A Challenging Online Retailer Landscape
As online retailers thrive during the pandemic, in person marketplaces are struggling due to social distancing and public anxiety. For consumers willing to brave the risks of in person shopping, capacity restrictions and closures nationwide further diminish opportunities. Consequently, many business-to-business (B2B) companies are losing demand from their business-to-customer (B2C) clientele in correlation with the impacts of the pandemic on consumers at large. Add to that, many B2B businesses typically sell via in person relationships (think golf outings, onsite visits to show products, etc.), which have slowed down over the last year. Furthermore, buyer demographics are changing, such that younger buyers, who prefer to do research and shop online, simply don’t want to buy direct from a sales rep. This counterproductive trickle-up effect is challenging B2B businesses to broaden their strategies to stay competitive in rapidly evolving markets. For many B2B corporations, implementing an online B2C initiative offers a perfect solution for fostering continued sales and growth.
Understanding the Customer
Platforms, such as Magento, allow B2B businesses to sell their products directly to consumers. In order to effectively implement and execute an online B2C initiative, businesses must clearly understand their customer base. Online platforms are particularly effective at providing marketing teams with insight into the motivations of customers. As customers generate data through site traffic and various behaviors, their data feeds directly into profiles that can be leveraged to optimize the sales funnel and streamline the customer journey. With this knowledge in hand, B2B companies can swiftly enter the B2C space and thereby generate additional revenue; additionally, platforms such as Magento have a proven track record of fostering growth in both B2B and B2C spaces.
Capturing the Market
Online sales account for a high volume of B2C transactions, and online marketplaces have proven to be the preferred medium for millennials. Tapping into millennial markets is a great method for generating reliable cash flow. Acquiring a strong millennial customer base also helps businesses position prudently for selling new products in the future. For consumers who are anxious to shop in person, online marketplaces offer the perfect opportunity to safely conduct purchases from the location of their choosing. As an added benefit, the materials, messaging, and user functionality of online platforms empower customers to gain confidence as they research and compare products and refine to their ideal product.
The Magento platform is not just a tool for making online transactions simple. Utilizing Magento, businesses can expand their presence across various marketplaces. This expansion is vital to increasing revenue, brand awareness, and capturing new business. Selling in marketplaces such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google, while possible through B2B strategies, magnifies growth potential when complemented by a B2C presence.
Magento also provides a simple way of integrating with social media such as Twitter, Tiktok, Instagram and other popular sites, effectively broadening a business’s marketing net. As companies gain social media presence, messaging can be tailored to provide customers with content that is clear, relevant, and significant to their profile of needs. Online platforms also smoothly facilitate engaging in other growth opportunities such as webinars, conferences, and varied lead generating activities. For B2B businesses encountering challenges, or those looking to expand their approach, implementing a B2C online strategy offers a potential avenue for gaining a competitive edge on the market.
Joy Beatty is a Vice President at Seilevel. Joy implements new methodologies and best practices that improve requirements elicitation and modeling. She advises Fortune 500 companies as they build business analysis centers of excellence. Joy has provided training to thousands of business analysts and is CBAP® and PMI-PBA® certified.