B2B webshop example. Some tips to consider.
The rise of B2B webshop is accelerating in areas such as manufacturing, logistics, construction and installation. More B2B e-stores open every day, and more and more business-to-business companies want to adapt their activities correspondingly. Professional buyers have of course always been on the lookout for opportunities, but in this age of digital transformation those companies who know how to respond to this effectively are winning by setting up appropriate B2B e-stores. That is no easy task, given the rate at which online technology is evolving. This update contains more insights and information on how you can best approach this, and what you can take into account during this intensive process. We’ve included a number of B2B webshop examples to make things clear.
What type of products are you going to sell in your e-store?
Before you go any further, you need to answer this question. In this respect, we make a distinction between capital goods for professional use and consumables for professional use. Clients which market capital goods often opt for B2B lead generation, while consumables for professional use are often sold via a B2B webshop.
Example of a B2B webshop for consumables for professional use.
If you sell consumables for professional use (also called catalogue products) to professionals, we recommend that you set up an e-store aimed at direct transactions, where your customer immediately pays for a product or orders it on account. You may have different prices per type of buyer, or special price agreements for certain volumes. These aspects can be easily taken care of by software, but you do have to take this into consideration when deciding what type of software to use. This avoids high development costs as a result of having to make adjustments. Assume that the first requests will arrive as soon as you go live. This will give you more insight into the behaviour of your website visitors, and you will want to respond accordingly. The B2B e-stores of two of our clients (Dormer Pramet or SlijpExpert) show 2 examples of how catalogue products are sold. The following aspects are noticeable.
- Both e-stores use a B2B P.I.M.-systeem We recommend this to clients with more than 250 products. Your ERP system can never fulfil this role, so it’s worth investing in a PIM system. You can also see this as a super-marketing machine for your product information.
- Do you want to show the products in groups or individually? At DormerPramet.nl, you can see that products are shown in groups, and the Tricorp e-store is similar. This is an important consideration for several reasons, such as a logical URL structure and avoiding the chance of a duplicate URL. In the case of Dormer Pramet, most of the drills only differ in terms of size, while the texts and descriptions remain largely unchanged.
- Do you have a rapidly changing range or a stable range? In other words, how often do you have to adapt, enrich or otherwise edit your product content?
Example of a B2B webshop for capital goods
If you sell capital goods to professionals, we advise you to develop an e-store or a B2B website aimed at B2B lead generation. In other words, you want your customer to request a quote for a product, and don’t anticipate making direct sales in the e-store. If you face this situation, then you can always opt for either B2B e-commerce software or a B2B website. To give you an idea, we developed a B2B website without e-store software for our client Cellro, which is active in the CNC machining industry. The number of different products here is very small, and the entire operation is centred around lead generation. On the other hand, we opted for a lead generation website for capital goods using e-commerce software for our customer Van Hooff, which is active in the transport and logistics sector. That also applies here. What applies to your situation, both now and in the coming 3 to 5 years? Haas Industries Inc. now sells CNC machines via a B2B webshop in America. The world has suddenly changed, and so has the way capital goods are sold.
Some things to consider when selling capital goods:
- Do you also want to start selling directly in the future? Then we recommend using e-store software.
- Do you have a lot of different products? Then we also recommend using e-store software.
- It’s always worth think about showing prices. The fact is, if you don’t show prices, you can’t be compared, and a prospect will first seek contact with someone else. Our advice, which is based on analysis, is that you should always show the price, even if it’s relatively high. You always have the option to discount the price of the product.
- If you sell both catalogue products and capital goods, you should opt for e-store software. Our customers Karel Clean and LintzagenService.nl are good examples of this.
Example of a B2B e-store for manufacturers which sell through dealers
If you sell consumables for professionals, but not directly to the end user, your best option is distribution-commerce. This involves building a B2B webshop, but not selling directly. Instead, you generate requests for your dealer. This approach also requires you to implement an advanced dealer marketing program. We have carried out projects of this type for a number of national and international clients, one good example being the website operated by Tricorp.
What is your best option?
Choosing the right digital strategy or online positioning isn’t something you do every day. Then there are quite a few issues that you have to consider when building a B2B webshop. If you would like some more explanation, or would just like to see a number of practical examples, please contact us.
If there is anything you’d like to add about B2B webshops examples, or if you have any examples that you’d like to share with us, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks in advance, and here’s wishing you lots of business success!