As the world fights the spread of a pandemic, your customers are confined to their homes. The B2B coronavirus attack is rapidly and drastically changing how they research and purchase goods and services. Experts and business leaders are trying to predict which changes are temporary, whether current adjustments will endure beyond the pandemic, and how life and business will be permanently altered as a result of Coronavirus.
Without question, the analog world has been devastated by the Coronavirus, and traditional businesses are in crisis. However, the digital world is thriving. Businesses that embrace technology are most likely to survive this pandemic.
Unprepared B2B companies, without online sales functions and a digital presence, have faced the harshest assault from COVID-19. eCommerce is the solution to maintain or even increase sales for affected B2B companies.
Your Customer’s Window to the World
Everyone is sitting at home. Their window to the world is through their smartphone, tablet, or computer.
This pandemic has changed the minds of even the most cynical critics of technology. As the Coronavirus pandemic increases our dependence on technology, people forget why they were reluctant to use it. Once it becomes comfortable, it becomes a habit and a permanent pattern of behavior.
Post pandemic, technology and ecommerce will be ubiquitous. Coronavirus-affected B2B companies with a professional online presence will emerge more powerful and dominant.
We are witnessing B2B ecommerce grow in unprecedented ways due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The outcome of this pandemic should make traditional B2Bs do a 180-degree turn around to invest time, money, and energy into getting their online operations up and running.
Although most of the top B2B companies in traditional industries have been in the ecommerce game for some time, it’s fair to say that only a few of them really have their acts together. It’s not enough to have an online presence, it must be in competitive shape.
B2B eCommerce, A Strategic Direction for the Future
Most Coronavirus-affected B2B companies in China have already moved from crisis response to post-recovery planning. Complete digitization for manufacturers in all B2B industries is at the forefront of many such plans.
IHL Group President Greg Buzek expects the current crisis to lead to increased investment into omnichannel (channel-agnostic) technologies:
“It is our view that the trends of ordering products and services online will double from their previous levels of expenses as a result of people avoiding crowds for the next 90 days.”
It’s predictable that the digital side of retail and B2B business will grow at a faster pace than previous projections. Although it is a hard time for the world, it is proof that ecommerce is robust and is a viable solution for the new normal that will emerge from this modern pandemic.
Our new reality, as many B2B leaders believe, is that better ecommerce technology will shape and improve the business world of the future.
eCommerce for Traditional B2B Companies
When people think of ecommerce, they usually think of online retailers such as giants like Amazon. Such ecommerce sites won’t be a solution for many traditional business-to-business models. Online retailers are just one type of ecommerce.
Let’s look at other ecommerce solutions to overcome today’s industry challenges.
Many conventional B2Bs don’t need a regular online store. They need a web-based sales portal that is fully integrated with a Customer Relations Management (CRM) tool or an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to have the ability to identify the steps of your clients’ journey and potential business intelligence opportunities or threats.
CRM is a technology for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. A CRM system is a tool that helps with contact management, sales management, productivity, and more.
An ERP uses a centralized database for various business processes to reduce manual labor and to simplify existing business workflows. ERP systems typically contain dashboards where users can look at real-time data collected from across the business to measure productivity and profitability. Common features of an ERP system include Manufacturing, Inventory Management CRM, Accounting, and Human Resources.
Both tools fall into the ecommerce category. They allow you to provide information to your clients in a simplified and trackable way. It streamlines the interaction with your customers and helps them make their buying decisions easier and your fulfillment process faster.
The Opportunities to Adopt eCommerce
B2B ecommerce is increasing and will continue to grow at a steady pace because of more sophisticated digital networks and more online buyers. Look to ecommerce to protect your company from the B2B coronavirus attack.
The U.S. B2B ecommerce market alone doubled its worth at the start of 2020 (reaching $1 trillion), and with the COVID-19 locking down most cities on the globe, this number is expected to increase, drastically. Traditional B2B industries will reap the benefits of these developments. Initial data indicate that more retailers prefer contactless or online purchases from their vendors, which is expected to increase.
Because of the explosion of the B2C ecommerce market, growth opportunities abound for Coronavirus-affected B2B companies. In a customer-driven industry, it is necessary for wholesalers and manufacturers to be aware and act on the ecommerce trends that are reshaping future business.
Financing the Move to eCommerce
Adopting ecommerce platforms is neither easy nor inexpensive. Regardless, to survive the B2B coronavirus attack your business paradigm requires it. At a time when financing is harder to get, Allied Financial Corporation may be your answer if you’re a small-to-medium B2B company. Contact us today to discuss how you can use your existing accounts receivables to bolster your cash flow and invest in the future of your business.
Coronavirus Business Insights: What to Expect, How to React, and What’s Next