In one of the last posts on our blog, we took a look at the new B2B commerce reality. The rapid acceleration of technology in business is dramatically changing the way buyers are sourcing new product. This newly evolved relationship between wholesales/manufacturer and their retailer customer has been augmented by digital research and online purchasing.
The move to online from direct has created channel conflict, which if you’re a stakeholder or executive at a B2B company this conflict is of serious concern as you’ll be using digital platforms to power new sales channels. However, channel conflict is not to be dwelled on. The game has changed and it’s time you accepted it, right? You’re probably thinking, “easier said than done”, but choosing inaction over action is detrimental to your business.
Doing nothing to avoid Channel Conflict is the wrong move 100% of the time
We recognize the challenges of channel conflicts in B2B eCommerce, but rather than worry about it and do nothing about it I’d like to look at a couple of specific scenarios and with thoughts on how issues could be addressed for your B2B business. As a followup, I’d like to offer a handful of specific solutions to common B2B channel complaints. Download our free eBook on Resolving B2B eCommerce Channel Conflict by clicking below:
Resolving B2B eCommerce Channel Conflict
1. Re-using digital tools and components from your eCommerce site to empower sales people
What salesperson wouldn’t benefit from the weight and power of a good CRM system, or having pricing and sales material easily accessible at any given moment. Who says your website is only for customers? The smart retailers in B2B are using their websites as empowerment tools for every facet of their sales organizations and once built for customers, re-purposing these assets can be relatively straightforward, the heavy lifting has already been done in creating them originally.
2. Branded Partner Reseller Sites
Maximize the opportunity by offering your most trusted partners access to your eCommerce site in the form of their own branded version. No longer is the effort herculean to take an existing website and replicate for another purpose, to offer custom pricing or manage inventory across this variety of channels. Re-using the effort required in creating a single point eCommerce site brings the level of all parters up and helps to better validates money spent.
3. Shared Platforms Mean Shared Knowledge
Sharing data and collaborating with channel partners, aggregating datasets and defining new opportunities to innovate, benefits your entire sales ecosystem. Even some of the smallest points of contact can make a profound difference in closing the sale further down the line.
Direct examples include:
- Using cart abandonment data to better influence offline sales by understanding where customers perceive a lack of value, or are getting stuck.
- Feedback loops woven into your eCommerce site and email programs can help identify new product categories, improve sales language / offers and in some cases define entirely new market segments.
- Agreeing to common goals and using shared data, future programs can be developed in a collaborative manner, negating the need for broader efforts at working together later into the process.
Achieve Channel Harmony
The fact is that most B2B companies are only reacting to the eCommerce adoption trend and not treating its emergence as a critical component of their future business strategy. While we absolutely understand the potential difficulties in some of what we’re suggesting above, we also believe firmly in the fact that we’re past the point where siloed, old style practices will keep working. Evolve or die as they say because in the age of the customer, the customer dictates the channel.
If your organization is struggling with channel conflict, or if you’re feeling the heat in any part of your B2B eCommerce offerings, you should call us. In fact, feel free to reach out to me at anytime. (1-888-860-0364 ext: 700 ). To learn more about bringing your B2B business online, download our free eBook by clicking below: