Using B2B Commerce Cloud to implement digital commerce in 2020

As a manufacturer or distributor in these times, you need to do more with less. It is clear you need to improve your digital capabilities. Customers are looking to place orders quickly and easily without face-to-face interactions with your team.

Written by:

Lori McDonald

  • President and CEO
  • Brilliance Business Solutions

Beyond the financial investment, your team is handling many things at once.  You are pivoting to add new product offerings to your mix.  You need to get those products to market and at the same time you need to keep your existing customer base from moving to a different supplier.

Welcome to 2020!

Episerver's B2B ecommerce platform enables extensive B2B functionality ‘out-of-the-box’ through configuration.  This reduces labor costs and speeds up the process of building or replatforming your site, reducing the work for you team in planning features to offer and simplifying the user interface design process. Episerver B2B Commerce Cloud offers several pre-built data integrations, and if your ERP isn’t on the list, B2B Commerce Cloud offers an underlying data integration architecture that will support your ERP as well.

By moving more sales online with Episerver’s B2B Commerce Cloud, you can increase sales, improve customer satisfaction, and minimize the amount of time required by your people. This is exactly what organizations need right now.

Your team

Getting your team on board is important, particularly in the sales department.  There is often skepticism from sales teams -- in some cases outright anxiety -- that digital commerce will replace them. The buy-in from your sales team will make or break the adoption of digital commerce by your customers.

You want to show your sales team how digital commerce will make their life easier:

  • Customers will be able to serve themselves and eliminate busywork. Salespeople will spend less time messing with a $50 order and can spend more time strategizing for the $50,000 sale.
  • Customers can easily request quotes online and salespeople can more efficiently respond to them.
  • It is easier for salespeople and customers to navigate product information making the sales process more efficient. Less time is spent on finding the right sales literature to send over.

At the end of the day, digital commerce allows salespeople to do a better job of serving customers and will make it easier for them to close more sales.

When we talked to Chris Barr from Episerver, he mentioned that he’s seen companies with digital commerce sites that are getting 20% of their sales online, in part because they are incentivizing their sales reps the same way for online sales as they would for manual sales.

At Episerver’s recent Ascend B2B event, Dillon Supply talked about how they are working to incentivize online sales in a couple of ways. They are testing out paying salespeople a higher commission for orders placed online, and they are also testing, in some cases, offering customers financial incentives for orders placed through the website.  Why would they do that? Because it’s faster and more efficient for Dillon Supply to fulfill online orders. Plus, the online orders tend to have a higher average order value.

Your sales

It’s common to see increased sales and higher average order values with digital commerce sales.  Some reasons for this are:

  • Improved search results (search on product numbers, compare products)
  • Increased traffic through content that provides a strong foundation for ranking in search engines.
  • Product recommendations which enable customers who come to order one product to find another product they end up ordering as well.

You digital commerce site enables the software to work on your team’s behalf to identify patterns in what people engage with and make recommendations (both products and content) that will result in creating value for your customer and upselling more products.

As Chris said in our interview, Geriatric Medical, an Episerver client, does 86% of their sales online. Their average order size for online sales is 25% higher than sales placed through other channels.

Your customers

When done well, customers appreciate the conveniences of doing B2B transactions online.  The workforce is getting younger. Pretty soon more than 50% of the workforce will be Millennials or younger! They are comfortable with digital and expect low-touch ordering and customer service experiences.

The Episerver B2B Commerce Cloud by Insite allows you to personalize the display of products to customers so they can spend less time getting their tasks completed.  When you make your customer’s life easier, that inspires loyalty.

With B2B Commerce Cloud, business customers can 

  • Request a quote
  • View open invoices and order history
  • Create shared buying lists
  • Upload a spreadsheet of products to order

Customers can place orders at any time, rather than waiting for someone to be in the office or return their communication.

Spend your time and energy on the highest value tasks

The Episerver B2B Commerce Cloud by Insite is a great solution to serve your existing customers well, with less of a burden on your team, and enable you to grow with new customers as well.  Leverage the software to fill some of the gaps you may have in your customer service and sales team and create efficiencies that allow you to focus your time and energy on higher-value tasks.