The vast majority of business purchasers research products online, and simply do their repeat orders online. If the order is more complex, the preference is often for personal contact with a sales person.
So, as a business that sells to other businesses, you will need to align your digital and personal sales carefully with each other. In doing so, you always take the wishes, requirements and preferences of your customers and target group as your starting point, whilst relieving people of a lot of work and reducing the number of errors.
In this article we describe the added value of customer-specific b2b e-commerce portals.
A portal is an e-commerce environment which is only accessible for a specific customer.
This portal contains the prices of your products that you have agreed with this customer. Furthermore, you can define the products offered, install authorizations and display customer-specific (product) information.
You can manage many customer-specific portals from one central B2B e-commerce platform.
Because a B2B e-commerce portal is customer-specific, you can set up this portal completely in accordance with the wishes of your customer. If your customer wants to work with order lists, no problem. Is it important that certain products can only be ordered following approval by the management? You can set this up for particular customers.
Besides this, it is possible to make specific agreements on delivery for individual customers. One customer may want your products asap; another may prefer just-in-time.
Put briefly, you make it really easy for your customer to order everything he needs from you. This way, you eliminate any reason for switching to a competitor.
Research has revealed that approximately 17% percent of orders contain errors. This results in a lot of remedial work, delay, and above all dissatisfied customers.
A robust B2B e-commerce platform relieves you of a lot of work. Not only do orders from your customers frequently come in online; your sales team processes telephone orders direct in your platform.
If a customer has a complex order, he often wants to have contact with an account manager or inside sales. Instead of sending various suggestions and product configurations via email, your sales team draws up a quotation in the platform. The link is sent and your customer can inspect the quotation directly in his portal. This means that both parties always are clear on:
The customer accepts the quotation at the press of a button and the delivery and invoicing process starts automatically. No more incorrect orders, credit notes due to errors, long delivery times, and dissatisfied customers.
Besides drawing up quotations, your sales team can support a customer by logging in as the customer and configuring the right order with them; ‘guided sales’.
A good B2B e-commerce platform should have intelligent links with suppliers. If your company purchases products from distributors and/or vendors and manufacturers, these types of links are necessary.
You make agreements with your customers about delivery times. As previously described, by using web e-commerce portals you can fully tailor these agreements to the needs of individual customers.
If you have a link to your procurement channel, it is possible to automatically pass on incoming orders to your suppliers. This way you eliminate manual interventions and errors, and you are able to deliver faster.
With Propeller it is even possible to select the supplier with the best purchase terms for each order.