A Chartered Accountant by profession, Mr. Ankit Gupta is a young and dynamic corporate leader and is guiding Exporters India as its Director & CEO. He is primarily responsible for business development and strategy development for consumer satisfaction besides providing direction to the team. Mr. Gupta started his career as a finance expert and gradually went on to grasp knowledge about client management, SEO and Digital Marketing.
According to research conducted by Statista, the market size of B2B e-commerce is projected to grow to approximately US $60 billion by 2025, which was US $5.6 billion as of 2021. These statistics testify to the need for B2B businesses to shift their focus towards online sales and business growth. However, there still might be some resistance in the minds of B2B business owners as a result of some common misconceptions that are preventing them from taking full advantage of the e-commerce boom.
- Myth – B2B customers don’t make purchases online: It is one of the most common misconceptions related to B2B e-commerce. It is believed that B2B customers don’t make purchases online whereas the reality is quite the opposite. The majority of them prefer placing an order through an online portal saving on the cost overheads charged by middlemen. This is even more common in tech-savvy millennials who are now gaining decision-making responsibilities in businesses. They want to be able to look at the products, seek online reviews, recommendations and testimonials and make purchases online.
- Myth – Having a website is enough to get customers: Having an e-commerce website will only be useful if people know that it exists. A business might have spent thousands of rupees and hours of time on building a website but it will not fetch any results unless it has been given wide-spread exposure. While telling the existing customers about the website face-to-face or via phone might work, but to get new customers to explore the website it is important to invest in digital marketing strategies like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), paid advertising and other marketing campaigns besides associating with a good B2B platforms that can boost the online presence in a huge way.
- Myth – B2B e-commerce is complicated and expensive: Building any website will certainly require time and money but it is not as complex, time-consuming or expensive as it is perceived to be. Back in the day, building a B2B e-commerce website would have been tedious but today online platforms like Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce etc. offer features that are highly compatible with B2B e-commerce websites. Furthermore, these platforms offer custom APIs, third-party apps & integrations, and also an option to custom code that lets one have just about any functionality that one might want in their website. Besides these there are B2B platforms who are experts in this owing to their experience and expertise which can be easily harnessed. These platforms also have 24/7 support services that make the process of building a website hassle-free. Also, the costs of setting up these websites are very reasonable. In fact, e-commerce websites enable businesses to cater to a global audience thus, increasing the Return on Investment (ROI). Since the process of order and invoice processing is also automated, the cost of the manual workforce also gets eliminated.
- Myth – E-commerce can’t be used to develop relationships with customers: Customer satisfaction is a very crucial aspect for any business that comes through having personal relationships with the clients. However, there is a common misconception that technology takes away the personalized approach. It is not at all the case. In reality, it actually greatly enhances the customer experience by giving them access to the products, pricing and other information 24/7. Customers can browse for the products at just about any time and from anywhere in the world making the process easy. An e-commerce platform provides any business with the required tools for better customer interactions and quicker resolutions, bringing the clients closer to the business.
- Myth – B2B e-commerce is hard to scale: Many business owners believe that e-commerce is hard to scale. E-commerce can be scaled by using the same strategies as any other B2C business and applying them correctly. The only difference is the volume of the customers. For instance, small B2C businesses use email marketing as a tool to reach out to their customers, the same can be used by B2B firms. Automation increases accuracy, saves time and remarkably boosts efficiency. E-commerce softwares like inventory management tools and CRM can be used in the B2B space to manage businesses efficiently. B2B business is not hard to scale if the strategies are applied correctly.
By separating facts from fiction one can take the right actions and make great strides for their B2B business. Getting started with an e-commerce website today is easier than ever. E-commerce helps businesses sell more efficiently and effectively grow their business without sacrificing customer relationships.