The B2B sector is an important part of the economy. It is one of the most complex in its structure and proper organization. We are talking about companies in the primary sector that deal with raw materials directly, or, for example, about factories in the secondary sector that take these raw materials for further processing into semi-finished products or final products without distribution.
However, this reality is currently under scrutiny and is in danger of disappearing due to the fact that value chains tend to shrink over the years.
This is mainly due to the era of digitization followed by technological development and the Internet, since it has facilitated the distance between producers and end consumers, which leads to the disappearance of many intermediate agents.
Another reason why this is happening now and will continue in the future, controlling all these intermediaries, is to increase competitiveness in all sectors due to digitalization, which leads to a decrease in margins, which will prevent so many companies from coexisting.
It is for all these reasons that companies operating within this business model need to offer a solution that will allow them to remain competitive, and therefore not only increase profit margins, but even “earn the right” to continue to belong to this chain. This is where b2b commerce consulting services can help.
Sales stages in B2B
There is a special sales procedure in this direction. Of course, depending on the type of enterprise and the company of the buyer, it may differ. But in general, everything looks like this:
- The customer contacts the supplier;
- Providing a catalog;
- Checking the availability of products;
- Confirmation of individual terms of delivery;
- Order formation;
- Agreement and related documents;
- Invoicing and payment;
- Order assembly, shipment and delivery to the client;
- Implementation of related services.
As mentioned earlier, depending on the companies, these steps may vary.
Modern solution for B2B
B2B companies should work on developing solutions that make it easier for these manufacturers and distributors to manage their orders as if it were a regular online store.
Thus, the essence is to develop a model similar to specialized e-commerce for B2B companies, which will be carried out through the technological development of web applications and mobile devices.
Firstly, the term “B2B e-commerce” will never be strictly correct, since payments will not be made through the application.
This is because in the B2B business world, transactions are not as simple as adding a product to a cart and clicking a buy button, and stakeholders often have pre-agreed payment terms (e.g. payments for “x” days, which are difficult to implement for use in e-commerce.
However, it uses the functionality and benefits of a B2C online store, extrapolating its benefits and applying them to the B2B model to deliver more and more value to the customer.
This would make a single space available to distributors and customers where they could access valuable information such as product databases, technical information, inventory related data, availability, storage, logistics, etc., as well as typical store functions.
When these key activities and real-time information about products and shipments are taken into account, eliminating problems, slowness and other bureaucratic shortcomings, a great goal is achieved: providing opportunities and improving the customer experience.
For example, thanks to modern developments and tools, you can easily see the status of orders in real time (just like in an online store), avoiding the need to make calls or send emails for any type of request. In addition, from a mobile device, a user from anywhere will have access to information about specified orders, make new orders, etc.
To decide which platform, tool or solution suits you best, you should turn to ecommerce consulting services. These are specialists who will help you choose the best option in accordance with the characteristics of your business.