May 12 2023
How and why should I take my wholesale business online?
By the end of 2023, 17% of global B2B sales are expected to be generated digitally.
This trend is accelerating, and wholesalers that are not onboard risk getting left behind.
What is B2B ecommerce?
It’s similar to online retail in that people can view product inventory information (such as pricing and stock availability) online and place orders. The main difference lies in the granular control you have over what product information each customer sees, such as:
- Product segments - you can decide which customers see which products.
- Discount structures - depending on the discount structures you offer, you can show each customer different pricing when they log in.
- Stock availability - you can assign customers to specific warehouses so that they only see what’s available in that particular location.
In addition, a powerful B2B Trade Store will allow customers to purchase on account in accordance with business logic set up in your ERP.
Why should I take my B2B business online?
There are a number of benefits to B2B ecommerce that will help to future-proof your business:
- Ordering tool for sales reps: Your sales reps can log into the Trade Store on behalf of their customers to place orders on their behalf. This means that sales orders are generated in the ERP quicker and more accurately.
- Expanded customer reach: By establishing an online presence, you can access a global customer base. Unlike a physical store, your online wholesale business can reach customers from different geographical locations, increasing your market potential.
- Increased convenience: Online platforms allow customers to browse and purchase products at any time, from anywhere. This convenience can attract more customers and lead to higher sales.
- Cost savings: Running an online wholesale business can be more cost-effective than a traditional brick-and-mortar setup. You can avoid expenses such as renting or buying a physical store, hiring additional staff, and maintaining inventory levels.
- Streamlined operations: A B2B Trade Stores integrates with your ERP or accounting system, syncing data such as price and stock, and automatically raising sales orders. This reduces duplicate data capture and human error for a more efficient enterprise.
- Flexibility and scalability: Online wholesale businesses provide flexibility in terms of operating hours and the ability to quickly scale your business. You can easily add new products, expand into different markets, or adjust your inventory based on customer demand, without the limitations of physical space.
- Competitive advantage: As more businesses embrace the digital revolution, having an online presence becomes crucial to remain competitive. By going online, you can stay ahead of traditional competitors who have not yet adopted an ecommerce model and attract customers who prefer the convenience of online shopping.
Where do I start?
The good news is that if you have an ERP (or accounting system) with well-organised product data, you’re most of the way there! Stock2Shop’s pre-built B2B Trade Store presents your product information to customers in a way that is suitable for online selling.
The process for setting up a Stock2Shop B2B Trade Store may vary, depending on your data source (ERP) and desired configuration of your products, but below is good idea of what to expect:
- Chat to our sales team. See a demo of Stock2Shop and tell us your requirements, so we can put together a solution for you.
- Pay a deposit. We don’t charge you any monthly fees until your data is syncing.
- Decide which items you would like to sell online. Within your ERP, flag which items should sync and which should not.
- Decide which customers should be given access. Add relevant customers to Stock2Shop, either by syncing them or manually uploading them, depending on the functionality supported by your data source (ERP).
- Test and go live!
How long does it take to implement?
Steps 1 to 5 mentioned above can take anywhere between a couple of weeks to a couple of months, depending on the readiness of your data and the complexity of your requirements. We will, however, work with you to get your Trade Store up and running as soon as possible.
Get in touch and let’s get you trading online.