- Channel Conflict: businesses that already have channel partners and distributors worry that they will be stepping on the toes of those they have built relationships with.
- Ease of Purchase: customers crave a self-serve, straightforward path to purchase without dealing with distributors, or they may not have a proximate one to their business.
- Implementation: it is costly, complicated and time-consuming to create an e-commerce site with an unknown return on investment.
- Effective Marketing: how can a company effectively promote a new or existing e-commerce site for more sales?
By the Numbers
You aren’t alone in both your concern and excitement regarding e-commerce technology. In fact, a 2019 report by Episerver found that:
- 54% of B2B leaders believe their disparate technology systems are holding them back from their digital goals; 59% say legacy software is the reason for not being more digitally savvy
- 28% of B2B decision-makers believe expanding into new geographic markets is a top opportunity
- 72% of respondents believe 41%+ of B2B revenue will come from e-commerce websites by 2025
- 54% of B2B companies say channel conflict concern prevents them from selling online
How do you calm your worries, take hold of new opportunities & launch a successful e-commerce website?
Avoiding Channel Conflict
Perhaps the most pressing concern to any business exploring e-commerce: how do we create an e-commerce website for ourselves without cutting into channel partner sales?
First, it is typical to sell items for list price – distributors always sell for less than the list price, and channel partners have their own pricing, so conflict can be avoided if you set some ground rules. For help with pricing or product roadmaps, Innovaxis has expertise in product management from initial market research to product launch.
The second is the need to provide a quick, transactional system for those that would rather skip the distributor altogether. Back in 2015, Google found that nearly half of B2B decision makers are Millennials; that number is likely higher now that more have joined the workforce. As decision makers continue to skew more familiar with all things digital, it is important to provide an opportunity for easy transactions to land more sales – and you should encourage your channel partners to do the same.
Inbound Marketing for B2B E-Commerce
Your inbound marketing revolves around your overall SEO strategy and optimized, relevant content to get organic visitors to your site. This includes optimizing all shop pages and product page as well as adding structured data to increase your likelihood of showing up in the Google shopping results.
Outbound Marketing & Finding Your Target Audience
Similar to that of regular websites, your e-commerce website effort will likely be futile without targeted outbound campaigns to increase prospect awareness. This includes email campaigns, relevant PR placements, and carefully constructed Google Ads.
Don’t know who your target audience is? Get started with a B2B brand story workshop
Recent Ecommerce Project: Expedited Launch of E-Commerce to Sell PPE
A longtime client of Innovaxis, this packaging and retail display company stepped up their game when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. They made the swift decision to leverage their supply chain knowledge and connections to shift a portion of their business to making PPE like face shields and disposable face masks for VA facilities, food processing, and other essential workers.
Challenges to Overcome
- Create an e-commerce site with products for both tax-exempt and taxable entities
- Quickly promote the new and scarce PPE to those that need it most
Innovaxis worked daily with the client to launch an e-commerce site for 4 PPE items within a week. This effort encompassed:
- Implementation of WooCommerce for existing website
- Creation of product pages
- Management of checkout flow
- Integration with UPS API for seamless shipping calculation
- Launch of Google Ad campaigns
- Creation of press releases
They are now able to drive PPE buyers to self-serve on their website while shifting some of their focus back to their core business.
Start Your New Revenue Stream
Innovaxis is experienced in the implementation and management of e-commerce sites hosted on Big Commerce, WooCommerce, and other well-known platforms that integrate seamlessly with WordPress/WP Engine, Wix, SquareSpace, and more. Our expertise lies in leveraging the marketing materials you already have while creating new opportunities that will help you grow your business.
Contact us to get started with a comprehensive marketing audit