Here are the top B2B eCommerce challenges that every business owner should be aware of to overcome before it's too late.
So I’ve been working with B2B eCommerce for pretty much the entire time that I started with Webnexs. It’s something that I’m passionate about, and I think it’s still in its infancy in most cases, and many companies still struggle with it. I think part of the reason is they just don’t even know where the challenge is.
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B2B Ecommerce Challenges: What Businesses Should know about it?
So here are the B2B eCommerce challenges that I see that most companies underestimate and something to think about in terms of how you are going to tackle this B2B eCommerce challenge number one are product data a lot of B2B companies. They might have product data coming from different sources they’re not used to having this, like super-rich product data that is used to, like the usual kind of business to consumer brand.
Because they’re putting products on a shelf, they already have to have it super well packaged for the consumer. Many B2B brands aren’t quite used to that, especially from an eCommerce standpoint in terms of having you know tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of products on their website with essential product data.
So that’s the first place I would start making sure you have a great strategy, whether it’s a pin system or just using the eCommerce system or just some sort of strategy to make sure that that’s competitive online. The other big one is just overall B2B e-commerce features.
I think it’s still a new industry. There’s no platform out there that I would say has every feature, and that’s probably not going to be the case. Usually, B2B eCommerce is nuanced, and every company has their way of maybe doing things a bit differently.
So figure out what B2B eCommerce features you need and how much of those might be part of a B2B platform that can accomplish that for you, and how much might need to be custom or built outside that. So it’s starting to hone in on the b.a.p features, so the most basic example that companies often overlook is the concept of company accounts.
If your B2B eCommerce is selling to companies that want a company account, they might have multiple users. It’s not the same as just a consumer account, and you’re seeing companies like Amazon or investing that we have an Amazon business account. So we can add users to it. It’s very different from just your consumer account. The other big one that companies struggle with is ERP integration.
Usually, B2B companies have built their business on an ERP is a big one that we work with you know there’s lots of ERP systems that I can name, but you have all this critical data in there, and then you have ecommerce, which is just separate from it.
So integrating the two is often a big challenge, and many of these ERP systems don’t have tremendous and eCommerce platforms. So typically, you have a different B2B eCommerce system, so really feeding through about how that data is integrated, what is the master system, and how it kind of goes back and forth is essential.
Something that’s often overlooked, which ties into the next point, is pricing a lot of companies is one of the big ones that I see people struggle with because they never really get traction with B2B eCommerce.
Because they can never figure out pricing on the website, people just call in. You might have a B2B eCommerce website that looks great seems like it’s excellent, but the pricing is not real-time and accurate. So they’re going to call in and get the absolute pricing because there’s no point in buying on the website, so you have to figure out how to get your website pricing to reflect the exact pricing that people would call in to push people in that direction.
So something that we’ve worked hard to figure out for our customers, and it’s usually not something that you can necessarily figure out in one step. It might be a phased approach to get it to where you want it to be.
So yeah, those are some B2B eCommerce challenges that we see other big ones on. Sorry, I almost forgot to mention that shipping and fulfillment can become very tricky.
Because you’re not just fulfilling this little package, you might be doing these big giant orders that might require free shipping and all these different, more complicated logistics. So you want to think about logistics. There are lots of platforms out there that you can integrate into your eCommerce platform.
But overall, logistically, you want to think big picture about how that’s all going to work and how they’re going to get real-time, you know, shipping rates on the website, or maybe there’s a different way that you want to do it. Still, shipping and fulfillment is a complex topic for beauty.
So, that’s for now, if you’re really felt struggling with your B2B or B2C eCommerce business, get consulted by an expert eCommerce service provider to sort out the hiccups.