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A digital commerce expert and the co-founder at Kinex Media Inc, a creative digital agency in Toronto.
Can B2B operations gain momentum again? I first heard this line in a movie: “Every setback is a setup for a comeback!” The sense in which it was used was in a joking manner, but reflecting on what businesses faced a year ago and what they are still facing, this line can be applied.
Many businesses globally are uncertain about what the future holds. However, for e-businesses, it is a chance to refocus. For distributors, manufacturers and wholesalers, now is the time to embrace the new normal and take advantage of the opportunities concealed in it. It’s an era of digitization and it won’t change, which means that at least 70% of your B2B decisions should be digital-focused.
How can this be achieved?
1. Tap into the power of digital technologies.
E-commerce is a growing field with many potential facets to help B2Bs survive the pandemic’s challenges. Leverage the power of digital technologies like Adobe Commerce (which recently added Magento to its umbrella), Shopify or WordPress to venture into the digital world. If you’re already operating on the same landscape, it could be time to scale up. Invest time into cultivating new partnerships with influential enterprises, building your brand on social media or perhaps curating a website redesign for your customers. Ensure a 360-degree influence on the internet and in the actual market.
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2. Say ‘yes’ to scalability.
Growth-focused B2Bs never compromise scalability. Being flexible is another way to help businesses stand up to challenges like the pandemic or product procurement hassles. With that, evaluate any e-commerce platform for your B2B enterprise before investing in it. Look for a solution that offers a scalable catalog and allows third-party integrations. Nevertheless, migrating to another platform shouldn’t leave you with serious performance issues. Additionally, ensure you keep your B2B website up to date to operate effectively.
3. Don’t compromise SEO.
The modern business era is all about visibility, and that’s why your company should have a solid digital presence. SEO is a hallway to broader audiences, and this can help drive business goals. Think with Google indicates that 49% of users use the search engine to find a new product or service. And Databox found that 70% of respondents are in favor of SEO over PPC for driving sales.
With that, investing in better SEO tactics and tools like pillar pages, technical SEO audits and smart tools can help your B2B company reach the ever-growing number of internet users.
4. Deploy analytics and custom reporting features.
You’ve got every chance to slice up your business data in a professional way by installing analytics and reporting features on your B2B website. Apart from indicating where your website traffic comes from, you will be able to monitor customer activities on your site. This type of data can provide you with actionable insights to utilize in the decision-making process of your business and marketing.
5. Connect to powerful third-party programs.
Each e-commerce platform comes with its own focal point whereby custom optimization, like linking up to third-party apps or programs, is necessary. The good thing is that there is a variety of third-party apps and programs to customize your B2B e-commerce store. For example, in many cases, you can install a customer relationship management (CRM) tool or a gateway system.
Security should be a top priority. Partner with a realistic extension. Your insider team needs to have reliable partners, such as a digital marketer, supply chain and SEO service provider.
Regardless of whether Covid-19 fades in the next few months or not, the pandemic offers a setup for revolutionized B2B operations. Ideally, B2B operations will only become better and smarter in the coming time.
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Author: Karan Sharma, Forbes Councils Member