In this blog, we will discuss the B2B eCommerce ROI (Return on Investment) and impact of B2B eCommerce on the business. This blog can help if you are a Brand, Manufacturer or Distributor facing the challenges in expanding your sales or channel distribution. After reading this blog, you will know why B2B eCommerce solution could make sense for you.
Before getting started, if you have any questions regarding B2B eCommerce in general, please refer to this blog: What is B2B eCommerce
As soon as we start to talk about eCommerce, the first thing that comes to mind is Amazon, Flipkart, etc. But, these websites are basically B2C in nature. B2C is far different from B2B e-Commerce. We won’t discuss the differences here, as we had discussed them in the previous blog: B2C vs B2B eCommerce.
So, let’s begin with understanding the eCommerce ROI and impact of B2B eCommerce investments.
Why B2B eCommerce?
This is the question you must ask yourself before going digital. We are putting here some factors to help you decide better. To begin with, we will pick up some offline B2B processes and then calculate how cost will be reduced going online. This way, you will be able to think how going digital will reduce the cost, make the processes simpler as well as transparent, and improve the potential ROI.
Cost Reduction By Choosing B2B eCommerce
Each and every business is unique. Therefore, you will have your unique situations to resolve by going digital. However, here we are trying to put some situations where you can cut the cost significantly or completely eliminate them by choosing digital distribution.
- Costs of Printing: You must be investing a lot of money in printing the catalogues, forms, etc for your wholesale customers. First of all, it is a hassle to manage so much paper. Secondly, once printed, you cannot make changes to the printed material. If you are adding a new product, making any changes to the existing product, or any other changes that you are planning, you will have to get new catalogues, forms, etc printed. Also, it is not a very healthy option for the environment. When you do this online, there are no printing costs involved. Additionally, you get the flexibility to make the changes in the content whenever you want. We do not know how much you are investing in printing, but you definitely know now how much you will save by going digital.
- Data-Entry Costs: Traditionally, account systems need to be managed manually, by entering each and every single data in it. You must be having people doing this for you. But once you choose eCommerce, this cost will be eliminated because all the business transactions are happening online and all the data will be automatically synced to your account system. Additionally, you don’t have to keep more people in your team to do this manually, saving the salaries you have to pay.
- Backorder Management Costs: Backorders are the backbone of B2B commerce. Your loyal buyers keep ordering from you and that’s how you sustain your business as well as grow. In spite of being such an important part of your business, it is full of hassle. Buyer reorders the products without knowing your stock. Then your team gets involved in understanding the buyer’s exact requirements and when you can deliver them. All this is not required when you have everything digital. The buyer can see online the availability of your stock, accordingly decisions or further requests can be made. This can save a lot of time and hassle, eventually you don’t need a lot of people in the team to handle backorders if your business is functioning online. Hence, you save on salaries.
- Errors & Returns Costs: This is the saddest part. You deliver the order and the buyer sends it back. Not only you bore losses on all the processes endured in placing the order, but also the costs of logistics, and a whole lot of hassle. Errors and returns may happen due to a lot of reasons. But management related reasons can be eliminated right away once you go digital. On your B2B eCommerce platform, buyers can see the stock in real time and choose accordingly. This also adds transparency to the processes reducing conflicts keeping the communication clean and relationship healthy.
- Legacy B2B eCommerce Solution Costs: If you are using a legacy in-house B2B eCommerce solution as of now, it must be costing you more to maintain and upgrade. The situation can be worse if it is causing you more trouble and costing you more money than the investment you are making. However, if you choose Edistera, you don’t have to worry about maintaining or upgrading because our software is developed on cutting edge technology. Additionally, our team of efficient developers keep on improving the features as per your feedback.
Now imagine, how much you can save in your business by just going digital. Apart from money, you are saving so much time for your entire team by reducing the hassle. Additionally, seamless communication and transparency can give you so much more clarity to grow your business.
To try and quantify your opportunity cost, think about what your staff could be doing if they weren’t tied down with data entry or having to email or call your customers about order details. They could have a more specific focus on retaining wholesale customers, running promotional campaigns to drive additional revenue, or getting back more time in the day to visit your wholesale customers or retailers in person.
Revenue Opportunities of B2B eCommerce
We have just discussed how going digital can cut costs, but now we will discuss how it can bring in more revenue. There are many key revenue opportunities which comes with B2B eCommerce solutions:
- Revenue from saving more time: As they say, time is money. When your business runs slow or you are busy at the time of bringing more business, your business’s health cannot be considered good. But, if you choose an online B2B ordering platform, you and your team save “a lot of time”, which can be utilised to reach more buyers at the right time. You may think of more ways to utilise this time with your team to grow your business even larger. For example, till the time your customer is busy ordering/reordering themselves from your digital platform, you can calculate how many more customers you will be able to handle. Accordingly, multiply the profits you can possibly make.
- Revenue from high sales productivity: It has been observed time and again that digitisation brings in more customers. Given the ease as well as transparency of ordering, more businesses will feel comfortable ordering from you. Also, you will be able to target new regions and territories, expanding your customer base with your sales rep focusing on new customer acquisitions.
- Revenue from better product discoverability: When your buyers are placing the orders on their own checking out the catalogue online, they may discover new products. Printed catalogues are difficult to navigate through all the products and their variations, also they lack the information on the availability of stock. Also, when sales representatives approach customers, they only focus on certain products. Checking catalogue on online B2B ordering portal is far easier as well as convenient to find and choose from the available products in the stock. This way you also gain a broader understanding on the likability of the products you manufacture. On average, orders that are placed online are between 10-20% larger than those placed manually.
- Revenue from promotional campaigns: Schemes or promotions has very limited opportunity when done offline. But, digital promotions can reach any corner of the world. Whosoever has access to the internet, can be reached. Through a B2B digital platform, you can find a way to approach your potential wholesale customers digitally (without the need of traveling anywhere) which was not available previously when selling offline and it was limited to sales rep visits. You can share latest promotions or trade schemes to your potential or existing customers. These marketing opportunities contribute to new customer acquisition, up-sell, and customers ordering new products—and this, of course, all contributes to more revenue.
As you can see from this post, B2B eCommerce has a number of different impacts on your business. Additionally, it gives you more revenue opportunities to grow and expand, which you cannot even think of while doing business offline. It will make a dramatic impact on ROI.
If you want to talk about the B2B eCommerce opportunity for your business, including help on calculating your potential ROI, sign up for a 10-minute call with our specialist today.