Already more than twice the size of B2C eCommerce, B2B eCommerce is expected to reach $1.1 trillion in sales in the US by the end of 2020 forecasts Forrester. More and more business houses are going digital and the promotional industry is increasingly becoming a part of it. Research based reports have substantiated enough to the fact that B2B eCommerce is all set to change the face of traditional way of business.
Distributors have forced the pace, with 2 dramatic changes to past behavior. On the purchase side, they have substantially shifted their research and transaction activities online reports ASI State of Industry 2015. Distributors are moving away from phones and trade shows and on to their mobiles and laptop. They are increasingly seeking and finding products, suppliers, marketing support and customer support online. On the sales side leading distributors have already embraced eCommerce and the rest are following suit.
Top suppliers have recognized this ‘channel shift’ and are moving fast to engage distributors via B2B eCommerce, for good reason. Frost & Sullivan report 2015 connote that the supplier’s B2B eCommerce opportunity is estimated to be worth $5.4 billion.
Marketing spends are one indicator of what lies ahead. Budgets for B2B marketing automation systems will have grown by 62% in 2015. In keeping with wider shifts, suppliers are allocating a sizeable share of their marketing budgets to digital initiatives both, to open new channels of engagement as well as to improve returns from existing marketing investments.
The relationship between traditional and new channels is symbiotic. Print catalogs, shows and call centers culminate sales as well as drive traffic, engagement and transactions to web and mobile sites.
So, what does B2B eCommerce mean to suppliers?
Firstly, it means reaching and influencing distributors before they purchase. 94% of orders are decided before a distributor contacts a supplier. Most of those decisions are made on the basis of research and engagements that take place online.
B2B eCommerce happens even if distributors don’t buy or pay online. It means using digital channels and tools to do what was done traditionally.
It means everything you do, done differently. Engaging new and existing customers continuously, supporting their selling process, driving new sales and repeat buying, helping distributors respond to information needs of their end customers, managing marketing and operations, all online.
B2b eCommerce means being personal, online. The relationships that you have built over the years through thousands of personal interactions are precious but expensive to sustain. Preserving old relationships and creating new ones, exclusively via traditional channels is slow, unaffordable and a losing proposition for suppliers. Distributors have moved elsewhere.
B2B eCommerce means arming your marketing to engage your distributors and arming your distributors to engage end customers with the right tools that are easy to use, effective and affordable.
Is there a tool which can provide an integrated solution?
US based ArtworkServicesUSA, promotional industry’s leading software and artwork service provider has aligned their philosophy to such a need where the requirement of ecommerce becomes indispensable few years down the line. The announcement of the launch of their latest digital wand called eWIZ has certainly given a futuristic boost to the promotional industry domain. The multi-channel integrated software aims at bringing sweeping changes to how promotional suppliers organize result oriented business goals through eCommerce.
With eWIZ suppliers can create catalogs and market them to their target audience through customized mailers. The best part about engaging your customers is that eWIZ works effortlessly in any tablet and mobile device making it easy for anyone to monitor, engage and measure immediate results. The software also has a robust information management system, a centralized database connects product, customer, data and presents it to your operations and marketing teams for quickened execution. Customers see order status and inventory in real time on web and mobile.
eWIZ’s far reaching personalization capabilities connect data and insights so your distributors see relevant products, pricing and promotions on every engagement channel.
Negating any chances of a compatibility issue, eWIZ can be seamlessly merged with any system like ERP, order management, accounting, etc. EWIZ also has a virtual sampling tool integrated through which suppliers can send instant virtual samples to their clients in no time.
Introducing eWIZ to your business will give the necessary jolt it needed to grow multifold in the promotional industry as this power packed digital wizard is undoubtedly capable to foresee the future.