Building a B2B B2C e-commerce platform for your wholesale business
Everyone knows that a website is as essential as a business card – if not more so. But what does your website do for you? Is it just an impressive pamphlet, with information about your company and the products you sell? That’s fine. A good website will include a B2B ordering platform or trade store that lets you sell direct to retailers. A great website is a full e-commerce platform, including company information, a B2B trade store and a B2C platform.
When you know it’s time for a B2B trade store
First of all, let’s talk about when you know it’s time to upgrade to a B2B trade store. If your website has been functioning merely as contact information and background for your company, you may have been missing out on valuable sales opportunities.
Here are 5 questions to ask to determine if you need a B2B trade store:
- Are you a distributor?
- Are you doing volumes?
- Are you looking to increase order volumes?
- Do you sell a few different kinds of products?
- Do you have many different kinds of customers?
If the answer is ‘yes’ to 3 or more of these questions, a B2B trade store could improve your efficiency enormously. Stock2Shop offers a B2B ordering platform as part of our system integration.
What a B2B B2C website offers
So now you have a good website, but you want to make it great. Let’s talk about B2B B2C e-commerce platforms.
Essentially, a B2B B2C website is ordering and marketing combined. You can display all your products in an online catalogue website that is suitable for both retailers and consumers, but leave the pricing off. This means you’re not stepping on your retailers’ toes by competing with them, but you are spreading the word about your product array for those consumers interested in your brand. If you want to sell direct to consumer, that’s also an option – there are a few Pros and Cons, of course.
At the same time, the back-end of your B2B B2C website is a fully-functioning B2B trade store. How does it work?
- Retail clients register on your website to order.
- An internal process vets and verifies new clients.
- Until they’re verified, they can’t order products.
- Each retailer sees their products at their price, and can raise orders depending on the terms you have set for them.
- Once payment has been made, the fulfillment process will begin.
The benefits of a B2B B2C website
- It’s all about creating efficiencies. As you know, all the back and forth of information all the time wastes so much time. How many of these items do you have in stock? What’s the unit price? What are the variations? All of these questions can be answered at a single glance. Customer admin is dramatically reduced.
- It’s secure. Until a new client has been vetted and registered, they won’t be loaded on the system or able to access the B2B trade store.
- If you choose to sell direct to consumer, then B2C customers can order directly, while B2B customers log in and see different (lower) pricing.
- The ordering process is streamlined. You can display stock availability or the option to back order directly to customers.
- You can offer different payment options to different customers – on account, or cash via credit card or EFT.
- Fulfillment can be managed as part of the process.
- You can also make it easier for customers to log into their account and see their balance and fulfillment tracking – without you having to get involved.
- If the order doesn’t go as planned, you can include a returns feature on your B2B B2C website. Stock2Shop can help with the RMA integration, saving your company time and admin.