5 Reasons why B2B E-Commerce is Not Just About Price

All of this will give the B2B customer the experience they are used to, along with the speed and convenience

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By Naman Shah


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B2B E-commerce has been a buzz word in the startup ecosystem for a while.B2B E-commerce is not just about price, especially when it comes to serving end users. Business relies on these purchases to drive efficiencies which are beyond direct cost saving, it includes saving of time, transparency, vendor consolidation & lesser paperwork.

  • No Current Technology Solution Like B2C

B2B E-commerce is the largest type of e-commerce based on market volume. It is about 10 times larger than the size of B2C E-commerce. To place an order, most business purchasers need multiple quotes to satisfy their internal approval process. The completion times of sales are often lengthy for B2B E-commerce transactions compared to B2C sales because when it comes to business, most of them require several decision makers to complete the process. A platform which combines e-commerce with a purchase management software is very much needed. It will help manage this purchase flow with all the concerned stakeholders.

  • Goods Being Purchased to Create Value:

Business buyers are often buying goods which act as inputs or are used as tools to produce the final product. It becomes important to articulate the outcomes and benefits of the product, for example, if you are selling a more expensive industrial pump than your competitor, how much will the buyer save in reduced downtime? The b2b decision makers are more sophisticated than ever before and are discerning. It is imperative to provide quality & genuine products along with adequate after-sales service to survive in the B2B market.

  • Repeatability & Predictability

Business purchases are planned & cyclical. This means that the same product would be required after some time interval, this could be as short as a week. It becomes vital for the business buyer to make the right decision when choosing the product as it has a long term impact given the high repeatability & predictability. B2B E-commerce companies need to provide customers with options where they could have staggered & planned deliveries, this would help them with lean inventory & working capital efficiency.

  • Fulfillment in Tier 3 & 4 Locations:

Many factories and manufacturing companies have their set up in Tier 3 & 4 location, often at places where delivery is ignored by many companies. It is imperative that the orders reach such clients as well and on time. To handle this challenge, E-commerce companies must integrate with good and reliable delivery companies. Along with partnerships with logistics companies, it is important to develop a supplier base pan India so that you can cater to customer demands. A lot of B2B shipments happen to be bulky and it is essential to have multiple stock points.

  • Payment Challenge:

It is a standard practice for B2B buyers to avail trade credit and volume-level pricing, among other discounts, and these expectations have carried over into their e-commerce stores. As such, online B2B, unlike their B2C counterparts, cannot require customers to simply enter their payment information when they are done shopping. Payment needs to be automatically tracked down, send out reminders and check customer credit. All of this will give the B2B customer the experience they are used to, along with the speed and convenience of an online store. Partnership with fintech businessescustomize customise a product which mimics offline behaviour.

Price-focused businesses are leaving value on the table. Price is definitely important but prices & discounts won't determine who succeeds in the B2B e-commerce market. A complete technology-enabled solution which encapsulates commerce, supply chain & financing is required to serve the B2B buyer.

Naman Shah

CEO & Co-founder, NowPurchase

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