Are you ready for the Digital Revolution? Are you working to build better customer experiences by offering online options, in a way that mirrors the online experiences consumers have come to expect?
According to Forrester*, more than half of B2B buyers will make a majority of their work purchases online. Also, almost all of business-to-business buyers say that they would prefer to buy online, where they can access more self-serve information, direct from vendors. They don’t want to interact with a Sales Rep until they are ready to purchase, if at all.
Moving your business online feels like a huge undertaking. Where do you start?
5 Steps to enable your business to move online:
Step 1: Design your online store. Design (or select) site “look and feel” – colors, navigation, catalog. Design (or select) page layout – Home page, product pages, secondary pages. Identify and review catalog of items including Item Name, Description, Price, Photo. Determine shipping methods and costs. Focus on the essentials here - don’t get hung up on theme, photos, descriptions or other content; you’ll be updating these in Step 3.
Step 2: Set up your online store: Select ecommerce platform. Secure site with SSL certificate. Enable credit card acceptance using a Payment Gateway (PayPal, Square, authorize.net). Set up processing notifications. Determine fulfillment process with your ERP. Load items and test.
Step 3: Go Live with your online store: Invite key customers to the store. Closely monitor activity and take corrective action. Ensure that order info is passing properly to your fulfillment system. Fine tune content and add “similar” items, update photos. Look into marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Etsy.
Step 4: Optimize your site with ERP capabilities: Implement real-time synchronization between storefront website and back office fulfillment. Ensure inventory availability is displayed in real time. Create new business processes to simplify order management and fulfillment, and work to reduce order times.
Step 5: Improve the customer experience: Track customer interactions. Develop dashboards and other analytics to provide real-time measurements. Facilitate returns and refunds. Offer customer self-service including order tracking, payment processing and balance inquiries.