Not all B2B platforms are created equal. You might find feature parity on paper, but there are other factors to consider when evaluating if your B2B is truly a brand-first platform or if it’s holding you back.
To figure that out, you need to look past a simple list of features and ask the important questions: Who is your B2B built for and how does it generate revenue? Is it full of engaging content that’s easy to build and distribute? Is it built around a marketplace? Is it supported by a team that’s vested in your success?
Let’s answer those questions.
Is Your B2B Built For Your Brand, First?
Is your current B2B designed to generate revenue for itself from your wholesale channel? If new features are built around creating revenue streams through forced feature adoption, you might be in trouble.
Instead of introducing features designed to improve your wholesale operations, some platform providers design with an eye towards maximizing revenue… theirs. A B2B built on this model isn’t prioritizing your brand's wholesale needs, and that means it’s likely slowing down your ability to succeed.
You need to ensure that your B2B is full of accessible, engaging content, and that your pipeline to create and distribute that content is smooth and quick.
On the B2B side, you’ll want some kind of portal that can lead retailers to educational content experiences as well as e-commerce tools. Combining the two and making all your marketing, catalogs, and learning spaces shoppable, is a win-win for both brands and retailers.
In addition, you’ll want some kind of easy to use content creation tools that hooks directly into your B2B. Powerpoint or desktop publishing software can get the job done, but it’s even easier if your content is pulling data directly from your B2B. That way you spend less time keeping every piece of content up to date. Check out Digital Press if you want to make content that’s built to take advantage of your B2B.
Bogged Down By A Marketplace?
Is the platform you are on putting the needs of your brand first, or does it have its own goals that aren’t aligned with yours? If you find yourself persuaded to use a marketplace inside your B2B, it’s likely it’s not implemented to drive your success.
While marketplaces aren’t inherently bad, they are designed to monetize your wholesale data. It’s a business model built around profiting off that marketplace, and that means the success of your wholesale channel isn’t paramount. As long as you are using that marketplace, the company making that B2B platform is realizing a profit.
A B2B with a marketplace can be a viable business model, but it’s not necessarily the best model for your brand if your goal is to maximize growth through your B2B.
Are Your Supported By A Team?
Finally, are the people behind the platform actively supporting your brand and its success with that platform?
Adopting a platform is just the beginning of growing your wholesale B2B business. You need more than a bullet point list of features and a log-in to succeed. Make sure you go with a platform that has an actively engaged team dedicated to your success.
Implementation: Do they hand you the keys and walk away, or work with you for the entire implementation process? Rep adoption: Do they hold training sessions and clinics for onboarding? Do they support long term growth of your wholesale channel: Are they implementing features based on your feedback and business needs?
Make sure the software fits your needs, but the team behind it is equally as important in increasing your velocity.
Getting It Right Is Worth The Time
Adopting a wholesale B2B platform is a big deal for any brand. We know choosing and implementing a B2B system can be a long process, but getting it right is critical for determining your pace of growth. Whether you’re signing on for your first B2B, or looking at re-platforming, make sure you choose a platform that’s built for your brand first, has an easy method to populate it with content, isn’t driven by a marketplace, and is driven by a team of people vested in your success.