Transitioning B2B Customers Online

By CIOReview | Wednesday, June 6, 2018
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For years, e-commerce has been solely controlled by B2C brands like Amazon and eBay, with consumers navigating toward digital media for researching, validating, and ultimately purchasing personal and household products. And now, this has led businesses to change the way they make purchases too. According to a research conducted by Forrester, a whopping 93 percent of B2B buyers prefer purchasing online with self-serve information and ordering options from vendors. A number of manufacturers, suppliers, and wholesalers are starting to open up new online storefronts intrigued by the scale and efficiency offered by B2C e-commerce.

This transition, however, requires converting legacy buyers into online shoppers, which is not an easy process. But, there are a number of ways in which this can be done:

  • One is to educate the existing customers about the benefits of e-commerce and what it offers, through the use of instructional videos. Guide them to log in through the portal to demonstrate its easy use, show them how to access the personal prices, order history, past orders, stock status, and order products online.
  • Secondly, offer exclusive web store discounts like free shipping or a promotional code to encourage the customers to try out the new web store. Offer customers incentives for their first online purchase in the form of premium-grade marketing materials or extended payment terms for first orders and more.
  • At the same time, an organization’s sales force plays an equally important job in converting offline customers into online buyers. It is hence necessary to recognize their work and provide them with incentives like monetary bonuses, gift cards or additional time off.

In the coming days, B2B buyers are expected to undergo a significant transformation in their purchasing patterns with the ever-gaining popularity of B2B e-commerce. This digital commerce will not only be an opportunity to B2B companies but a strategic necessity in order to guarantee their survival.