As we head into the last part of 2020, B2B ecommerce has had to adapt and transform like never before.
The pandemic has redefined procurement across the board. With customer service teams, supply chain, sales, and customers all working remotely – manufacturers are working hard to establish trust, transparency, flexibility, and availability while facing the threat (or opportunity) from online retailers like Amazon.
There’s no arguing that 2020 has created new pressures on manufacturers to redefine (or define) their digital identities. It has also created an opportunity to offer customers a solution that improves their lives and your business operations.
Distributors and small, but valuable customers, are most likely still trade with you manually. There probably isn’t any commercial or technical incentive to look at connecting with them via EDI. The alternative is for ordering, invoicing, returns, and day to day communications to managed by our old friend – email.
These trading partners might be the ideal candidates to migrate from the ways of old to new, more flexible, and scalable B2B ecommerce offerings. By going online, they and you can say goodbye to tired, inefficient, and slow processes. They can work with you much more efficiently, with greater visibility and flexibility.
On the other side of the same coin are the challenges this approach can solve for you – the supplier. Cost to serve is the apparent benefit as the time and effort spent managing customer queries, and processing information can be pivoted towards higher-value tasks. There is also the question of improving profitability by controlling upfront what the customer can and cannot order and preventing errors by using more reliable and up to date data.
Establishing trust and transparency in B2B ecommerce transactions
B2B buyers want and need more control over their transactions and increasingly prefer to self-serve. We’ve all become familiar with seamless, Amazon-like shopping experiences in our personal lives. Those same experiences carry over to and shape B2B buying expectations. So how do you achieve this while staying in control?
Any B2B ecommerce solution needs to ensure:
- Optimised order capture for that customer or product line, be that by value or quantity
- Ease of use, and designed in a way to minimise unnecessary low-value interactions between the customer and the supplier
- 100% error-free orders from the ecommerce platform into the ERP
- Use of accurate and up to date product and price data
And that’s why we built OmPrompt SelfServe, a B2B ecommerce portal allowing your customers to place orders any time anywhere. Powered by flexible and configurable controls to govern the flow of orders, it seamlessly integrates with your systems and supporting OmPrompt solutions.
Why you need SelfServe functionality
OmPrompt’s SelfServe provides the quick answer to capitalising on the B2B ecommerce opportunity and fast path to process efficiency gains.
Customers can benefit from simple to use interfaces, robust back end integrations, and process control powered by the sophisticated pre-built configurable rules in the OmPrompt Business Rules Engine.
SelfServe provides a natural, frictionless environment for online trade. It delivers personalisation and convenience in the form of a self-service portal, with controls supporting custom prices, products, and payment methods depending on the customer.
Proactively serving and communicating with smaller customers can be hard work and costly when the attention is often grabbed the higher volume customers. SelfServe offers a way to provide information to customers in the form of push and pull notifications, access to necessary documentation, and of course, order status visibility to minimise the need for customers to chase case.
Implement your SelfServe portal today
SelfServe delivers an experience that empowers your customers with more information, while at the same time enabling you to control what they order when they do it and where they need it.
You can step away from hard to manage spreadsheets, unstructured email chains on telephone conversations to serve your staff, distributors, and (most importantly) your customers better.