There’s no denying the powerful impact of e-commerce on the world of traditional retail. By connecting shoppers to a virtually unlimited marketplace, it has transformed the way most retailers approach marketing, operations and logistics. Some have adapted more or less successfully to this upheaval while others have been consumed by it, and the ongoing changes have been well-publicized.
What hasn’t received as much attention, however, is the effect e-commerce has on B2B transactions. It has the potential to provide most companies in this sphere with some powerful differentiators. But for whatever reason, many haven’t yet taken advantage of everything e-commerce has to offer.
With a solid platform in place, your business will be open 24/7 for any potential customers who find you. Effective SEO practices will enable your website to be among the first results returned when someone searches for the services you provide. Your online customers will be able to browse through your comprehensive offerings at their own pace and easily find what they need. In addition, you’ll gain valuable insights into your customer base thanks to the metrics captured by your site.
However, careful planning is necessary if you’re going make the most of your online presence. Although you may be impatient to hang out your virtual shingle right away, there’s more to a successful e-commerce platform than simply having a URL. There are many elements of the user experience, security and design that need to function at the highest level in order to ensure the best results. For example, the site should be designed with scalability in mind. It should be just as easy to browse and use on a smartphone or tablet as it is on a desktop computer. This means testing across multiple devices should be a high priority before launching your website.
Online shopping has transformed the way retail business is conducted in a fundamental way. It should come as no surprise that it can do the same for your B2B operations. For more tips on how you can build a platform that will provide the most benefit to your company and your customers, take a look at the accompanying guide. It details a number of crucial elements that you’ll need if you want to expand into the online realm.
Author bio: Marty Acks is Senior Director of Product Management for CDI Technology, which focuses on delivering intuitive payment processing, e-commerce, point-of-sale and supplier collaboration solutions to enterprise-level organizations. Acks’ experience and authority with SAP, Oracle and IBM has made him a sought-after speaker and editorial contributor.