IntelliShop Software

Particular characteristics and challenges of B2B e-commerce


“Help! I don’t know my customers,” B2B manufacturers often lament. This complaint describes the key challenge of B2B in a nutshell. To understand this better, we need to understand these manufacturers: They have either benefited enormously from a direct relationship with a client (this is true of many manufacturers of medical devices) and are being gradually squeezed out by increasingly powerful purchasing departments; or they are active in a sector such as electrical engineering where, as a matter of course, they have benefited from a well-established commercial infrastructure for decades (true of many wholesale and specialist retailers). A coherent e-commerce strategy offers answers specifically designed to address these issues.

B2B e-commerce projects have always had several primary objectives: to help businesses get to know their (existing) customers better, to place them in a stronger position to win new customers, and to help them tap into new after-sales markets. Incorporating all these objectives into a single platform is a major challenge – yet it’s the only way to ensure a digitization solution stands out amid the crowd of similar initiatives and has the maximum impact on turnover, profit, and growth. After all, customer – rather than brand – loyalty is the main difference between B2B and B2C commerce.


9 important objectives in B2B e-commerce

  • Take the pressure off your sales department by taking over smaller, standardized tasks, thereby cutting costs, strengthening your sales team and freeing them up to concentrate on more important tasks.

  • Replace expensive or error-prone manual processes with a speedy, service-oriented and reliable comprehensive digital quotation and sales management system to serve customers across all your channels.

  • Offer your customers state-of-the-art procurement options with e-procurement features, and employ PunchOut scenarios to integrate these into your major clients’ procurement systems.

  • Reduce the number of interim sales steps, thereby increasing your profit margin; or seamlessly integrate downstream sales stages from the end user perspective into your sales and logistics processes.

  • Strengthen the position of your field and in-house sales teams by providing sales-related, detailed customer, order, and product information - either on their tablet devices, on the go, or for in-house sales and call center scenarios.

  • Tap into new markets and target groups with local, brand, and themed stores. Fill in those uncharted areas on your sales map without running any potentially costly risks. Test new markets and product lines online before taking them out to the brick-and-mortar world.

  • Use a complementary, fast-paced business channel to enlarge your range. Thanks to the significantly lower marketing and handling costs of e-commerce, a wider range of products may suddenly make economic sense, giving you the opportunity to tap into new customer groups.

  • Get to know your end users better! Online device registration (device management) and an array of B2B services mean that previously anonymous trade & wholesale customers can quickly become manufacturer customers and be addressed proactively, with an emphasis on service.

  • Explore the fascinating world of after-sales business: accessories, consumables and, of course, services! E-commerce and digital processes make this extremely cost-effective, and it will win your customers’ loyalty for the long haul.