Are you ready to take online sales of your B2B product to the next level? Don’t restrict your strategy to your own eCommerce store.
Let us walk you through Felix’s experience. He’s a product manager for a range of valves. He’s working on his go-to-market strategy (GTM). How should he plan his online sales strategy? Should he stick to his own eCommerce store? He’s tempted! It would let him retain exclusivity. Best of all, he wouldn’t need to share profits with a third party.
However, there are clear benefits to multi-vendor B2B marketplaces. They have a large, engaged audience. So should he sell via his B2B eCommerce website or a B2B marketplace? Why not both? With B2B marketplace integration through your eCommerce platform, he – and you – can get the best of both worlds.
Why should you list your products on a marketplace?
Felix’s first step is to map the customer journey. He found that buyers prefer online B2B marketplaces. They provide access to a range of vendors, products, specs, pricing, business and payment models.
57% of buyers spend more on eCommerce marketplaces. 22% of buyers spend significantly more. Sellers like Felix gain access to new customers. Marketplaces also provide other features like marketing, analytics and efficient shipping. Marketplaces also offer great insight into your own business. It helps you analyze competitor activity. You can also track what clients interact with on your own page or pages.
B2B buyers of all ages prefer marketplaces. Millennials want flexibility and digital interaction. Gen X wants convenience. This could be why “B2B marketplace adoption has become a large growth driver of B2B eCommerce … worldwide B2B marketplace sales estimated to reach $3.6 trillion by 2024”.
Felix decides that he must list his products on B2B marketplaces. After all, “38% of North American buyers prefer marketplaces over other channels … 87% of B2B buyers generally purchase on marketplaces.” More B2B shoppers buy through marketplaces than any other channel.
Selling through marketplaces
There’s a reason that Felix is interested in this model. Retail today is a multi-channel affair. Your customers connect with you on multiple channels, and expect a similar experience. Keep your experience seamless between portal and online store. Rates, stock, bundles and promotions must be standard across all channels. Use a strong product information management (PIM) system. It gives you a “centralized source for managing your product data across channels”.
Select your portal (e.g. Amazon Business, Alibaba or IndiaMart). Choose based on your geography and sector. Amazon Business is one of the world’s most popular B2B marketplaces. Felix prefers it, too. A plurality of business buyers make over 25% of their purchases on Amazon Business. Using native tools or extensions, Amazon Business can integrate all major eCommerce platforms. This allows you to connect orders, inventory and analytics data between channels.
How does marketplace-eCommerce store integration work?
Let’s take Amazon Business. Felix wants to manage his Amazon and online store from a single dashboard. This way, he doesn’t accidentally commit what he can’t honor.
If you, like Felix, are using a Magento (Adobe Commerce) website, you can use their free add-on – Amazon Sales Channel. This tool connects to Amazon as a native app. It integrates with Amazon Business through your Amazon Seller Central account, which costs around USD 40 per month. Amazon Sales Channel provides data flow both ways. That is, each catalog is enriched with inputs from the other. This extension is a simple direct Magento-Amazon integration. It allows you to manage Amazon sales from your Magento admin console. Using Amazon Sales Channel, you gain the option to fulfill orders through your own website or through Amazon; B2B guidelines such as variable pricing; and even a currency conversion tool. However, for successful integration using this tool, you need at least version 2.3 of Magento 2.
There are also some paid extensions with more features, such as Amazon Integration by CedCommerce. Similarly, there are extensions which integrate your Magento 2 website with other marketplaces such as Alibaba.
What about the other eCommerce platforms? BigCommerce has a seamless near-native integration, Channel Manager, which allows you to integrate your store with ALL your other channels. Yes – ALL. That includes your social selling, your Amazon Business account, and some other marketplaces as well. Some marketplaces are not yet fully available – they’re still ‘coming soon’. If you want to integrate a B2B marketplace that’s not currently supported by BigCommerce Channel Manager, you’ll certainly find a suitable application in the BigCommerce Marketplace.
Shopify Plus makes it equally easy to integrate with your Amazon professional seller account. You just need to ensure that the currency on your Shopify Plus eCommerce website aligns with your Amazon store. For example, you’d need a Shopify US store to integrate with a storefront on Amazon.com. One unique Shopify online store can be linked to only one unique Amazon seller account. You need to ensure that you haven’t marked ‘FBA’ (fulfilled by Amazon) for product delivery on Amazon. Once you check these basic steps, you just need to go through the user-friendly integration wizard with Shopify to integrate all your sales channels. Similar to BigCommerce, social selling, point-of-sale and Amazon are included by default. Integration with other marketplaces can be done using third-party extensions such as Alumio, a fully-serviced cloud-based, no-code, iPaaS integration platform.
How do you use Amazon to optimize sales across the internet?
For B2B, D2C or B2C sales, Amazon is seeing increasing share and interest. Felix’s Amazon storefront is booming, too. He’s drawing learnings from it for other marketplaces and his e-store:
- Don’t tempt a buyer with something you don’t have. Amazon lets users filter out non-available items. Don’t excite a buyer with a great product, just to disappoint at checkout.
- Provide maximum input. Provide maximum input. B2B purchases are higher-value decisions and need data. Share all the data you can on the listing page.
- Use images and videos. Business buyers look beyond text and table spec sheets. Images, videos and graphics provide valuable insight.
- Simplify decision-making. Share your best USPs upfront. Include details like MOQ, customization, white-labelling, etc. Tell your buyers why you are the right fit as a trusted long-term partner.
- Optimize, test and improve. Marketing isn’t a one-time exercise. You can get the most out of your product listings with ongoing optimization.
- Offer discounts and promotions. Amazon has shown us the benefit of offers. Provide bulk and cash discounts. This can positively impact revenue.
Do you manage a B2B product like Felix? It’s important to know the value of selling via B2B marketplaces. Integrate your eCommerce website with B2B marketplaces to manage product information across channels. This lets you streamline the selling process. Deliver a seamless buying experience. Talk to our team to discuss how to get started with a B2B marketplace integration strategy.