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ABCs of B2B – Sell More by Managing Purchasing Programs Online

8 min read
Uniform Market October 28, 2016

Every business to business company sells (or wants to sell) to groups, government agencies and corporations online. In the uniform industry these might be hospitals, law enforcement agencies, restaurants or airlines. In the medical supply industry these might be nursing homes, home healthcare, doctor’s groups or, again, hospitals.

But not every company is prepared to meet the demands these programs require for accurate online ordering and fulfillment. A company’s ability to understand the requirements for these programs, and then setup a website to manage them to fit the needs of their customers is critical. There are B2B end users who purchase from you that only have a handful of employee purchasers. There are also many companies that buy from you that might have tens of thousands of employee purchasers.

What products will be sold? How will employees make purchases? How can you customize the purchasing rules to fit the needs of each variety of B2B purchaser?

To appreciate the dynamics, we categorize these B2B buyers into three types of purchaser profiles:

  • Public
  • Group
  • Program

The Public is obvious. Your B2B website is available to anyone in the world to make purchases. What are the needs and concerns of those shoppers?

  • Product variety
  • Price sensitive
  • Retailer trust
  • Brand recognition

The Group can be any local or regional business that purchases from your company on a regular basis, with special pricing associated with some or all of the products you offer. Their concerns are different than the Public shopper. They already know and trust your company. They are looking for:

  • Their specific Group products
  • Contract pricing
  • Accurate ordering
  • Reliable delivery

The Program purchaser has multiple stakeholders. There is management who negotiates what employees are allowed to purchase, and how they will account for these transactions. There are supervisors who need to control and report on their employee accounts. There are employees themselves who require a view of the specific products available for them purchase and the proper associated payment methods built into their account. The variety of needs from these stakeholders are summarized as:

  • Employee products
  • Payment programs
  • Order tracking
  • HR integration

These considerations provide the high level view of what Sellers Commerce has built into our B2B website management platforms.

The B2B Retailer Pro can handle all your most common Public and Group purchasers who need quick access to their explicit products. The B2B Program Manager helps the largest B2B companies manage Programs for national accounts who need sophisticated purchasing rules for hundreds of thousands of employees.

We were invited to present our approach at the Uniform Retailers Association’s trade show. The topic was how B2B websites can be strategically deployed to improve sales. The presentation was recorded and available on You Tube. The PowerPoint Slides are also available.

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