B2B Marketing Consulting & Agency Services Blog
B2B Ecommerce that Drives Sales
Welcome to the transactional side of B2B businesses: ecommerce.
Rising digital expectations make it difficult to keep up with the promise of one-click purchases (ahem, Amazon) but, if ecommerce is right for your business, it can create an entirely new revenue stream to supplement current sales, sell outside your current geographical area, expand into new markets, and appeal to those who want to buy without any human interaction.
Many, particularly manufacturers, have three main concerns regarding ecommerce:
- Channel Conflict: businesses with channel partners and distributors worry that they will be stepping on the interests of partners they’ve built relationships with
- Implementation: it is costly, complicated and time-consuming to create an ecommerce site with an unknown return on investment
- Maintenance: what it will cost to maintain the ecommerce site, keep product information updated and having someone in charge of it who is responsive and proactive
All of these concerns can be overcome, when you work with the right B2B ecommerce partner.
By the Numbers
You aren’t alone in both your concern and excitement regarding ecommerce technology. In fact, a recent 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 ecommerce 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 ecommerce website – i.e. have your cake and eat it, too?
Avoiding Channel Conflict
Perhaps the most pressing concern to any business exploring ecommerce: how do we create an ecommerce website for ourselves without angering our channel partners?
First, it’s typical to sell your products at list price. Channel partners typically sell at street price. With the discount you provide, they can sell at street price and still earn a juicy margin, so there shouldn’t be any price issues – particularly if you establish a minimum advertised price (MAP) policy. 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 who would rather skip the distributor altogether. Back in 2015, Google found that nearly half of B2B decision makers were 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’s 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 Ecommerce
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 pages 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 ecommerce 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.
Expedited Launch of Ecommerce Platform for PPE During COVID-19
A longtime client of Innovaxis, this packaging and retail display company stepped up their game when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. They made a 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 ecommerce site with products for both tax-exempt and taxable entities
- Quickly promote the new and scarce PPE to those who need it most
Innovaxis worked daily with the client to launch an ecommerce 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 cost calculation
- Launch of Google Ad campaigns
- Creation of press releases
They are now able to drive PPE buyers to self-serve on the 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 ecommerce sites hosted on WooCommerce, Big Commerce, Shopify, 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.