The e-Commerce Business to Business (B2B) model as its name says is the process of buying and selling products/services between companies. Based on this it is characterized in that it must have the ability to meet characteristics very different from those of an e-Commerce B2C which is based on the processing of many simultaneous customers with the same process, on the contrary the B2B is of fewer customers, but larger and with a personalized process, which involves being able to manage profiles by customer, process orders of large volumes, have different means and forms of payment, historical to buy that allows the customer to make repetitive purchases, among many others.
The implementation of an e-Commerce B2B model is a process of transformation in the business and most importantly, it must be clear the goals that the company seeks to achieve with this implementation, which in turn allows to perform an analysis of the platforms available in the market in order to choose the one that best suits the requirements of the particular organization , for which the following must be taken into account:
1. Idea, Market Research and Business Plan.
- The idea is to define strut: What products are we going to sell, which catalogs are we going to have available? And who are we going to sell to?
- For research you can use some tools such as surveys, interviews, results analysis, etc. Data, quantitative and qualitative studies, among others, can be combined to have a market understanding.
- And what about the business plan? Some of the elements it should contain goals, target audience, business model, competition analysis, value-added definition, budget and pricing policy.
- These three elements that we cite are critical to be able to analyze which platform has the ability to meet our requirements.
- You must remember that what you don't see, does NOT exist.
- Establishing a marketing plan that helps increase visits and, in turn, a high conversion factor that generates sales is critical.
- You should be aware that a marketing plan for e-Commerce is a little different from traditional plans, as the customer does not behave the same when they buy for themselves as when they do so on behalf of their company.
- Complying with this requires that the platform we are deploying has marketing tools to be able to execute the strategies.
3. A Marketplace or direct sale
- The options currently available both at the platform level, as well as the options to reach the final market that we are interested in, put us face the challenge of deciding whether we will sell through an external platform or through our own virtual store, both are viable, but not all e-Commerce platforms have the ability to handle both.
- The main advantage of a marketplace is its visibility and positioning, usually they take over marketing and often have brand recognition. Against this the enormous competitiveness between the brands with presence in these sites, which sometimes leads to a price war.
- For its part, in the direct sale, the advantage is visibility, once we manage to attract customers, it is much greater and here the differentiating factor is customer service, with a direct contact that will allow to strengthen and strengthen the relationship. In addition, it gives us the opportunity to customize the platform according to the visitor, adapting all the conditions: catalogs, prices and / or promotions, among others.
- It is important to be sure that the platform that we are going to choose has the ability to generate that customization per customer, as well as be able to integrate from the marketplaces.
- Likewise, the recommendation is to start from your own store, since you are the one who sets the rules and can adapt and learn from the behavior of consumers, from there, you can move on to the next stage that is a Marketplace, which is clear will help you reach new buyers.
4. Payment methods
- This point has two implications: on the one hand the site requires that the platform have the security measures and features that make customers calm when making a purchase.
- On the other hand, the platform must have the ability to integrate and offer different means of payment, such as credit card, bank transfers, credit sales, among others.
5. Logistics Local, national or international?
- It is clear that a cloud platform is global and therefore its offering can be, so it is clear that your company must reflect before making a decision.
- On the one hand, they must establish a specific market that they are safe to serve, for this they must be clear about the logistics capacity, legal restrictions and personnel they have, since the logistics chain must be foolproof.
- The other thing you should consider here are the scopes of the platform that you will use which you will have the ability to integrate with multiple shipping and logistics options, order handling, among others.
6. Customization: transparency, prices and offers.
- The B2B business model imposes as the greatest challenge to have the ability to be transparent with customers and comply with the terms that we have agreed with each of them: prices, volumes, product specifications, payment conditions and delivery, among others, which implies offering a personalized platform to each of them that conforms to all these conditions.
The above-mentioned elements and features will allow you to have a foundation to analyze the platforms available in the market and see which one best fits your business goals.
Particularly with the experience we have accumulated in Imagineer working with a large number of customers in various industries, it has allowed us to see the experiences lived by companies with different tools, which led us to the conviction that Magento become the best platform to implement an e-Commerce B2B since it meets the highest demands of the market.
Here you can find some success story references from companies that have implemented Magento B2B: https://magento.com/case-studies
If you already complete with all of the above and want to have a business operating 24/7, you are only a few hours short of work ahead accompanied by the experts.