Last Updated on July 19, 2021 by Dan Christoffersen
Ecommerce is the way of the future – there’s no way around it. Though a relatively new industry, eCommerce has disrupted many of the traditional sales processes that people have become used to. And this has impacted B2B businesses greatly.
If you want your B2B company to succeed in 2021, you’ll need to reinvent your sales models and processes to cater to the changing market. And this means taking your B2B company from offline to online.
In this blog post, you’ll learn how to take your B2B company from offline to online to remain successful in 2021 – and the future.
Why taking your offline business online is essential to your success
There are many reasons why eCommerce has seen such explosive growth in recent years. Among these is the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been an undeniable contributor to the success of online business.
Throughout the pandemic, retailers big and small have been forced to close their doors. But there are also those who have seen the opportunities to expand their brick-and-mortar businesses by taking them online.
In these times of lockdown and social distancing, consumers have been left with no choice but to do their shopping online. This way, eCommerce has been a vital factor in keeping the economy moving.
Although certainly a catalyst, the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t the only reason that online shopping is increasing in popularity. The fact of the matter is that eCommerce is convenient for consumers in ways that physical shopping simply isn’t.
ECommerce allows consumers to purchase everything they need from the comfort of their own home. They can get groceries delivered to their front door, getting your car serviced at your own garage and try on clothes in their living room. Once consumers are used to this level of convenience, why would they want to go back?
This also applies to wholesale. B2B sales depend on a solid online presence, and eCommerce will only continue to grow. So if you want your business to thrive, taking it online is essential to your success.
Requirements checklist: what to prepare before you move your business online
Before you start the process of taking your B2B company online, there are a few things you need to have in order:
- Business strategy
You need a solid business plan and a clear vision for what you want to achieve when you take your business online.
- Understand your target audience
You need to know that your goods and services are in demand with your target audience. You will need to consider whether your B2B customers will appreciate ordering online.
- Plan what products to sell
Consider whether your products are fit to sell online. Products like clothes, interior and furniture sell very well in a B2B eCommerce setting. Products like spare parts are typically not very fit for eCommerce.
- Inventory and warehouse
Make sure to continually maintain and update your inventory and warehouse. B2B customers hate ordering from you only to find out that the product was actually never in stock.
- Prepare to sell
When you take your B2B sales from offline to online you can expect to see an increase in sales almost immediately. So before you launch your new B2B webshop make sure your organization is ready to handle the sales surge.
Once you’ve ticked off the points on this list, you’re all set to start moving your offline business online.
So how do you move your offline B2B business online?
If you’re ready to take your business from offline to online, here’s what you need to do:
- Select the right B2B eCommerce software
Choose the right software for your eCommerce website based on their features and compatibility with your business model.
- Buy a suitable domain
A domain name is essential to your online identity. Choose an appropriate name for your business.
- Buy cloud hosting
Based on your business magnitude and requirements, choose a secure and efficient hosting provider.
- Download a framework
Choose a framework that satisfies your business needs.
- Set up your eCommerce shop
Build your eCommerce shop and move all your products online. Make sure your product photos and descriptions are up to date.
- POS and payment methods
Include multiple payment gateways that cater to your target audience. Make sure your selected payment gateways are secure.
- Configure shipping methods
Efficient fulfillment is important for customer satisfaction in any industry. Include the shipping methods for the timely fulfillment and delivery of your orders.
- Ensure your eCommerce shop is mobile-friendly
Nearly 3 out of every 4 dollars spent on online purchases today are spent through a mobile device. While the use of mobile for online purchases is mostly dominating the online B2C sales for now, there is no doubt that it will happen in B2B as well.
- Make sure your business is licensed and tax compliant
Attend to license and tax structures to ensure that all legal obligations are taken care of. You don’t want to get in trouble with the tax authorities.
- Make your webshop appealing
(Almost) everybody can build a webshop. The tricky part is building a webshop that is appealing and can sell. Make sure that you have a B2B eCommerce shop that can convert visitors into sales.
Moving your business online takes work – but you don’t have to do it all by yourself
The steps described above will help you take your offline B2B company online. If it sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is. But the pros of taking your business online far outweigh the cons, and it’s worth all the effort you put into it.
And you don’t have to do it all by yourself.
Turis is the engine of your wholesale business. With Turis, you get your own B2B shop. You’re in full control of your shop and able to implement your own strong, visual identity.
Turis allows you to invite your retailers to shop wholesale with you in a password-protected space where your products and prices are only shown to users that you approve of. This way, you’re able to build lasting relationships with your customers and nurture your retailer/buyer connections.