B2B and Wholesale in an Online World
You cannot ignore eCommerce as a B2B/Wholesale supplier. However
B2B eCommerce is not the same as retail B2C eCommerce. Multichannel in a B2C situation is largely about automating the relationship with the customer; in a B2B environment it’s about complementing that relationship – “eCommerce with a human touch” as one major player describes it. The key idea is depicted in the diagram below, which is taken from a detailed briefing I have written specifically on the topic of B2B eCommerce. This article in turn is based on over 5 years of experience with major clients in the B2B/wholesale sector.
Online B2B is typically more complex. There are many challenging topics to consider, including online price transparency, channel conflict and sales attribution, mobile customers, clients with multiple levels of spending authority, and many more.
Relationship first, sale second. What you don’t want to hear about is how to force an inappropriate B2C solution onto your B2B customers. Square pegs are not meant for round holes. If you want to talk to someone that’s spent a long time understanding the difference and what it means for wholesalers, give me a call.