Last Updated on February 28, 2021 by Dan Christoffersen
One of the main benefits of a B2B eCommerce platform is increased sales. Forrester, for example, found that 60% of B2B companies report increased sales to customers who purchase online vs. offline.
There are multiple explanations for this effect, but in this blog post, we have chosen to focus on three of them: Visual appeal, utilization of data, and customer retention.
What is a B2B eCommerce platform?
But first, what is a B2B eCommerce platform?
We describe this in length in some of our other blog posts (this one, for example), so we won’t go too much into details here.
A B2B eCommerce platform is a tool that B2B and wholesale brands use to digitize their sales process. It’s software that allows you to manage retailers, products, and B2B orders in one platform.
A B2B eCommerce platform is a digital alternative to the traditionally analog B2B and wholesale order process. Instead of having to fill out and email order forms and order sheets, the customers can order online in a dedicated B2B order portal.
Ordering via a B2B portal is often easier for the customer because it resemblance shopping online as a private consumer. At the same time, it comes with some clear benefits for the seller – for example, in the form of increased sales.
Let’s move on to see how and why a B2B eCommerce platform can increase sales.
The visual appeal
It is no secret that the visual aspect plays an important role when customers determine what to purchase. This, of course, goes for B2B customers as well. When your retailers purchase via a B2B order portal,, they can see your products and are more inclined to try products they haven’t purchased before.
The analog alternative
Let’s look at the analog alternative. Often, brands that are not using a B2B eCommerce platform for their sales use a wholesale order form. This typically comes in the form of a glorified excel sheet. It looks something like this:
They sent this order form by email to their customers and ask them to fill it out line by line. There are barely any visuals of the products (if any at all). Nothing that induces the customers to order anything more than the bare minimum to restock.
The appealing B2B order portal
Letting your customers order from a B2B order portal instead of boring order forms allows you to showcase your products in the best way. In addition to seeing just the product name, basic product info, and prices, the customers can see product images (packshots, mood shots, lifestyle action shots, etc.).
Furthermore, some B2B eCommerce platforms are easily customized to match your brand. This will further stimulate your customers to order from your product line.
Utilize your data
Data is the future. If you are not utilizing data to improve your sales – and business in general – you are missing out. And if you are handling your B2B sales manually, collecting the data becomes unnecessarily onerous.
The manual alternative
Using Excel sheets and emails for orders leaves a poor foundation for collecting data. In theory, you could collect and analyze some data manually. Customer information and sales stats, for example. But doing so would be very time-consuming and prone to errors.
Also, there will be certain types of data that you will not have access to at all when using a manual approach. This is, for example, customer engagement and behavioral data.
The digital foundation for data analytics
Using a B2B eCommerce platform, all data is collected automatically when your retailers use your B2B order portal. Using eCommerce software, you will not only be able to get basic customer data and sales stats. The software will also give you access to more interesting data such as customer engagement, behavior, and activity. Using this additional data, you will be able to gain some very useful customer insights to help you improve your business.
Additionally, in most eCommerce software, the data is analyzed and visualized automatically. This means that you can benefit from the insights of data without being a data scientist yourself.
It’s fundamental to retain customers, since customers that purchase multiple times are more valuable. While this statement is perhaps somewhat obvious, you might be surprised just how valuable retaining a customer is. Studies show that your loyal top 10% spend 3 times more per order than the lower 90%, and your top 1% of customers spend five times more than the lower 99%.
And a B2B eCommerce platform is a great tool for retaining customers. A B2B eCommerce solution will allow you to digitalize your retailer management and ensure a much better overview, ultimately helping you improve customer retention.
The manual and analog alternative
When using the manual and analog process, there is a risk that you might “forget” some of your customers. As silly as this might sound, we actually often see this. As the business is growing and you expand from a handful of retailers to hundreds, it is not uncommon to lose track of, especially the smaller and earlier retailers that were acquired.
The result? That some of your retailers stop ordering from you because you are not paying attention and keeping them activated and engaged.
Activate your customers with your B2B eCommerce platform
An eCommerce platform, on the other hand, will work as an effective tool to manage your retailers and get an overview. Combine this with the customer activity data, and you will be able to quickly and precisely pinpoint which of your customers needs attention.
Via the eCommerce platform, you can send your inactive customers info on your products, offer them special deals, and send them various promotional emails. And better yet, you can track what they respond to and what they don’t.
Other ways that a B2B eCommerce platform boost sales
These were three of the effects that make a B2B eCommerce platform help brands boost their sales. But there are many other beneficial effects of digitizing your sales. You can read some of them here.
If you are interested in learning the potential specifically for your company, please book a 30 min online demo of the Turis B2B eCommerce platform.