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B2B eCommerce:
Getting Started

Keep a handy copy of this eBook in PDF

01

An Introduction to B2B eCommerce

You either have your own brand or are a distributor and a good one at that. You have quality products, a reputation for being reliable, and your customers are happy.

You might have also have built up a great online retail business with your Shopify, Magento or WooCommerce store, and now you’re looking for new ways to grow. You see a huge opportunity that you’re not taking advantage of – and that’s going wholesale.

So maybe it is time to explore more about what this channel has to offer. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of starting or moving your wholesale business online successfully.

To get started, let’s look at the benefits of switching over to selling wholesale online, or as well call it here, B2B eCommerce. By bringing your wholesale customers to place orders online, you can save so much time!

Imagine never having to:

  • • take orders over the phone or email
    • manually checking if your products are in stock,
    • creating a quote or sales orders for each order, or
    • updating the customer with their order status

Advantages of B2B:

  • • Think of your B2B eCommerce store as a free marketing tool.
    • Customers can order exactly what they need with maximum efficiency
    • View your full order history in one place.
    • A sales channel to build trust and make your customer feel in control of their purchasing.

Take your wholesale business online by starting a free trial with TradeGecko to setup your own B2B eCommerce Platform! Still not convinced? Read on to learn more about the current state of B2B eCommerce, and why you should move your wholesale business online.

 

 

02

The state of B2B eCommerce

Before making any commitments, let’s get an idea of what you’re getting yourself into. What’s the current B2B eCommerce market, and why is it going to stick around?

The numbers pretty much speak for themselves. In fact, 74% of B2B buyers prefer to buy online than from a sales rep. It’s faster, more convenient, and always available. Buyers want you to make their lives easy - bringing your wholesale business online does that and more.

If the big players like Alibaba and Amazon are investing in B2B eCommerce (and they are), it’s a pretty good sign that the industry is shifting. TradeGecko’s B2B eCommerce Store allows you to create a private eCommerce storefront for your wholesale customers.

If you already have an existing online store on Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento, TradeGecko can automatically pull your products and publish them on your wholesale store. TradeGecko streamlines the purchasing process for your buyers so that they can buy from you, 24/7.

Customize the look and feel of your store, and decide which products each buyer will see, and what prices they can purchase products for.

 

 

03

Your wholesale workflows and how they’ll get better

Your day-to-day workflows as a wholesaler will also benefit from getting online. Overall, they’ll be simpler, with all the information you need in one centralized place, your workflows will get more efficient and accurate. Some examples:

 

1. Sales team workflows

Sales teams have better information when you’re online, along with quick and easy access to product catalogs, product photos and updated inventory levels.

2. Invoices, sales orders and purchase orders

These workflows will benefit from real-time updates and centralized data. When the status of any of these items changes, i.e. from packed to shipped online updates simplify the process.

3. Order fulfillment

With in-house fulfillment, everyone in the company will be working from the same, updated inventory levels. With a 3PL, operating online means better communication and transparency.

4. Marketing activities

An online presence and storefront will improve your marketing activities without much effort on your part. Making it easier to reach your store only improves awareness and interest in what you have to offer.

5. Invoices, sales orders and purchase orders

These workflows will benefit from real-time updates and centralized data. When the status of any of these items changes, i.e. from packed to shipped online updates simplify the process.

6. Individual Workflows

Having all the information in one place gives autonomy to your employees, allowing them to move through their own daily activities at their pace, rather than having to wait for reports from other departments.

 

Overall, the technical operations of your workflows won’t change much - with the exception of the time and accuracy with which you can do them!

Check out this workflow blog post for detailed descriptions of each of these improvements.

 

 

04

Factors Defining The Future Of B2B eCommerce

Your day-to-day workflows as a wholesaler will also benefit from getting online. Overall, they’ll be simpler, with all the information you need in one centralized place, your workflows will get more efficient and accurate. Some examples:

1. B2B buyers expect a consistently high-quality customer experience across all channels and are loyal to companies who deliver excellence daily.

2. The need for greater price optimization and Configure-PriceQuote (CPQ) flexibility across every selling channel.

3. The number of capabilities in eCommerce technology is increasing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), making companies consider a unified cloud platform more than before.

4. Increasing interest on the part of wholesalers for their eCommerce platform to support complex configuration and pricing workflows.

5. Order management integrated at the platform level to enable greater synchronized order processing across every channel.

6. Being able to deliver unique eCommerce buying experiences for multi-tier distribution channels including partners, distributors, dealers, resellers, service providers and OEMs is in high demand today. Interested in giving B2B a go? Set up your B2B eCommerce Store in 5 minutes with TradeGecko!

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05

Why you should be wholesaling online

Thinking about making the move online but not sure whether your wholesale customers are ready to buy online? Read on to find out why a digital transformation strategy should become your top priority.

 

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06

How to transition from selling retail to wholesale online

Moving your wholesale ordering systems online can seem a bit intimidating. But having all your information in one centralized place has numerous advantages you can’t afford to miss.

There’s opportunity for higher profit margins, a bigger customer reach, and the advantage of taking control of your supply chain by moving into online wholesale. Start with these 5 tips for making the move and transition to B2B eCommerce smoother.

Make it all about you. The wholesale process does move slower than B2C and a lot of your sales will depend on long term relationships. But setting up a detailed product description, using clear product photos and addressing common enquiries will help you sell your products online before the customer even contacts you.

A big part of your decision to move into wholesale is to grow your business and let’s put it bluntly - to make more money. Making sure that your pricing and minimum order quantities are set up to make orders worth your while is an essential part of the wholesale model.

Modify your order fulfilment processes and workflows. While your basic order fulfilment processes can probably stay the same, it’s important to modify for wholesale by including an increase in capacity for volume and making sure your pick, pack, ship process is streamlined.

Use all of that retail or B2C eCommerce experience to your advantage by transferring the convenience of the online buying experience to your new online wholesale environment.

Look at wholesale as an opportunity to grow your business. Essentially moving into wholesale is another sales channel and way to increase your sales, so it’s definitely worth your time investment.

 

Start selling wholesale with our B2B eCommerce Platform

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07

Wholesale metrics, KPIs and measuring performance online

Now let’s focus on measuring how well your wholesale business is doing by taking a look at the metrics and KPIs that matter.

The great thing about moving your wholesale order operations online is that all of your data is stored in one place, and so these metrics become much easier to track. There are three types of wholesale metrics you should be measuring:

 

1. Quality Metrics

These measure the quality of your products. When setting the KPIs for your quality metrics, you might be looking at things like:

• Production efficiency
• Percentage of defective products
• Shipping accuracy

2. Service Metrics

These measure how you’re serving your customers. The KPIs for service metrics might include:

• Customer retention
• Customer purchasing frequency
• Customer satisfaction
• Buyer demographics

3. Operations Metrics

This looks at the overall state of your business. The KPIs for business operations focuses on:

• Return on equity
• Return on assets
• Inventory ratios
• Warehouse expenses

 

Metrics and KPIs explained

Each of these three categories include various metrics, and you should focus on metrics relevant to your operations, areas to improve, and those that help you make informed business decisions. When you attach measurable dates and goals to any of these metrics, they become your KPIs. For more on KPIs, check out this blog post.

 

How going online makes you more intelligent

Using an online platform with cloud technology means your data is centralized and up-to-date, eliminating the potential for errors due to manual data entry. Going online makes tracking results easier and means less manual calculations when measuring KPIs. TradeGecko’s online B2B eCommerce Store provides intelligence reports that let you pull up sales insights from reports that previously would have taken more time and manual calculations.

 

 

08

How to take your B2B eCommerce platform to the next level

With these 10x tips you can easily customize your B2B eCommerce store to the needs of each buyer, promote your products, set up automated processes and have full control.

1. Control access to your wholesale customers.

2. Create custom price lists and discounts

3. Control stock order statuses:
a. Set minimum order quantities
b. Choose whether the commit or not commit to stock orders

4. Personalize your B2B eCommerce Store to match your branding by adding your company logo, colour theme, and your store name / header.

5. Add a custom domain.

6. Customize your email order forms.

7. Showcase your products with quality photos & descriptions.

8. Invite customers by sending personal invitations

9. Setup tax types by:
1. Country
2. Product Category
3. Customer

10. Filter your product catalog by customer, categories, brands and tags.

 

 

09

How a B2B eCommerce platform will empower your customers

You might be worried about how your customers will react to being invited to a B2B platform... You may think “What happens when they’re asked to do something differently? Can they adapt?"

Making the move to online wholesaling allows your customers to take control of the ordering process. They’ll be able to get online when it’s convenient for them, regardless of time zones, weekends, or holidays. And the ordering process itself becomes much simpler.

Gone are the days of a tedious back-and-forth over the phone, fax or by email, whereby stock levels are checked manually, and quotes are issued, accepted, and then hopefully converted to sales orders. With our B2B eCommerce Store, your customers - once invited - simply log in and then browse new products, view their entire order history or re-order items directly.

Overall, you can make the entire process of wholesale ordering for your customers as easy, convenient, and fun as online shopping. And who doesn’t enjoy that? So... what are you waiting for? If you want time savings and customer empowerment, then it’s time to take wholesaling online seriously. Why not start a free trial with TradeGecko today?

 

 

10

B2B eCommerce, it’s the future

B2B eCommerce is expected to quickly outgrow B2C eCommerce by the time we reach 2020, as more businesses adopt this new way of selling wholesale.

Customers are ready to have their wholesale buying work as quickly and simply as their retail buying - a service that’s quickly becoming a necessity, rather than just a convenience. They’re already looking for you online - make sure you give them something to find!

All signs point to a channel shift - to websites and increasingly, mobile apps, streamlining the whole B2B sales process. Going online is the future. In fact, it’s already the present. The world is only growing more connected and as a result, business operations are getting faster, easier and more effective. It makes sense that wholesale is moving along with that trend.

So what does a successful B2B website look like? See who’s doing online wholesale right at the moment. B2B eCommerce isn’t just a fad, it’s looking to become the way to do business - is your business ready to evolve with the times? If you’re ready to give wholesaling online a try, our B2B eCommerce Store would be a great place for you to start!

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Power up your brand to sell wholesale online

B2B Forever Free
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Your own custom branding

Customize the design of your store to create a branded buying experience.

 

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Unique price lists

Create unique price lists for each buyer, including discounts and minimum order quantities.

 

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Take digital payments

Buyers can check shipping costs and pay online with secure credit card payments.

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Automated ordering

Taking orders is much faster and easier than over phone, text or email.

Here's how your free B2B Platform works

We make selling wholesale easier than ever before, and it’s even better for your customers

We make selling wholesale easier than ever before, and it’s even better for your customers

Each customer sees the products that you want them to, at the prices and discounts that you decide.

A searchable up-to-date catalog makes it the easiest way to sell in bulk without the complications of taking orders over phone, email or text.

A private store that opens new possibilities

A private store that opens new possibilities

Send your clients an invite over email from within TradeGecko and they’ll be able to create an account on your store in a few easy steps. Our ‘request access for new buyers’ feature allows new customers to register.

Jiva Active

TradeGecko is especially useful for our wholesale business. The B2B eCommerce Store is super easy to use and gives our retailers access to create orders anytime.

Remi Aliseo, Jiva Active
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B2B customers can pay online with one click

After choosing products and selecting shipping costs, your buyers can add their payment method with the option of secure credit card payments. On your dashboard you can monitor account balance and payments history.

Learn more about Payments
Incausa

We are receiving payments so much faster since TradeGecko Payments was enabled and our customers LOVE it!

Carolina Vieira, Incausa
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