In today’s tech-fueled marketplace where customers shop and search online and expect efficient, effective user experiences, there is one hard and fast rule: Embrace digital if you want to compete. And yes, that applies to your B2B wholesale distribution business as much as it does to a consumer-focused B2C business. Why? Your customers, channel partners, distributors, and prospective customers—and everyone in between—expect the convenience of e-commerce when they do business with you at every level and on every turn. Luckily, there’s a solution that delivers just that: omni-commerce. Let’s take a look at why your whole distribution B2B company needs to leverage the power of an omni-commerce strategy and platform to get and stay ahead.
But First…The B2B Ecommerce Boom: By the Numbers
In 2017, global B2B ecommerce sales reached $7.661 trillion—a 257.4 percent difference in market size compared to B2C data measuring online sales over that same period. In the age of the tech-savvy consumer, customers don’t just appreciate a seamless, streamlined, consistent omni-channel digital experience—they expect it. B2B companies are rightfully paying attention to this shift; 69 percent say they intend to stop printing catalogs entirely over the course of the next five years, and it’s projected that by 2019, B2B companies will outspend online retailers when it comes to ecommerce technology. There’s good reason for that: 60 percent of B2B decision makers indicate they prefer to buy online, 98 percent spend a significant amount of time searching online before making a buying decision, and 67 percent of the buyers’ journey is completed digitally.
Although B2B companies are clearly aware of the need to embrace digital transformation in order to stay relevant and competitive, one fact remains: Many B2B organizations say the “era of empowered customers” is a top challenge. The good news? There’s a solution. Let’s take a look.
Five Reasons to Embrace an Omni-Commerce Strategy and Platform Solutions
- There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all buyer experience. We all know buyer experience is what seals the deal, and we all know no two buyers have the exact same needs. One buyer, for example, might be placing a repeat order while another might be brand new to your company and require more interaction with customer service. Leveraging an omni-commerce strategy ensures both buyers’ needs are met seamlessly and in a way that builds their confidence in your brand.
- Your buyers, manufacturers, and distributors are online—and you should be, too. As I mentioned above, almost all business buyers spend time online researching their purchases before they commit. They’re searching (and sometimes buying) from a host of devices, ranging from laptops, to tablets, to smartphones. If you’re delivering an omni-commerce experience, you’re delivering a consistent experience every time and giving your B2B buyers the tools that empower them to come to you, not the other way around.
- Generating and managing leads has never been easier. Odds are lead generation is a huge focus for your B2B company, and rightfully so—but is your lead management system working for you? Or is it cumbersome and inefficient? Omni-commerce portals help integrate and inform your lead system, helping you personalize buyer experiences and leverage data to make sure you’re capitalizing when you can and always providing the most value.
- Timing is everything. If your site crashes or you run out of inventory, you’re not just frustrated—you’re losing money by the second. We’ve already established that your buyers are online, and if you’re not there to meet them when they’re ready, you’ve likely lost the sale. That requires access to accurate data maintained in real time. Timing matters internally, too—optimizing your supply chain and marketing systems means you can get your product or service to market in a way that’s better and faster than your competitors. In this fast-paced digital market, your digital presence should be a frictionless extension of your back-end services. This can also shorten time to market and cerate huge value drivers. And, you guessed it—omni-commerce portals deliver on both fronts.
- Streamline, streamline, streamline. I mentioned above that not every buyer is in the same stage of the journey, but let’s also consider that not every buyer is in the same place physically, too. With every digital interaction, your B2B company is dealing with localization considerations like language and currency—but there’s more. What about taxation? Proper reporting? Does your current approach leverage electronic invoicing? If not, it clearly should. Omni-commerce portals take care of all that and then some, giving you time to do what you do best: build and deepen relationships with clients and distributors, grow your business, and keep your eyes open for more ways you can thrive in the digital economy.
The bottom line? B2B portals like Dintec’s Omni-Commerce Cloud Solution for wholesale distributors powered by SAP can help facilitate entrance into new markets and allow your company to compete in global markets because they check all the boxes I just described above. They allow you to meet your customers’ increasingly digital needs while also streamlining interactions with your own distributors, manufacturers, and elsewhere within your supply chain. It’s a win-win. We’d love to help you with that. Please feel free to reach out to Dintec to learn how we can help you reach your goals with an omni-commerce strategy.
Mario Gutierrez is the CEO and co-founder of Dintec, who works with companies to help them operate more efficiently and improve their profits through the adoption of technology. Mario has spent more than 20 years working with clients all over the world, in different industries and sizes, from SME's to brand leading corporations. He knows how to drive consistent growth for a company by automating its processes with the best Information Technology tools available in the market. The right solution will fit customers specific needs, but above everything, be implemented correctly, on budget and on time.
Mario holds a Bachelor's Degree in Electronic and Communication Engineering from the Universidad Iberoamericana of Mexico and has been awarded as a leader in Cloud ERP adoption.