portal?
Every business is different, and that means every business has different needs. The best place to start is with the inventory software you already use.
Most of the premium inventory apps come with their own dedicated B2B portal. In most cases, you can get them up and running just by adding a small monthly fee to your normal software subscription. And that means you’ll get:
- A full-featured and advanced B2B ecommerce site
- A B2B portal from a vendor you already know and trust
- Instant integration with the inventory software you’re already using
- And the same level of customer support and updates that you get with your inventory app.
And when you compare that monthly fee to the thousands of pounds you could spend on a custom-made portal website, it’s really a no-brainer.
So, if you’re looking to take your B2B sales to the next level, book a free call with us and we’ll give you a complete recommendation.