ecommerce b2b companies

Can B2B Companies Afford to Remain Status Quo?

It is now more important than ever to ensure your digital commerce business is up to date and taking full advantage of modern technology. For those businesses who haven’t yet made the jump to digital solutions and online ordering, are you ready to finally make the change?

With your sales force restricted in their travel and not seeing customers face-to-face, you will fall behind competitors who are able to pivot online to continue their sales effort. You will need to beat them to the punch by having your own digital strategy. The good news is that a digital B2B sales solution is easier to set up than you might think and you will be reaping the benefits in no time.

Problems with Traditional Ordering Methods

Traditional methods of selling goods or services online usually run into a few problems. The first is that it takes time to process orders and modern customers expect instant results. The next problem is the cost attached to manual order processing.

Expenses and Processing Costs

Traditional methods such as the use of paper catalogs and phone orders are outdated, inefficient, and not very user (nor employee) friendly. They can also be a great deal more expensive than modern solutions so it’s a no-brainer to update your online presence to a digital commerce solution.

A modern, efficient solution can save your business money, not only in processing costs but it can also help you make more money by making your business more competitive and customer-friendly.

More Errors

Another problem with traditional methods of ordering products is that it’s a method rife with errors. When placing an order over the phone, customers could misread the product code, or the agent on the phone could mishear or make simple typos.

This can lead to incorrect orders and unhappy customers, neither of which you want as a growing business. These mistakes can be costly to rectify and will harm your business’ reputation with customers.

Benefits of Digital Commerce

Digital Commerce Catalog

The great thing about a digital Commerce solution is that it takes care of both the backend and the frontend. A digital B2B sales solution will handle the order processing side but it will also make creating a digital catalog much easier.

Solutions such as HCL Commerce make it easy to add and customize new product entries on your website so that they look appealing to customers. Once customers have browsed through your online catalog, they can make an order in just a few simple clicks.

The Power of the Internet and Customer Buying Behavior

digital commerce on computer
A digital commerce sales solution for your B2B company provides the same convenience that customers have grown accustomed to with Amazon

The pandemic changed the way customers buy and they are not turning back. The average B2B buyer shops online, searches for information about products, and uses on average 5 different touchpoints for every purchase! Within just a few clicks, customers can find what they need through Amazon or Google, compare products, or look at customer reviews. Customers can do this all through their phone and with voice search.

What is important to understand here is that unless your company can make it easy to find your products online, browse, compare products, and order – you will get left behind by those businesses that provide all these capabilities seamlessly.

A digital commerce solution enables you to meet these customer expectations which will help your business thrive in the modern market.

Supercharged Your Digital Catalog with a Search Engine

Once people can find your website a bit more easily, you can go one step further and use a search engine in your online store to find all your products and content. A personalized search engine will use AI to help improve the relevancy of the search results, handling descriptions, spelling, and product attributes such as color, size, brand, price, and so on to get you to what you are looking for.

To go even further, you could offer a search box that features type-ahead, synonym, aliasing, and natural language capabilities to make it even easier for customers to find what they’re looking for.

More Efficient

Another benefit of using a digital ordering solution is that it provides a more efficient tool for both customers and your business. When customers make an order, a digital solution will automatically process this order through an order management system. This order can then affect the backend catalog, reduce stock numbers, or process payments.

There’s no need to manually check and record each individual order that comes through and check stock levels before approving. Automated ordering is much more efficient for everyone.

More Accurate

With an automated system for your online ordering, you get to benefit from a more accurate system as well because automation greatly reduces the chance of human error.

Some software solutions will provide error warnings if data doesn’t look right or will prevent you from entering it at all. For example, there will be a limit on order quantities you can type in to combat incorrect orders.

Reduced Cost of Service with eCommerce

With fewer errors and less labor-intensive order processing, you can create a much more cost-effective method of online ordering. You won’t need to hire staff to manage the phone orders, process them manually, or update stock. A digital commerce solution will handle all of these processes within seconds, reducing your overall cost of doing business.

Improved Customer Experience

Making the process of ordering products online easier and faster is always going to be well-received by customers. This new and improved customer experience will mean good things for your business as customers are not turned off by antiquated ordering methods. A smooth and snag-free ordering process increases the chances that customers will come back to you and order again.

24/7 Accessibility

One of the chief benefits of an online catalog and ordering system is that it works 24/7 without the need for staff to always be on-hand to process orders.

This is also a much more accessible method of providing products because your website will be searchable online and can be browsed on any device, any time. This opens up a whole new world for businesses who want to purchase for you. You won’t be limited to only dealing with businesses in your local area or time zone with a 24/7 online shop.

The Digital Commerce Sales Solution

Can you afford to stick with the status quo? Traditional methods of online ordering may have worked fine in the past but it’s a completely different market now. B2B buyers’ shopping behavior is online-focused these days and they expect businesses to follow suit and make it easy for them to order online.

A digital commerce solution ticks all the boxes and helps businesses meet the expectations of modern customers. With a simpler, automated ordering process, customer experience is improved and your business also benefits.

To learn more about how HCL Commerce can help you and your business, sign up for our free demo!