Businesses across the globe are finding that B2B portals are helping their everyday operations run more quickly and smoothly than ever before. As customers’ expectations increase, business owners have to be able to meet those demands, and a B2B portal is an excellent tool to get the job done.
If you’ve considered implementing a B2B portal for your business but are still hesitant, we might be able to convince you. Some of the biggest benefits to a B2B portal include:
- Affordable ownership
- Quick start-up
- Real-time analytics
- Fewer administrative tasks
- Self-service for your customers
What is a B2B Portal?
Before we can talk about why you should consider a B2B portal, we should define what it is in the first place. A B2B portal is a system within your company’s website that allows you to manage the needs of your customers, distributors, and staff members all at once.
Your B2B portal makes it easy to list all of your available products and services in one place, so your customers can browse and purchase at their convenience. You can promote sales, let customers save their payment information, and set up your portal for quick reordering. Often, you’re also able to integrate your platform with your existing inventory management system, allowing you to keep track of your numbers at all times, as well as your accounting application to help you watch those sales grow.
Budget-Friendly Ownership Great for Small Businesses
Perhaps the biggest reason to implement a B2B portal is the cost. Especially for small businesses, budgeting is everything. You don’t want to have to spend thousands of dollars creating new platforms for every aspect of your business or hiring people to manage everything from sales to inventory to customer service.
With a B2B portal, you can do it all. The cost of your B2B portal and the short time you’ll take to set it up initially are well worth it in the end. Even if you only account the hourly rate you’d pay someone to manage all these aspects of your business, a B2B portal comes out to be much more budget-conscious.
Fast Start-Up Time to Get You Off the Ground
When you’re setting up a B2B portal, it can often seem intimidating and time-consuming. However, with a B2B portal like the one offered by DEAR Systems, you’re able to get things started in no time. Typically, you would have to set up your entire catalogue manually, integrate the platform with your other systems one at a time, and individually promote every sale or promotion you run.
Your B2B portal is able to do all that hard work for you. With just a few clicks, you can have your new system integrated with your existing software and ready for your customers to use. If you ever need to change anything, like if you get new products in or if you run a new sale, it’s easy to adjust your portal in just minutes, saving you tons of time even after the initial set up.
Real-Time Analytics to Keep You Up to Speed
If you have to manually track your sales, the process is tedious, to say the least. It can be easy to fall behind on tracking sales and determining which products you need to reorder, and there’s always the risk of human error. However, falling behind on this important aspect of your business can spell disaster when it comes to meeting the ever-increasing demands of your customers.
Since your B2B portal handles everything at once and integrates with your other software, all these worries are gone. You can check your portal at any time to get a true picture of your inventory, letting you see at a glance which products are in demand and which aren’t selling as well. You can easily check if you need to reorder something or put something on sale to get it out of your hands.
Fewer Manual Tasks to Save You Time and Effort
These last two benefits of a B2B web portal are perhaps the most important and combine everything we’ve discussed so far. Running every aspect of your business manually may work for you at first, but as your business grows, this practice becomes more and more unrealistic. You either wind up working around the clock just to keep up with your company’s growth, or your employees become overwhelmed and overworked trying to handle these tasks themselves. Not to mention how much extra money you’re paying them for these added hours of work!
If you have the chance to offload some of these boring and tedious manual tasks, you can spend your time on other aspects of your business that you actually enjoy and that will propel your business forward. You can dedicate more time to customer service, research new products to offer your client base, or any number of other processes that will benefit your company well into the future.
Convenient and Speedy Digital Self-Service for Your Customers
Customers around the world are becoming increasingly digital when it comes to their ordering preferences. If they can handle everything themselves on their own schedule, customers are much more likely to keep ordering from you again and again. However, if they have to contact a representative every time they want to place an order or manage their account, it might be too complicated for them to want to deal with.
Offering a convenient and easy-to-use B2B eCommerce platform is one of the best ways to gain and keep a customer base. Keep in mind that your customers are businesses themselves, so they’ve got a lot on their plates as well. If they can log on and place orders at their leisure instead of having to wait for a customer service representative to get back to them, that’s just one less hoop they have to jump through, ensuring that they can run their businesses as they need to.
What to Look for in a B2B Portal
So, now that you know why you should have a B2B portal, how do you make sure that your portal of choice will actually work for you?
The first thing you’ll want to look for is flexibility. You should have the ability to create multiple catalogues that you can present to different sectors of your customer base, so a customer doesn’t have to scroll through endless pages of products he’s not interested in. Having a multiple product view is convenient as well, so your clients can see everything they wish to purchase and customize their cart as they see fit.
You’ll also want your B2B web portal to be adaptable. Offering multiple payment methods to your customers, including platforms like PayPal and Stripe, is a great way to increase sales. Your customers should also be able to view and manage their accounts quickly, including having access to features like viewing their order history and reordering from a previous transaction.
On that same note, integration is key. As we’ve discussed, having your B2B portal sync up with your existing software can help you to stay on top of your business at all times. Your B2B portal should have integration capabilities with your inventory management software so that you can always see how many products you have on hand. Additionally, if your B2B portal can integrate with your accounting software, your system will automatically update your transactions and help you keep track of your sales around the clock.
Perhaps the most important aspect of your business is payments. After all, you can’t keep your business running without orders! Your B2B web platform should have the capability to handle complex pricing models that can accommodate every customer, regardless of their location, order volume, order frequency, or a number of other factors. You should be able to easily promote promotions and discounts, establish a minimum order value, and offer flexible payment options.
Finally, ensure your platform of choice is user-friendly. We’ve discussed that your customers should be able to create their own profiles to access previous orders and save payment information. They should also be able to navigate the website and place an order in an intuitive way, and if there are ever any questions, it should be easy to reach customer service. Keeping your customers satisfied with every experience will help your business thrive beyond what you could imagine.
Manage Your B2B Portal with DEAR Systems
DEAR Systems is proud to offer a B2B eCommerce platform that addresses all of these needs and more. We’ve worked tirelessly to create a B2B portal that’s beneficial for you and your customers alike. You can completely customize your portal to suit your business’s needs, and you can integrate with a number of other programs like Amazon, Square, PayPal, Shopify, HubSpot, Intuit Quickbooks, and more.
In addition to our B2B portal, DEAR Systems also offers solutions for inventory management, POS, sales, purchasing, warehouse management, and so much more. We’re proud to be your source for everything you need to efficiently manage your business today and into the future. Contact us today to begin your 14-day free trial!