Back to blog

How to Get Started with B2B eCommerce for Distributors

How to Get Started with B2B eCommerce for Distributors | SolidBrain

During the previous few years, quite a lot has been said about eCommerceand its popularity. You might have heard that the B2C eCommercemarket is on the rise as more and more people are looking for ways that make their lives easier and are more likely to stick to online options than to offline ones. Is the situation the same with eCommercefor wholesale distribution?

 

Fortunately, the convenience of online platforms attracts a lot of modern companies and they are actively benefiting from the opportunities of B2B distributors eCommerce. Businesses that provide other companies with this solution, also get such pleasurable things as cost savings, competitive advantage, expanded market reach, etc. 

 

So, if B2B eCommercefor distributors seems to be beneficial for both parties, why not use its growth opportunities?  In this article, we want to delve into the question of online distribution business, the needed requirements, and steps that should be taken to create a distributor B2B eCommerceplatform

 


 

 

B2B eCommerce Platforms for Wholesale Distributors Guide

 

Business-to-business distribution is the sale of products or services from one business to another. It involves transactions between companies rather than those that directly involve consumers.

 

Even though there are situations when businesses operate in both B2B and B2C markets, such a hybrid approach isn't always appropriate. Because of the challenges connected with different dynamics in each market, it's generally advisable to become, firstly, solid in one business model, and only after that stick to another one. So, before deciding to create a B2B distributors eCommerce, it's better to get into a thorough analysis and answer the main questions.

 

 

  1. Are your solutions designed for B2B purchases? 

  2. How long is the product life cycle, and whether your business can properly store the goods? 

  3. How will you test that large amount of goods and ensure their compliance with relevant regulations and standards?

  4. What are the warranty terms for the goods, and how will returns or defects be handled? 

  5. What businesses are supposed to use your services?

  6.  Who are your competitors in B2B eCommercefor distribution

  7. What B2B online features do you want to have and which platform can support them? 

  8. How will you handle logistics and order fulfillment? 

  9. What payment methods will you accept, and what credit terms will you offer? 

  10. How will you market your online distribution company? 

 

 

These are just a few things to think over first. During the cooperation process with IT professionals specialized in establishing an eCommerceplatform for distributors, more questions will arise depending on your field.

 

 

 

 

 

Advantages of Adopting eCommerce for Distributors

 

It's equally vital to know the clear advantages the B2B eCommercefor distributors can give you. So, let's look at them closely. 

 

 

Partnership opportunities

 

The first and one of the biggest benefits that a selling party can get is the ability to establish long-term relationships with purchasers. For sure, building trust takes time and there will always be businesses that will knock for a one-time purchase. However, the general experience tells us that B2B clients want to mitigate risks and are more likely to find one distributor to stick to rather than run from one to another. 

 

Over time, suppliers gain in-depth knowledge about their clients' industries and specific challenges. Afterward, this knowledge helps them to show tailored solutions and strengthen the relationship. 

 

 

 

 

 

High transaction value

 

Clients of B2B platforms often require large quantities of products which leads to high transaction values, especially if we compare with those that B2C has. To support consistency in production, companies often buy things in bulk which is the primary reason for a high transaction value. Furthermore, depending on the niche, B2B services often contain online consulting, and maintenance agreements that may also add value in price. 

 

 

 

 

 

Stability

 

Luckily, the business-to-business model often involves some percentage of predictability. For example, in most B2B relationships companies sign a document that outlines the terms and conditions of their cooperation as well as commitment to purchase or supply goods during the specific period. Such a level of stability allows both parties to strategically plan their cooperation and align production schedules with the demand. 

 

An easy-to-use eCommerceplatform will only multiply these business-to-business advantages and will also supply you with some more benefits.

 

 

 

 

 

Better client's experience

 

As we have mentioned before, in the B2B model people usually work on long-term relationships in which both parties are interested. This desirable long-term connection can be reached by providing a better customer experience that the eCommercewebsite allows. 

A higher level of client experience is achieved through such key strategic aspects as:

 

  • User-friendly platform design that ensures a handy navigation and intuitive interface using which companies can find the needed thing in a click.

 

  • Mobile responsiveness. 

 

  • Personalized user accounts with various features to ease clients' searches.

 

  • Transparent order tracking, etc. 

 

 

 

 

 

Data-driven insights

 

One more big benefit that B2B eCommercewebsites can give you is the opportunity to base your business decisions on data-driven insights through the platform. You will be able to track how clients behave on your website and what things might prevent them from making a purchase. Analyzing this data helps to see the things that should be improved to achieve the desirable result. 

 

The thing that we are particularly interested in when it comes to business-to-business cooperation is customer retention. As we have mentioned above, the B2B model is often built on long-term relationships between companies and thanks to a customer retention metric that is seen through Analytics, you will be able to create better customer retention strategies. 

 

 

 

 

 

Effective order management

 

Talking about the website, it's vital to mention the streamlined order processing that a well-built eCommerceplatform helps to get. This typically happens through integrations with various systems and tools that are used to streamline processes and improve accuracy. 

It consequently leads to customer loyalty and encourages companies to establish contractual agreements for long-term cooperation. 

 

As you can see, the B2B eCommercefor distributors gives opportunities to grow and expand. But please keep in mind that these benefits will work only in the situation of a correctly built website. 

 

 

 

 

 

Requirements Needed for Distributor eCommerce

 

Well, to obtain the mentioned advantages, you should also be aware of the requirements needed for a successful B2B eCommercefor distributors. Here is the list of the most essential ones.

 

 

User-friendly platform design

 

Well, every cooperation starts with visiting the website. It's the first interaction with your product which might even not happen if it's difficult to navigate your platform. That's why particular attention should be paid to ensure that a person who has never visited your platform before can easily find the needed solution.

 

 

 

 

 

Inventory management system 

 

Each B2B distributor's eCommerceneeds to track inventory levels in real-time to provide clients with accurate and up-to-date information about product availability. This can be done by integrating the inventory management system that helps to oversee and control inventory-related activities, preventing stockouts and overstocks. 

 

 

 

 

 

Customer relationship management

 

As we strive to establish long-term partnerships through our B2B distributor eCommerce, we should perfectly know our customers. For this, we encourage you to connect a customer relationship management system that will be beneficial thanks to its personalized offers, tailored communication, product recommendations, etc. 

 

 

 

 

 

Shipping and logistics integration

 

People who stick to B2B platforms often prioritize fast shipping to ensure timely replenishment of inventory and meet production deadlines. Once your eCommercecovers this need, you can be sure that these clients are more likely to be with you for a long time. Faster shipping can be established by cooperating with efficient logistics providers and using a quality inventory management system. Additionally, it's advisable to integrate convenient shipping and logistics systems that will enable customers to monitor a current order location and send notifications. 

 

 

 

 

 

Customer support

 

The B2B eCommercefor distributors should always have a dedicated support system. That's mainly because B2B customers often have specific needs and requests for customization. A client support system should guide on offers and give a hand once the help is needed. Furthermore, businesses often miss shipping notifications and decide to write directly to support, so ongoing assistance is also needed. We recommend taking advantage of integrating both chatbots and human support. The first option will be useful for answering simple questions and providing round-the-clock support, while the second variant will be great for complex problem-solving and adaptability. 

 

No matter what niche you as a B2B distributor have chosen, your website should contain the requirements that we've mentioned above. However, the list might expand depending on the goals you want to achieve. 

 

 

 

 

 

Steps for Distributors Building an eCommerce Site

 

SolidBrain provides the eCommercesolution for distributors and does everything to tailor the website to the specific needs of your business niche. When it comes to cooperation, it often includes 9 main steps. 

 

 

Step 1: Consultation

 

First of all, we arrange a consultation during which our specialists would like to get the key points according to your product, target audience, and business goals. The main aim of this meeting is to become acquainted with your services and gain enough information to establish a plan of work. 

 

 

Step 2: Work plan coordination

 

After the first consultation, we'll need some time to establish a clear plan to stick to during the cooperation. This plan will be also shared with you and should be approved before we can do anything. At this point, we often discuss the difficulties that your B2B platform may face, and how these problems can be solved. Alongside the plan, there will also be timelines within which each business step will be made. 

 

 

Step 3: Technology choice

 

Sometimes during the second step, sometimes a little bit earlier or later, we help you to choose the best technology for your particular use. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of sticking to each tool, ensuring that you have a clear view of the possible outcome. 

 

 

Step 4: Mockups creation

 

As soon as we get the specific requirements of your B2B wholesale distribution, our specialists start to create a website structure and make initial mockups keeping in mind the navigation that they have built. After that, we meet online to show you the overall result and get feedback on whether we have the same design view. 

 

 

Step 5: Development

 

Once everything is approved, we can come to the development stage during which we apply the previously discussed technologies. 

 

 

Step 6: Security measures implementation

 

Our team also pays a lot of attention to data security. So, the next step includes the implementation of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption to secure data transmission between the client's browser and the server. Furthermore, we examine secure authentication and general adherence to privacy laws.

 

 

Step 7: Integration with business systems

 

In this article, we've listed a few business systems that each successful eCommercefor distributors has. During our cooperation, the specialists will connect inventory management, customer relationship management, customer support, and handy shipping systems. Depending on your business requirements, we'll also apply other integrations once they are needed. 

 

 

Step 8: Testing

 

The website can be published only once it has passed a testing stage that includes the examination of functionality, performance, security, applied integrations, and other vital aspects. As soon as testing is done and everyone is satisfied with the achieved result we come to the actual launch of your B2B website. 

 

 

Step 9: Post-launch support 

 

You can be sure that after the launch you won't be left alone. At the beginning of the cooperation, we will establish a convenient time frame within which our specialists will be always there to assist you.

 

Contact us and we’ll choose a convenient time for consultation!

 

 

FAQ

A distributor is simply a wholesaler serving the b2b (business to business) market.

B2B distributors sometimes decide to provide their services through the application which can be a website alternative. A B2B application typically refers to a software or mobile application designed to provide other companies with products or services. Sometimes the selling party decides to create its app, while there is also the option of benefiting from famous applications that give opportunities in B2B distribution including Amazon Business, Alibaba.com, ThomasNet, etc. 

Well-known eCommerce distributors examples include:

 

  • MSC Industrial Supply
  • Sysco
  • Cardinal Health.

Business-to-business distribution is the sale of products or services from one business to another. It involves transactions between companies rather than those that directly involve consumers. 


eCommerce solution for distributors provides the selling party with quite a lot of benefits that cover better client experience, data-driven insights, and effective order management.

The main challenges that eCommerce distributors face involve:

 

  • Market competition
  • Longer time to attract businesses 
  • Supply chain disruption 
  • High customization demand.

If we decide to compare a B2B eCommerce for distributors with traditional distribution, we see that the first option brings business valuable benefits, covering:

 

  • Partnership opportunities
  • High transaction value
  • Stability.

 

But please keep in mind that there are certain situations when it’s better to stick to a traditional distribution. For example, once your target audience prefers offline channels.

Ready to get started?

Talk to us and let boosting your business right now!

Let’s connect
Vasyl Kuzyk - SolidBrain
Mykola Dovhal CEO
Vasyl Kuzyk - SolidBrain
Vasyl Kuzyk Head of BDM
Khrystyna Oliiarnyk - SolidBrain
Khrystyna Oliiarnyk BDM
Let’s connect