With all the talk about B2B e-commerce these days, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re trying to understand not only what it is, but how it fits into your business.
Some “experts” say it should be this, while other “authorities” say it should be that.
Sometimes it can help to sort through the conflicting information simply by comparing what something is with what it isn’t. After working with thousands of businesses, here are some things that we can definitely say that B2B eCommerce is NOT.
B2B eCommerce is NOT just about technology
It’s not just about the mechanics and logistics of how to engage with your customers online. It’s about strategic thinking and planning. It’s about how you fit into the market and how you can position yourself to dominate your competitors
B2B eCommerce does NOT use a public online environment
Unlike public websites, B2B ecommerce solutions are private, controlled environments. They are often behind the customer’s firewall, and can be accessed only by authorized users.
Not only that, but user security can also involve what each user can do on the site. What each user can see, what they can buy, how much they can buy and at what price… these are all functions that can be controlled at a user level in a B2B eCommerce environment.
B2B eCommerce is NOT a one size fits all solution
Also unlike public websites, B2B ecommerce environments serve your clients exact needs. They are built to integrate seamlessly into your customers’ workflows and processes so that your products and services are more easily accessed as needed.
This can include how orders are routed, when purchases are authorized and finalized, even who fills and ships the orders. B2B eCommerce also can adapt to the customers preferred payment methods, such as PO’s, Credit Card, P-Card, Co-op funds, points etc.
B2B eCommerce is NOT a Marketing Experiment
Many online endeavors take the “put it out there and see what sticks” approach. But B2B e-commerce environments allow you to specifically target your product and service offers to each individual client.
B2B eCommerce solutions also allow you to target specific niches and markets and scale your business in a way that can dominate your competitors through the rapid deployment of an audience specific model.
If you want the clearest picture of what B2B eCommerce is not, as well as what is is, just take advantage of a free B2B ecommerce consultation on the right. You can see real world applications of B2B ecommerce in action and how the effective use of it can radically improve your business across your entire supply chain, from your suppliers and manufacturers to your key clients.