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6 Common eCommerce Mistakes in the B2B F&B Industry and How to Avoid Them

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

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Whether you’re a big F&B brand with central kitchen, a processed food manufacturer or any other type of B2B F&B business, you’ll need to be on board with eCommerce if you want to stay ahead of your competition.

However, the process of getting all your staff on board could be tricky, and you may also be making several common mistakes which would hinder proper working results. Below, we discuss some of the common mistakes that B2B F&B businesses make while undergoing digital transformation for a successful B2B eCommerce venture.

Mistake #1 - Having the Wrong Tools or Platforms

Investing in the wrong B2B eCommerce platform is one of the most significant mistakes an F&B brand can make. A B2B self-service platform has vastly different needs from that of a B2C business’.

A B2B F&B business would need some critical features on their B2B eCommerce platform, such as dynamic pricing based on different trade agreements, complicated payment cycles, and the like.

You can avoid this mistake by choosing a vendor with features and capabilities best-suited for B2B businesses – preferably also easy to integrate with other existing digital products or solutions that you’re already using.

Mistake #2 - Outdated Product Information

Traditional B2B businesses would have their product information printed on a physical catalogue, which could be a hassle to update whenever they have any new additions or obsolete products. These catalogues also do not show the current stock availability.

At the same time, your sales team may misremember product and promotion details when using only traditional catalogues.

When you use an online catalogue, your product information can be updated quickly and is visible to your customers anytime they need to make a purchase from you. Your sales team can now sell to your customers faster and better with the enhanced visibility for product information and promotions right at their fingertips.

From a customer’s standpoint, they would be able to receive push notification on new promotions without needing to contact your sales team about them and place an order immediately from their end too.

Mistake #3 - Low Order Flexibility

As a B2B F&B business, your customers are ordering in much larger quantities than they would from a B2C business.

Your B2B eCommerce website needs to cater to different ordering needs, such as bulk orders, quick reordering, promotional bundles, minimum order quantity, et cetera. You’ll also need to consider dynamic pricing for different customers, volume discounts, early payment discounts, among other order-related flexibilities.

Mistake #4 - Low Variety of B2B Payment Options

Yes, payment options matter too! In an ideal world, B2B F&B businesses would already be conducting business on easily traceable, digitalized payment methods such as through eWallets or Duitnow QR.

However, many of these B2B businesses are still relying on traditional methods and may not be ready to shift to modern payment methods yet. As such, you’ll still need to offer traditional payment method options, such as cheque payment, credit, bank transfers, or other similar payment methods.

These traditional payment methods should be available on whichever B2B eCommerce platform you’re choosing to host your products on, alongside modern payment options for customers who prefer those as well. At the same time, provide options for your customers to pay with credit notes, and cater to different credit limits or credit terms too.

Some modern B2B businesses are already allowing different payment methods within one invoice as well – so customers can pay partially in one method and pay the remaining with another method.

Mistake #5 - No Self-Service Options

The sales team for any B2B food and beverage business is going to be busy most days – they're in charge of following up with their customers, coordinating order & shipment related issues, finding new customers, collecting payment and more.

As such, there will be times when the customer would need to check on their orders, ask about whether a product is in stock, ongoing promotions, or place orders on their own when the sales team is taking some time to respond.

In the age of modern B2B eCommerce, the least you can do is to offer self-service options for your customers to view and check any details they may need. Aside from real-time updates on the current inventory, your customers would also be able to place orders on their own without having to rely on your sales team to do so.

Mistake #6 - Lack of Data Tracking & Analysis

A business would lose out on their potential for improvement without proper data & intelligence. If your B2B F&B business does not properly track the existing data for each branch you’re distributing your products to, you could lose out on potential revenue.

As an example, there could be a mismatch between rough guesswork of popular products in each outlet, and the actual popular products at each location.

Many companies are not utilizing the data that they have, leading to the business potentially losing out on important metrics such as their best-sellers, popular products, wet ingredients wastage, revenue per outlet, etc.

Your B2B eCommerce solution should include a back-end view for the purchasing data for each branch. This way, you’ll be able to see crucial data such as how much each outlet has been ordering from you, what they’re ordering the most for each batch, and from there, determine how you can bundle up your products for better outlet performance.

Start Your B2B F&B eCommerce Right with Boostorder

Here at Boostorder, we help B2B brands and manufacturers just like you. We enable B2B F&B businesses to undergo digital transformation through sales and cashflow automation, which results in:

  • Increasing employee efficiency & overall productivity

  • Saving time through reduction of manual paperwork

  • Increased transparency & visibility in orders, payments & shipments

Get in touch with us here and we’ll be happy to show you a free demo of our solutions. Meanwhile, why not take a look at our products and solutions?

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