Has your B2B business started the journey to a digital transformation? According to a McKinsey & Company survey (#), almost 90% of sales during the pandemic have moved to a videoconferencing/phone/web sales model, and while some skepticism remains, more than half believe this is equally or more effective than sales models used before Covid-19. So the question is no longer “Should you go digital?” but it is “How do you get started?”.
There are lots of benefits to switching from a traditional phone-ordering service to a full eCommerce solution where customers buy online. Change can cause disruption so businesses are tempted to stick with what they know.
While digital transformation is a transition, the benefits by far outweigh the cons and the time it will take to set up. Take your first step. Start small. Start with digital commerce for example. Your online channel will help you save money and time, reduce order errors, provide an improved customer experience, and even give you a competitive edge. Here we will share some of the top benefits of switching to a digital solution.
One of the first things a business will consider is the cost. Naturally, you want any change you make to the business to be cost-effective and worth it.
The good news is that a digital commerce solution will save you money overall. It will have an initial cost to get it set up, but the costs you can save in your day-to-day business dealings make it worthwhile.
Saving Time and Money
How does an online channel save you money? A traditional method of ordering often requires a great deal of work behind the scenes. There’s generating, receiving, and processing the orders which can require back and forth via email or phone. That means you always need staff on hand to deal with inquiries which costs your business money in terms of salary.
As this is a more labor-intensive and time-consuming method of order processing, it’s more expensive. Time is money after all. Anything you can do to make your business more efficient and speed up the ordering process can only be a good thing.
Reduce Costly Errors
Another way a digital B2B sales solution can help with costs is through error reduction. When sales go through analog processes such as paper catalogs and phone orders, they are not only time-consuming (and therefore expensive) but are also more likely to create errors. With the human element involved in traditional ordering methods, this inevitably means errors. These mistakes cost money and take time and effort to sort out.
A B2B storefront could flag errors such as an incorrect SKU or when a large number of items are ordered. Without this system, these errors and simple typos can be expensive mistakes for your business.
Therefore, a B2B storefront is the way to go for those businesses looking to reduce costs, time, and mistakes.
Reduce Customer Errors
On a similar note, a digital system can also flag errors that customers make while ordering online. For example, if they type in an invalid order number, a system will be able to catch that.
A good digital commerce system will either flag a warning for the customer or not allow them to enter those details if it deems them incorrect. This can save customers a lot of hassle as well. No more accidental orders, incorrect order quantities, or prices to sort out.
Improve User Experience
In the modern era, customers expect a simple, smooth process when ordering products online. With plenty of websites out there offering a fast and easy way to buy online, any business which does not is at an immediate disadvantage.
It has become the norm, especially with younger generations, that there will be an online ordering method. Those commerce websites that don’t offer a way to order online could leave customers confused and disappointed.
The great thing about digital commerce is that it brings a great deal of improvement to the customer experience. Ordering can be done within a few simple clicks which save time for your customers.
Beyond that, order trackers and automated emails on dispatch are also a great way to keep customers in the loop. They’re also things that customers have come to expect as standard when ordering something online.
Customized Sites for B2B
A digital B2B sales solution also allows you to tailor your offerings for clients. When integrated with an ERP or another system of record, you can produce customized sites that only show the information relevant to the client. For example, you could direct them to customized price lists or product catalogs for their industry specifically.
These customizations can also go by geographic regions. For example, the webpage will only show products local to the client. This all helps to create a much-improved customer experience as it ensures customers are only seeing information relevant to them.
Developing a digital commerce solution can also help you stay ahead of the competition. That’s because an improved customer experience will be a key factor in a customer’s decision to shop with you. B2B and B2C sellers do risk being left behind if they don’t have the same ordering methods that other businesses have.
From a B2B perspective, millennials and Generation Z employees are now a huge part of the workforce and many are starting businesses themselves. That’s why it’s so important to have a solution that targets their needs and expectations when they come to order from you.
Therefore, for your business to remain relevant and thrive in the modern market, you will need to embrace the digital world with a digital B2B sales solution.
Are You Ready to Be the Change Agent for Digital?
To answer this question, you need to ask yourself – what will drive your business forward? By 2021, 65% of organizations will have shifted to digital-first through automated operations and contactless experiences, as physical interactions become an amenity of the past as reported by IDC (##).
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a custom digital commerce strategy for your company. Zobrist and HCL Commerce have partnered to deliver success to our customers and we would like to share our winning strategy with you.
# The B2B Digital Inflection Point: How sales have changed during Covid-19 by McKinsey & Co, April 20, 2020.
## IDC Predicts 65% of APAC* GDP will be Digitalized Reaching US$ 1.2 Trillion in Spending by 2022, November 4, 2020.