The B2B sale was only 13% digitally generated in 2019 but the figures are expected to reach 17% in 2023 – which is not very common.
Along with the lockdown situation, the e-commerce business is booming and growing more than it ever was. All the industries are working to bring their business into the digital market or have at least some digital presence.
In such a state of growing financial situation, you might wonder why the old B2B companies are not working on this digital transformation.
There are many challenges in the B2B e-commerce sales if compared with the traditional B2C transaction but they can be dealt with by using different tools such as one’s available on TestProject.io
Though it is easy to deal with consumers instead of meetings, negotiations, and contracts that were a part of typical sales, the modern B2B buyer has quite versatile expectations.
Here are described the challenges faced by the B2B e-commerce business along with the solutions to ease their path towards digital transformation.
This is a Guest Post by Daniel M.
Challenge 1 – Management of Multiple Sellers on the Platform
The top-rated companies such as Philips, Ford, and Apple have built up platforms of B2B e-commerce to help buyers in the procurement of their products in bulk amounts.
However, these are the separate business sites where they are the manufacturer as well as the seller and they also support their customers with varying demands.
However, the B2B marketplace is full of all other sellers that give a tough time to buyers. There are a lot of crowds full of different manufacturers, wholesalers, and resellers and seller management require different tasks such as seller support, services prioritization, and classification.
The major challenges posed to seller management are:
- Ensuring easy seller onboarding.
- Providing the fair opportunity of sale to every seller.
- Providing appropriate seller support in case of customer fraud.
- Identification of genuine sellers from the entire seller crowd.
B2B marketplace can help genuine sellers by putting various checks on the platform. Few important checks include:
- Verification of document by sellers by asking them to submit their certificates of authorization.
- Manual checking procedure of products by labelling them like gold or gold plus or ranking them.
Therefore, to ensure better management of sellers and to make the whole process smooth, it would be good to mark important checks at various steps of buying. This will help in the identification of genuine sellers and offer a fair opportunity to each seller.
Challenge 2 – Duplicate Content Across the Platform
The B2B sellers sell the product with the product image and description. However, these sellers somehow end up using similar content that leads to different issues such as brand interference, a higher rate of return, and poor customer satisfaction.
In the majority of cases, the product comes from one manufacturer and the retailer provides their name that leads to duplicate content problems.
- It takes away the opportunity of buying from the original sellers as the copied content of an unauthorized seller can convince the users easily to buy.
- Buyers looking for genuine products will be shown with appropriate pictures of a genuine product. Here the brand interferes with the marketplace and genuine seller as the user will ultimately buy from the unauthorized seller and will make a return of the product.
By placing certain checks, the marketplace can provide genuine sellers with unique content. This can be done by:
- Establishing a certain set of rules about everything. Such as, for images, it can be ensured that the images must be free from logos, any contact details, must be on a white background and are of high quality.
- Listing products with a unique and appropriate product description that is free from plagiarism.
This is how the original sellers will get the chance of having more buyers. And the buyer will ultimately get genuine products, thereby enhancing user experience.
Challenge 3 – Handling of High Bulk Shipments
The values of orders for the B2B e-commerce is quite higher in comparison to the B2C transactions, which shows that the sellers buy the products in the bulk form from the B2B marketplace.
As the size of orders is higher, there is trouble for logistics. Small orders can easily be conveyed with road transport, ensuring quick delivery but freight shipment is one of the biggest challenges for bulk orders.
It is better to establish a logistics company just like Flipkart and Amazon have done. These companies got the already existing logistics company and utilized their services by rebranding them.
Outsourcing is also a good option for small businesses. The use of Logistics Company enables handling of high bulk shipments easily and B2B marketplace gets the chance of high bulk orders.
The B2B marketplace that carries deep pockets has the capability of simplifying logistics by either outsourcing one or by creating its own logistical company. For new and emerging B2B sellers, outsourcing is a better option.
However, for professional companies, it would be good to handle logistics through another company as the marketplace will get the chance to focus on other business development options.
Challenge 4 – Long & Complex B2B Buying Process Required Many Decision-makers
The buying process of B2B has wide people involved with separate responsibilities.
There are different stakeholders, financial representatives, and many more that may delay the process of delivery to a year or more. This complexity requires strong back office management where the business owners or managers need to show every stakeholder their appropriate task.
You must require strong and integrated tools such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationships management (CRM) that integrates all data and self-service options as well.
The ERP software carries the accounting, 360-degree view, and order management of the clients in a real-time system that offers the choice of customizing functionality and workflow of the office.
Challenge 5 – Maintenance of Customer Relationship
One of the unique challenges faced by B2B companies is that they need to be on the top and consider every client’s account health on the check. If the current account is inactive then the company must have the appropriate strategy of follow-up.
This can be done by the integration of CRM software that manages the entire communication and interaction with the client. It will speed up the service of the company by streamlining the processes of buying and follow-up.
The CRM software serves as an important management tool as it helps in the management of entire communication and better client interaction. By integrating the system, streamlines the entire processes of a company and makes things easy to manage the job.
Challenge 6 – Managing Credit Line Requests from Buyers
The B2C marketplace has come up with buy now and pay later features to grab the customers so they spend more and to stop them from leaving their carts.
Such services do not need any credit card and require a credit limit by the marketplace that is varied by the purchase history of the client.
However, the B2B transactions are quite large in volume and the company can’t spend such a large amount so the buyers request some repayment period. Some companies have investors while others have no funds for this credit line extension.
It has been noted that the credit lines can bring a boost in the average order size that leads to the reorders. The B2B marketplace can introduce the system that shows the credibility of the buyer and allow them a grace period on such a basis.
The manufacturers were not concerned with their product presentation previously. However, with the B2B marketplace, the sellers have adapted Amazon’s presentation style to grab the customers.
By knowing and understanding the challenges posed in the process of buying, the B2B marketplace can make a platform for the sellers to enhance their business with companies. Such a type of platform will benefit every person including manufacturer, seller, and customer.