Starting an eCommerce company can be as scary as it is exciting. If you are creating a new B2B eCommerce platform, it is essential you learn how to balance in-house resources with outsourced resources, because a failure to do so could result in your company’s failure.
We recommend adopting the crawl-walk-run method when launching a new platform, because gaining ecommerce expertise and revenue will take time, so you must be patient.
Create a Solid Business Plan
Before you dip a toe into the B2B ecommerce market, you must create a solid business plan as it will be the key to your success. An ecommerce business plan will help to identify the number of people you will need to hire, the different technologies you require, the ecommerce platform you will use to successfully start your business, and your target demographic.
For much larger organisations, for example those running on SAP, who are on the path towards digital transformation, we recommend using products from companies such as www.weaveability.com to successfully acquire new customers using their SAP B2B customer portals, streamlining processes and the customer experience, which will be in addition to your current customer adoption.
The business plan will also detail the business investment fees, projected figures and the company’s three, six and twelve month goals, as well as a long-term vision. Once you have set a company direction, you can then start putting the plan into action.
Strong leadership is the backbone of any successful company. The business owner will need to make some tough hiring decisions, which could make or break the ecommerce platform’s success before it has even started. You may have to update company processes and establish new internal relationships to ensure the success of an ecommerce website.
The B2C Framework
It never hurts to take inspiration from the B2C ecommerce model when creating a B2B platform, as they are customer focused and offer personalized experiences. However, you must also ensure your B2B incorporates:
- Fulfilment methods (for example, customer pick up)
- Account management
- Invoice management
- Electronic catalogues
- Access to historical information
- Personalized content & promotions
- Product lists
- Delivery tracking
Hire the Right Candidates
With B2B customers expecting the same convenience from a unit that they would find from a B2C platform, it is important you do not rule out B2C candidates who have extensive experience in the industry. Combine their experience with your B2B product knowledge and you could become strong competition in the B2B marketplace.
For an ecommerce platform to reach its potential, it is vital a business owner hires experienced ecommerce professionals, as they will be familiar with web merchandising, eCommerce technologies and more. However, you must also take the time to adapt their mindset to the B2B environment.
Creating a successful B2B ecommerce platform will take hard work and time, and success will not happen overnight. However, with patience and determination, you can guarantee all the hard work will result in many rewards for the company. With the right platform, you can improve customer relationships and raise the bar on the competition.