Acro Media Q&A — Why BigCommerce for B2B
Matt Gomez, Senior Business Developer at Acro Media talks with Dan Fertig, VP, Agency Partnerships at BigCommerce, about why B2B companies should be moving online, and why BigCommerce is the platform to go online with.
Key takeaways from the “Why BigCommerce for B2B?” Q & A hosted by Acro Media.
Click on the links below to jump to the section
- What is BigCommerce’s offering in the B2B space?
- How have things changed in B2B over the last year and a half?
WATCH THE SESSION
Timestamps of note:
01:29 — Who is BigCommerce?
02:18 — BigCommerce offering for B2B.
04:58 — Changes in B2B since COVID.
07:57 — More than half of B2B buyers are Millennials.
08:06 — Two-thirds of B2B buyers conduct research online.
08:38 — Operator experience is just as important as the user experience.
10:32 — Productivity: Make your customers productive again.
12:03 — Is B2B online an untapped market?
15:35 — Benefits of selling online for a B2B company.
22:26 — Recommendation: Reward your in-house sales team for online transactions.
Key takeaways from the conversation
What is BigCommerce’s offering in the B2B space?
BigCommerce has been serving B2B businesses for quite some time. With their open SaaS platform, everything is exposed over APIs, making their solution usable and accessible with a low total cost of ownership. The open platform also makes the system flexible enough to handle the type of complex use cases often seen in B2B companies.
The BigCommerce core platform was built for not only large and varied catalogue requirements but has built-in functionality that B2B organizations need. The following functions are native to the BigCommerce platform:
- Flexible promotions engine.
- Check out customization.
- Customer groups.
- Log in for pricing.
- Price lists tied to APIs.
Even before the rollout of the B2B Edition, BigCommerce had built-in functionality to serve pure-play B2B or hybrid B2B with B2C use cases.
How have things changed in B2B over the last year and a half?
Only five years ago, as little as 25% of B2B businesses were selling online. According to Forrester, that number is as high as fifty percent today. Traditional face-to-face B2B organizations needed to pivot in order to survive and thrive in COVID, which is why we saw the massive adoption of ecommerce among B2B.
At first, the focus for many of those companies was about creating a pilot or MVP, getting something up and running, to move their current customers and purchases online in order to stay in business. Now, we are seeing many of those companies start phase two of their MVP; looking at ways to improve their online offerings. They are asking questions like:
- What does an optimized B2B digital buying experience look like?
- How can we improve sales processes internally for our teams?
- What does an integration into our ERP look like?
The top-performing online B2B businesses are no longer scrambling to get online, they are now looking for guidance and advice from partners to build for the next phase of their digital transformation.
Is B2B online an untapped market? What are some examples?
Dan feels that there is a real opportunity for B2B companies to reach untapped markets online, while their competitors haven’t quite gotten there. Just having a solid online presence opens B2B organizations to potentially reach new prospects in areas where they previously may not have had physical geographical coverage.
Ecommerce also allows B2B businesses to:
- Allow for product bundling within orders to happen automatically and at scale.
- Increase visibility within product catalogues to enable customers to easily identify related SKUs.
- Enable customers to order related products and SKUs at the same time, increasing order value and customer convenience.
- Cross-sell recommended products related to past purchases, current site history and account data, bringing a B2C buying experience to the B2B offering.
The benefits of selling online for a B2B company.
Dan takes quite a bit of time to go over some of the many benefits of moving at least a portion of a B2B company’s business to an online selling model.
An increase in loyalty is one of the unexpected lifts from bringing B2B online. If you make the buying experience simpler for an emerging group (aka Millennial buyers) of customers who expect the buying experience to be simpler, with everything else being equal (product offering, price, service), those buyers will purchase from you time and time again.
By adding cross-sell, up-sell, and bulk ordering functionality to the sales process automatically, order values increase. If businesses also hone their re-ordering processes, making them simple and smooth, order frequency increases without having sales reps place reminder phone calls.
Rep masquerading and cart sharing
Speaking of sales reps, another benefit that Dan has seen is that account executives can log in as their customers and prepare a shopping cart with re-order and suggested products. The sales rep then passes the cart to the customer, for approval. This speeds up the ordering process and wows customers with a fantastic service experience.
Bulk quantity and case pack management
Currently, most bulk or case pack B2B orders have to be manually adjusted for inventory purposes. This is done either by the sales rep or by the fulfillment team. By automating this at the point of order, time savings and efficiency are realized for sales, warehousing and distribution teams. This functionality is extremely useful for manufacturers and distributors.
New customer acquisition
Building a proper SEO strategy with BigCommerce’s platform opens up the opportunity to attract customers through online channels. These customers may not have been in a sales rep’s geographical market and now you can serve them through your web presence. B2B Edition also offers a trade professional application ability, increasing the ability to find customers in new ways.
Online B2B marketplace integration
BigCommerce’s open platform allows B2B companies to easily integrate into online marketplaces, such as Amazon Business or Alibaba for business, reaching a new market and type of customer, easily.
Higher gross margins
Dan said that companies are often seeing higher margins because customers are buying direct, without a sales rep offering them extra discounts to close the sale. This means sales happen at a higher price point because there just isn’t any opportunity for a sales exec to discount the order as an incentive to buy.
Getting B2B businesses to sell online is possible. With open SaaS platforms like BigCommerce and BigCommerce B2B Edition, business executives have an option to get their organization online, without intensive customization and development.
As an agency, Acro Media is always on the lookout for the best platforms to recommend to our clients. Time and time again, we come back to BigCommerce, and now the B2B Edition, for prospective clients that want a great B2B platform.