How do you know if your brand is harnessing all the B2B e-commerce platform benefits possible with your current platform? It’s likely you have the essentials covered, but there are some features and services offered by top-tier B2B platforms that drive growth, and build your brand season over season.
Let’s take a look at what your provider needs to deliver in order to be a best-in-class B2B e-commerce solution.
First, your users need a window into inventory levels – ideally in real-time. Retailers need to be able to see what your brand has available to sell so they can effectively manage their stock for the season. Any B2B without access to real time inventory is basically DOA.
Second, and probably the most obvious, your B2B needs a robust suite of ordering tools for both pre-season and at-once orders. If retailers can’t place orders, it’s not a B2B e-commerce platform.
Last on the list of cornerstone features is a digital destination within your B2B for educational experiences. At Envoy B2B we call it Showroom, and it’s where you get to storytell. It’s the place your retailers land to learn about your products and your brand.
Okay, that’s the basics. But what else does a really solid B2B e-commerce solution deliver?
Data Drives Smarts Decisions
If you want to keep your brand ahead of the game, and grow season over season, then you’ll need a B2B platform with solid reporting features. Many of the B2B systems out there require reps to manually build reports, often involving some external piece of software.
That’s not good enough.
Reporting should be baked right into your B2B. Reps can simply tap into the dashboard and pull up insights into retailer activity. These metrics will have a powerful impact on future merchandising and ordering decisions, and is a large part of building a digitally enabled team of sales reps.
Connected To Trends
Let’s take that ability to see data and gain insight a little further. Your B2B should be integrated with a service like Locally. This gives your reps a view into the trends of each store, on a hyper-localized level. Without integrating your B2B to a service like Locally, your brand is stuck viewing this data when the season is over, and that’s too late.
Being able to harness this consumer demand intelligence means your reps can work with the retailer to capitalize on burgeoning trends before it’s too late. This keeps each store on-trend and ensures they have a good stock of products that are in high-demand, right now.
The upshot here is that your retailer can pro-actively restock products that are guaranteed to delight your consumer, creating in-season growth in an unprecedented manner.
Opening New Doors
For the most part, the B2B platforms most brands have access to are private experiences. They are built for your existing retailers, and you need to go through an acquisition and onboarding process to get a retailer into the system. But, what if your B2B e-commerce platform wasn’t just a tool for growing your business with pre-existing accounts? What if it could also help you add doors?
The best B2B e-commerce services give you the tools to invite retail prospects into the system before they come onboard as new doors. There are no hoops to jump through. simply invite the retailer into a public version of your educational destination and they are ready to go.
Having a destination that delivers an engaging educational experience to potential new accounts means you have the opportunity to demonstrate the ways in which you will support the retailer, validate them as a good fit, and then quickly onboard them into your B2B to start creating orders.
Find The Right Match
Does your B2B e-commerce solution cover all the bases? If your platform isn’t up to snuff then you can stifle growth or lose doors. Get in touch with us, we’d be happy to talk about ensuring your brand is getting the most out of your B2B.