Why Do You Need a B2B Customer Portal as a Wholesaler?

 

Your B2B Customers Want It All!

 

In today's fast-paced world of commerce, adaptability and accessibility are paramount. Talking about accessibility, your B2B buyers are increasingly seeking buying experiences similar to the B2C experiences they come across in their lives. Did you know that 64% of B2B buyers are millennials or Generation Z who are tech-savvy professionals used to Amazon-like shopping experiences? According to Forrester, 90% of younger buyers are unsatisfied with their suppliers in at least one way, as opposed to 71% of older buyers. This essentially means that your B2B buyers desire solutions like effortless order management, personalized recommendations, self-service, and omnichannel functionality.  

 

When asked to choose between in-person, remote, or digital self-service encounters, B2B buyers said they wanted it all. Essentially, they are inclined towards a cross-channel mix, in equal measure. So, if you are still making your B2B buyers depend on sales reps and their 5-day-a-week, 7-hour-a-day buying window, chances are your customers are dissatisfied with their buying experience. 

 

Opportunity Costs: What You’re Losing Out on by Not Having a B2B Customer Portal

You miss a lot of sales opportunities by not having a B2B customer portal. Let’s break them down.

 

1. Missed Sales Opportunities

Without a B2B customer portal, you will miss out on potential sales due to limited accessibility and restricted buying windows. Think of how much more you could sell by staying open 24/7 and letting your customers shop anytime, anywhere, with the added layer of personalized recommendations. That’s your opportunity cost. You can calculate this cost by estimating the potential increase in sales revenue by capturing these missed opportunities.

 

2. Competitive Disadvantage

 

Nearly 90% of customers switch to a competitor after a bad experience. Without an online portal, you risk losing customers to competitors who offer the convenience of online ordering and self-service capabilities. Not having a customer portal places you at a competitive disadvantage, exposing you to the risk of losing market share over time.

 

3. Customer Dissatisfaction

 

B2B buyers increasingly expect the same level of convenience and personalized experiences they encounter in their B2C interactions. If you fail to meet customer expectations, you may experience higher customer churn rates and reduced customer loyalty.

 

4. Operational Efficiency and Scalability

 

Online B2B customer portals streamline ordering, automate repetitive tasks, and provide real-time insight into customer behavior and preferences. Imagine a customer browsing and creating a cart on your online portal, but deciding not to place the order. Your sales rep can have real-time visibility of the abandoned cart and email the customer with discounts and offers to close the deal! This level of operational efficiency is only possible with a B2B customer portal.

Calculating ROI From a Customer Portal

 

 

A customer portal can seem like a huge investment, but when you account for the potential benefits, you’ll realize it’s a worthy investment. Let’s see how.

1. Increased Sales Revenue

A B2B customer portal opens a 24/7 sales channel, boosting revenue with round-the-clock purchasing. This is directly quantifiable: calculate the difference in sales revenue before and after implementing the B2B customer portal to determine its impact on your bottom line.

2. Cost Savings

 

Automation and reduced manual processes lead to significant cost savings, including labor and administrative overhead. Consider factors such as reduced labor costs and lower administrative overhead when calculating the total cost savings.

 

3. Improved Operational Efficiency 

 

Streamlined ordering and better customer management enhance efficiency, saving time on tasks like order processing, payments, etc. You can quantify the reduction in time spent by calculating the hourly wage of employees involved in the tasks being streamlined by the B2B customer portal and multiplying it by the total hours saved. 

4. Enhanced Customer Satisfaction

 

A user-friendly B2B customer portal ensures seamless buying experiences, driving higher satisfaction and loyalty. To quantify customer satisfaction, you can use indicators such as customer lifetime value (CLV), customer retention and churn, customer acquisitions owing to the B2B customer portal, etc.

Once you have quantified these elements, you can calculate your B2B customer portal ROI using this formula:

                                                                            Net Profit

                                      ROI   =       _____________________________________  X 100%

                                                                       Total Investment

 

Where:

 

Net Profit = Total sales revenue generated from the B2B customer portal + Total cost savings + Value of time saved + Value of increased customer satisfaction - Total investment in the B2B customer portal

 

Total Investment = Initial investment cost (development, setup, and implementation costs) + Ongoing operational costs (maintenance, hosting, and marketing expenses)

Presenting WizCommerce’s Online B2B Customer Portal: WizShop

In response to the evolving needs of our customers and to overcome the challenges of existing e-commerce solutions, we are proud to announce the launch of our online B2B customer portal offering, WizShop. Overwhelmingly, our clients have expressed the desire for a seamless online B2B customer portal to facilitate flexibility and accessibility in the buying experiences of their customers. Right now, they are heavily reliant on representatives to place orders, who typically work within set hours. As a result, customers find themselves constrained by specific order windows. By introducing a B2B ordering portal, we aim to break free from these limitations, giving our clients the freedom to transact 24/7, and reducing their dependency on rigid working hours.

 

Picture this: your B2B customers sitting in their pajamas on a Sunday and seamlessly browsing and placing orders on your website. You don’t miss a sale because your store is open 24/7 and your buyers experience digital self-service like never before! That’s precisely what we have built here, and that’s the picture we are trying to make come true! 

 

While on this journey, we wanted to make sure we overcame the challenges of conventional e-commerce platforms and created a solution specifically tailored to B2B e-commerce needs. Let’s break down how we achieved that.

 

What Sets Us Apart?

 

Our online B2B customer portal, WizShop, comes equipped with all the functionalities tailored to meet the requirements of B2B operations. Let’s break down our unique selling proposition:

1. Tailored for B2B Business Dynamics

 

WizShop is meticulously crafted to cater exclusively to the demands of B2B operations. Unlike generic e-commerce platforms, every aspect of our customer portal is designed with the unique workflows and requirements of wholesale, distribution, and manufacturing sectors in mind.

a) Customizable price lists

 

WizShop empowers businesses with the flexibility to assign specific price lists to individual customers or customer groups. With this functionality, each customer group only sees the price list that applies to them.

 

b) Personalized buying experience

 

Harnessing the power of AI, WizShop delivers a personalized buying journey for each customer. Through AI-based recommendations, buyers get tailored product suggestions, enhancing customer engagement and driving conversions. 

 

c) Downloadable product presentations

 

In B2B workflows, B2B buyers may need to download product presentations to have internal discussions or keep records. They might also need to send presentations of products to end buyers, let them download their orders and product data in an Excel format, and more. All this and more can be done easily with WizShop.

 

d) Comprehensive information access

 

Wizshop puts all essential information at the buyers’ fingertips, from order history and invoices to real-time shipping status updates. Your B2B customers can access comprehensive data, empowering informed decision-making and fostering trust and transparency in transactions. Moreover, it eliminates the need for sales intervention for manual updates and queries. 

2. Unified Experience Across Channels

 

a) Seamless data flow

 

The data flows seamlessly between the customer portal, trade show app, and sales portal. This unified approach eliminates data silos, enabling businesses to track customer interactions and preferences across all touchpoints.

 

b) Intelligent sales rep insights

 

Your sales representatives can monitor customer browsing activities and abandoned carts in real time. Armed with this information, reps can proactively follow up with customers, nurture leads, and close deals faster, driving revenue growth. 

 

c) Enhanced buyer visibility

 

With an integrated data ecosystem, your B2B customers can access relevant information about their orders and real-time shipping updates, regardless of how or where the order was placed. 

3. AI-Enabled Product Recommendations

 

You can recommend new products based on a buyer's previous purchase history, maximizing cross-selling opportunities and enhancing the overall shopping experience. Moreover, when a desired product is out of stock, our AI-based recommendation engine intelligently suggests similar products, so you never lose a sale and ensure customer satisfaction and retention.

 

4. Flexible Checkout Flows

 

With customizable checkout flows, WizShop accommodates the diverse needs of B2B buyers. From adding notes and scheduling deliveries to incorporating new shipping addresses, customers can tailor their checkout experience to suit their specific requirements. Additionally, businesses can charge customers upfront or later through various payment methods, like card on file or via a payment link. Reordering, which is the norm in several B2B companies, is a breeze with WizShop too.

 

5. Streamlined Account Management

 

WizShop simplifies account management with customized sign-up forms and easy approval workflows. Whether adding new accounts or managing existing ones, businesses can streamline operations and enhance efficiency, enabling seamless growth and scalability.

The Way Forward

 

While your B2B customers’ expectations are evolving faster than ever, we are giving you the platform to get on the evolution bandwagon yourself and never lag! Equip your buyers with digital self-service and the convenience of an omnichannel experience. Book a demo now.

Article published by
Shreya Srivastava
Content Marketing Associate
Interested to transform your B2B Business?
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