Ecommerce is set to become the new normal in the business-to-business (B2B) space.
A massive 93% of B2B buyers say they prefer buying online rather than from a salesperson once they’ve decided what they want. And this isn’t just for small-scale purchases. Research shows that 77% of B2B customers are prepared to spend $50,000 or more in a single online transaction, with 35% willing to spend upwards of $500,000.
But succeeding in B2B ecommerce isn’t as simple as taking your traditional sales strategies online. It involves a fundamental shift in how you conduct business. With a strong, well-considered B2B ecommerce marketing strategy, you can leverage the immense growth opportunity of digital sales to earn more, spend less, and boost your efficiency.
Recap: What’s the difference between traditional and digital B2B marketing?
Traditional B2B sales focus on outbound channels. You reach out to potential clients through cold emails, phone calls, direct mail, and other marketing tools and hope to convince them of your value. And if they buy, your salesperson makes great efforts to nurture an ongoing customer relationship that earns future sales.
B2B ecommerce, on the other hand, is more focused on inbound sales channels like landing pages, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and opt-in email marketing. It’s about helping motivated, highly qualified leads discover your business online, and making it easy for them to complete self-service purchases. Although customer relationships and support are still important for increasing lifetime customer value in B2B ecommerce, you can deliver much of these online too.
Top 7 benefits of a B2B ecommerce marketing strategy
1) Increase your revenue
B2B ecommerce sales are estimated to exceed $3tn by 2027, up from $1.7tn at the end of 2021. This huge market for digital trade is only getting bigger, making it a prime opportunity for you to maximize your revenue and business growth.
Ecommerce platforms also allow you to cross-sell and up-sell products based on each customer’s order and search histories. This personalized marketing encourages them to buy additional products and services, further raising your income.
2) Lower costs and boost efficiency
As the B2B space continues to evolve, strategies and workflows that were once successful lose their potency. By updating and replacing these, you can increase your operational efficiency, cut costs, and earn more money.
A B2B ecommerce strategy allows you to replace order entry, inventory management, invoicing, and other basic processes with automated alternatives. This frees up your team to focus on higher-value tasks like product development and customer service. As a result, you can raise the quality of your business without excessive spending or complex changes.
3) Stay competitive
More and more B2B customers are switching to online purchasing. Millennials in particular, who are increasingly taking on decision-making roles in their organizations, expect to be able to buy online. If you don’t offer this service, your customers will start buying from a business that does.
With a B2B ecommerce marketing plan, you can replace calls, emails, and visits with faster, convenient, low-cost online sales. That way, you stay competitive even in a growing market.
4) Improved customer experience
Customers value speed and efficiency in their transaction. By offering a B2B ecommerce platform, you empower them to place orders instantly. As well as accelerating order fulfillment and reducing human error, customers can track their orders without making phone calls or sending emails.
You can continue to nurture specific customer relationships through targeted email marketing, informative content marketing, and a responsive customer service portal. That way, even if customers don’t regularly engage with your team, they know you’re available to offer support when they need it.
5) Reach more customers anytime, anywhere
Online sales channels aren’t limited by the working hours of your sales team. They’re open 24/7/365 across all markets and time zones, and can handle a significantly higher volume of traffic. With a B2B ecommerce marketing strategy, you can expand into international markets without concern for logistical barriers.
Many ecommerce platforms also offer tools that let you target specific industries, geographies, and segments. That means you can better tailor your marketing efforts to different groups of customers. No matter who they are or where they’re from, B2B ecommerce marketing allows you to reach more customers on a global scale.
6) Reach more qualified leads
Traditional B2B marketing involves a great deal of cold outreach. While this can be effective, it can also disturb or frustrate potential clients. In the worst cases, recipients might denylist your company because they don’t want to be bothered by your marketing efforts.
Rather than risk poor customer relationships, your B2B ecommerce marketing strategy makes it easy for qualified leads from your ideal niche to find you instead. This removes the guesswork from onboarding new clients and lets you grow your audience without wasting time on incompatible leads. Free access to a wide range of online resources also allows customers to learn about the value you deliver at their own comfortable pace.
Scaling traditional B2B strategies takes a lot of time, effort, and money, especially if you have to reprint sales collateral. But it’s quick and simple to advertise new products, attract new customers, and establish new sales channels through your B2B ecommerce marketing strategy. That means you can quickly respond to changes in market demand and outpace your competitors.
A B2B ecommerce marketing strategy in action – Closing leads through video
Lenexa Manufacturing Company (LMC) – a bakery equipment manufacturer from Kansas – came to us with a problem. They were getting a lot of meetings with prospective purchasers, but their sales collateral wasn’t closing.
It’s tough to explain complex machinery over the phone, in a brochure, or even through a presentation. So as part of a wider B2B ecommerce marketing strategy, we took their demonstrations online with machine demo videos. These showed their equipment in action while using animated text to call out key capabilities that would drive value for customers.
Our videos gave LMC the edge they needed to secure two contracts worth a total of $687,000. And they even doubled the lifetime sales of one particular machine in just six months. Read our full video content marketing case study to get the whole story!
With decades of collective expertise in brand and marketing strategies, the LimeLight Marketing team develops effective B2B ecommerce solutions for companies across the U.S. Get in touch with us today to chat about your B2B ecommerce marketing strategy, and let’s make your business thrive in the digital space.