This edition of DigiCommerce B2B2C eCommerce post attempts to go further in depth on some of its capabilities. There are definitely some eCommerce capabilities unique to this business model. But the main thing is for a B2B2C infrastructure to be able to interchange between B2B and B2C features when the system requires it. This can only be done by expert systems integrations. The complexity of this model requires experienced hands that not only understand the technical part of integration. But can also effectively reflect the business model online in the most seamless and customer friendly way possible. That is essentially the remit of systems integrators and digital agencies like DigiCommerce.
B2B2C eCommerce is made more complex due to the business processes and IT systems of the partner. This is most true for the backend like accounting, CRM, ERP and warehouse management systems. In some cases, transactions on the site will be recorded in the back-end systems of a partner. Therefore, price changes in ERP might have to be reflected on the main online store. Vendors of enterprise eCommerce platforms with omnichannel include SAP, Elastic Path who provide superior foundations for an online B2B2C model Industries that have traditionally relied on distribution channels and resellers, including manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. They are the ideal candidates for B2B2C eCommerce integration. DigiCommerce has the experience of working on B2B2C projects even in agriculture.
The B2B2C model comprises three parts: the first business, an intermediary, and the end user. There are several ways the B2B2C model is used in eCommerce applications. For instance, a company can partner with another company to market products and services. In the process giving the partner a commission of the sale. The main advantage of B2B2C eCommerce is the acquisition of new customers. This is important for B2B2C eCommerce companies that must quickly grow their customer base.
One of the most popular B2B2C partnerships was between Google and AOL in the early days of Google’s. Google was limited by name recognition and poor consumer access in those years. AOL was the major internet player of the time, and its channels allowed Google the access it needed to cultivate new users. As Google accumulated customer data, it established itself as the premier search engine we recognize today. AOL benefitted from shared revenues and an equity stake in Google.
One of the key advantages of this model is B2B2C businesses have the ability to leverage both B2B and B2C features on a single stack. It essentially allows B2B2C companies to pick and choose from the menu of eCommerce features. Importantly they can disable features that come with certain platforms that they do not need. Platforms like SAP and Elastic Path give clients this exact option. Businesses have the opportunity to leverage B2C customer service, marketing with B2B order management and logistics. This is ultimately the objective for most B2B2C businesses. This is also part of why the process is so complex.
From the marketing point of view there is quite a high degree of flexibility in this model. For one, B2B2C businesses in many cases want the ability to reach out to both B2C and B2B customers through the marketing effort. This approach is complex in many ways. In a recent DigiCommerce project the client needed to market different prices to different customers based on a set criteria. The client was an agricultural equipment wholesaler and renting platform. This criteria includes the location of the customer and some other things.
Moreover, a call to action is provided to customers that prompts them to select a dealer by first entering their zip code. A list of dealers will then be displayed. The client can then select the dealer they would like to purchase from. Based on this sequence of events customers pointed to the most cost efficient business within close proximity. It does this by hiding prices from customers based on the information given to the online store. Each dealer will typically have it’s own price list. This system might seem odd but it has some obvious advantages. This helps the customer mitigate transport cost and keeps the market fair. These kinds of businesses often deal in needs and goods which forces a unique business model.
Leveraging warehousing is also quite important in the B2B2C online model. China, probably the most significant country in eCommerce is a unique example of this. Prior to online sales, the retailer sent a bulk of foreign products to a Customs Bonded Warehouse for storage. When a Chinese shopper buys online, the warehouse will fulfill the order and prepare it for Customs clearance. After clearance, a domestic express courier will deliver the order directly to the end-user.
Now due to effectiveness of B2B2C eCommerce, Chinese B2B2C is growing faster than in other regions. The embrace of this technology has allowed Chinese companies to take advantage of many positives. This includes lower cost of bulk purchase and lower logistics cost due to consolidated international freight. They also benefit from faster turnaround time and delivery time. The faster customs clearance.
Moreover, by consolidating and allocating inventory management between dealers and distributors, it helps streamline and facilitate the ability to manage the fulfillment process. Having the ability to efficiently split shipment by leveraging multiple warehouses benefits the businesses and customers alike.
Finally, B2B2C eCommerce platform gives the chance to defend and grow market share directly with the end users. Instead of depending distributors to market to them at the point of purchase. How does a B2B2C business choose an eCommerce platform? They need a solution that can span multiple market segments and potentially integrate with multiple data sources. B2B2C ecommerce has a lot of ground to cover as they reflect complex market relationships. They look for solutions that can adapt and scale to meet the needs of different market segments without a lot of duplicate effort.