July 23 2020
Now, more than ever, your potential customers are turning to the internet to find what they’re looking for. In fact, according to a recent study conducted by global research company, McKinsey & Company, B2B e-commerce revenue is up by nearly 30% in the US since March. As e-commerce is becoming more and more common for industrial and B2B companies, it’s important to understand how it can be utilized. This can include offering online quotes for custom or stock products through an online quote cart, in addition to the online sales process itself.
If you are considering transitioning to an e-commerce website, knowing where to start can seem daunting. That’s why we have outlined several points for your consideration as you think about making the switch.
What to Consider Before Getting Started with eCommerce
Adding any e-commerce element to your sales process can be a big step as this also typically means undertaking the process of building an all-new website. To ensure a seamless web design and development process from day 1, there are several questions that you will want to have answered before moving forward.
For instance, you should consider your main objectives: What are you wanting to do for your website?
- Increase overall sales?
- Create a more customer-friendly website?
- Promote specific brands, products, or services?
- Have more flexibility with your website’s content management system?
Determining your short and long-term business goals will help you decide what type of transactions you want to include on your website.
- Will you offer custom quotes?
- Will you manage your inventory online?
- What size orders can you handle?
And most importantly, you will need to consider the logistical questions that come from adding a new element to the sales process. Questions such as:
- Who will manage the website data?
- How will online sales be processed internally?
- Will shipping or taxes be handled through e-commerce solution or would a quote cart where payments are handled later make more sense for our business structure?
It’s More Than a Website – It’s a Strategy
An e-commerce website is an integrated strategy of SEO, paid search, personalized customer experiences, and education. This means improving the quality of the content on your website to include specifications and details about your products and services. Optimizing your site so these pages can be found by the search engines is a part of this. Creating paid search campaigns that drive leads towards specific products and services can help boost conversion rates. And by providing the information your customers are looking for, you are addressing their needs at every stage of the relationship.
eCommerce Tip: When preparing for online sales, don’t forget to set up a merchant center account through Google. More shopping ads are showing up in the search landscape, especially since Google announced the availability of free product listings for e-commerce companies. Though originally intended as part of their COVID-19 assistance, these free ads will likely continue. Even if they do not, it’s worth including Google shopping your marketing strategy.
Beyond the possibilities of increased sales, there are also other ways e-commerce capabilities can benefit your business. The addition of an online sales process can make your workflows more efficient. This efficiency would impact the customer experience at touchpoints throughout your sales funnel. It can also provide more and better data for every stage of the sale. We’ll be digging into the benefits of an ecommerce website in a future blog post, so stay tuned for more on this topic!
What Does This Mean for Me?
Whether you have been considering making the change to an e-commerce site or you are simply looking for new ways to expand your business, this is a great time to start planning. E-commerce capabilities can provide you, and your customers, with more options and opportunities. Though it can require a good deal of preparation and planning, the benefits can be worth it if done right.