Last updated: Some B2B e-commerce transactions still require personal touch

Some B2B e-commerce transactions still require personal touch


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In the push to implement e-commerce, manufacturers and distributors need to remember that the nature of B2B transactions still may require a human touch.

In a story for Multichannel Merchant, Craig Vodnik points out that the new consumer is looking for a simple, seamless online shopping experience that mimics the B2C world, with a key exception. B2B purchases tend to be much larger than the average consumer transaction, and the products are substantially more complicated.

Inserting a sales rep or account manager at key points in your B2B e-commerce system can help boost confidence for frequent buyers or key accounts—and therein lies the rub. Looking at your customer base, make strategic choices about how each account wants to buy. While shopping online may work for some, others (who have a high value for your company) may need or want a separate purchasing process.

The B2B e-commerce market is exploding, and meeting those expectations can mean major strategic changes for some companies. The key metric for most consumers will be convenience, but that will have different meanings for different clients.

Take the example of Grainger, which looked at all the data it collected over time and saw that implementing a robust mobile strategy would allow their customers to place orders with simplicity right from the field. This is the perfect case study for smart strategies drive by how and when customers want to buy.

Which takes us back to your legacy clients who place large, complicated orders and will sometimes need to circumvent the web, requiring instead a human interaction.

E-commerce doesn’t always mean abandoning the old ways—sometimes it’s a case of integrating those time-honored methods with deliberate strategic intent.

E-commerce everywhere.
Fast. Personalized. Shoppable.
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