Each day your business is not selling online is another day of lost opportunities. That’s because while you continue to contemplate an eCommerce site, your competition with an online presence is luring away your existing customers while attracting new ones. eCommerce is a not simply a fad for retail distributors. The B2B marketplace has evolved rapidly as a result of new technology, trends, and customer expectations, which is why an online storefront is a must-have for businesses.
If you’re a distributor who sells products or services, there’s no reason why you should not be online. Here are six solid reasons why you should have an eCommerce site:
- The market is huge
Frost & Sullivan forecasts that by 2020 the global B2B market will grow to about $25 trillion. They also forecast that B2B online sales in the U.S. alone will account for $1.9 trillion. According to Deloitte, the U.S. B2B market is growing continuously at approximately 19% each year.
- Online B2B businesses are growing fast
eCommerce sites give buyers more flexibility to shop when they want, how they want, and where they want. This is creating bigger markets for distributors because they now have a much wider net to cast to reach buyers searching for their products. Mayer Electric realized this when they enhanced their site to provide streamlined navigation, better punchout capabilities, and a convenient mobile app for their customers.
- B2B shoppers are online
A younger, digital-savvy generation has entered the wholesale workforce, and is soon becoming the new customer base for distributors. Millennials want to conduct all aspects of their job online – from product research and transactions and account management. They overlook companies who do not provide these capabilities in a digital environment.
- B2B clients are going mobile
Mobile commerce is another section that is growing rapidly. As mobile devices replace PCs as the primary access point to the Internet, a larger number of people conduct product research and purchases online. This means that not only is it important to have an online store, it’s also critical to have one that is mobile-friendly. But it’s not just buyers who prefer mobile sites; Google ranks mobile-friendly websites higher on search results pages.
- Multichannel selling is the new norm
Is your business taking advantage of the many different sales channels available to engage with buyers? For businesses to stay relevant, they must have a multichannel presence in numerous places, from showrooms and websites, to social media and mobile apps. This gives customers the ability to interact and transact when and where it’s convenient for them.
- B2B requires more B2C-like shopping options
While B2B business has always been about sending out sales representatives and building a relationship with customers, nowadays buyers have more autonomous purchase preferences. Many buyers desire a self-service option where they can shop a B2B website and find what they need because the site has enriched product content, pricing, and multiple payment methods available to them. However, since not all B2B transactions are simple, and not all buyers are alike, distributors must still offer the option to work with a representative if they have additional questions or feel more comfortable ordering with a person. Provide multiple service options to help build better relationships with all your customers.
These trends in the B2B industry spell one thing out clearly – eCommerce is a necessity. A B2B business that doesn’t have an online store is limiting its ability to grow and making it harder for customers to connect with them. The wholesale marketplace operates via multiple channels and an online storefront is a critical component in multichannel success. So what are you waiting for?