Retailers will identify how e solutions can support their B2B activity. [printfriendly]
Which B2B eSolution tools are right for you? Your relationship with other companies, your product or service, company structure and business goals, will also effect which eSolutions are right for your B2B company.
|Tool||What is it?||Top value||Consider product||Consider B2B partner||Consider
|Website||As a B2B, a website is required for the majority of any subsequent eSolutions. There are easy to use freetools to create basic websites. When choosing a website consider if you need a login area for other businesses to access your inventory, make a booking etc. ;and that the solution you choose can integrate with these later, if you decide to start with a basic website first. Also check the resource page for suggested website considerations. What do B2B buyers want from Vendors Websites?||Prerequisite for communicating your product/service.||Consider an online store that adjusts for buyers wholesale. This will be a selection in the eCommerce section of your website. One price for a retail customer and another price for a wholesale (B2B) customer.||Are you dealing with buyers or sellers? Agents or re-sellers? Your current process for completing sales including tracking vendors, discounts etc should be reflected in the website tool chosen.||All.|
|CRM||B2B partner relationship management (CRM) systems are very important to collect and manage valuable information about your B2B relationship profiles, your transactions; and will likely feed other tools and processes. The more you know about your B2B partners, the better you can provide service.||Easy access to B2B partner data for any staff and/or applications.||More valuable for complex sales and repeat B2B partners.||Sales and service that benefits from client background information (such as travel, medical, prior purchases, etc.).||All.|
|Client login areas / supply chain and or inventory management systems||Supply chain: B2B commerce often involves more complex deliverables and tracking than a B2C business. If you have a number of suppliers or buyers with variable commission rates, permissions etc. it will likely save time/money; as well as support competitive advantage to provide a supply chain management solution that may allow B2B partners to access catalogues, purchase products/services at their pre-set rates; or conversely support you to manage their supply to your company.||Product knowledge and building purchase confidence.||Unique or high end products. Any product where sales are effected by word-of-mouth references. Highly competitive products.||Converting first-time buyers of brand or product.||Sales, marketing, B2B partner support.|
|Social media||Social media includes: community and communications platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. LinkedIn is important for B2B as it is the most popular B2B community. Social media is the online equivalent of word-of-mouth networking and is an important aspect of many B2B online marketing strategies.
||Connected to high number of B2B partners and potential B2B partners. Fast.||Most products can be accommodated by one or more of the social media platforms. See also social media for eMarketing.||The B2B partner /target market demographic may dictate which social media and platform they will prefer.||Sales, marketing, B2B partner support.|
|FAQs||A strong Frequently Asked Question page is a standard support and service element. Collect common questions asked by B2B partners and build a FAQ page to allow B2B partners to browse/search for answers to their questions. Avoid long or difficult-to-navigate FAQs, but make sure they give good detail – overly high-level FAQs can make a B2B partner experience worse. Keep it simple. If it is growing too long you may need a different tool like a forum.||Immediate service without staff involvement.||Simple products with simple questions.||Inclined to look for a quick answers themselves.||B2B partner support, sales.|