The eCommerce trend has already been taking major industries by the storm even before the pandemic hit. Even the F&B industry, which faced their own range of unique challenges when they first adopted the eCommerce practice, became an active player in the eCommerce world.
This could be an individual buying grocery online, getting a fruit smoothie delivered to the office during a lunch break, or in a B2B F&B context, a restaurant ordering their ingredient supply from their central kitchen online to fulfil orders without running out of ingredients.
A study carried out by Sapio Research found that over two-thirds of companies were spending more online than they did prior to the pandemic. In fact, 428 business-critical purchases were being made daily.
However, the same report also found that B2B eCommerce were not meeting customer expectations.
#2 Challenges Faced by B2B eCommerce Buyers in F&B Industry
The report from Sana Commerce found that 94% of B2B customers faced some form of issues when trying to shop from other businesses online. Almost 37% of these B2B buyers were reported to have faced order errors weekly, and only 48% of them were satisfied when buying from a supplier’s website, while the other half end up disappointed as their expectations are not met.
The common challenges faced by B2B eCommerce buyers include:
Of course, the lack of accuracy and reliability impacted B2B buyers’ productivity and company efficiency. The survey respondents further elaborated with the following:
However, that’s not to say that eCommerce would not work for B2B F&B businesses. When utilized properly, B2B eCommerce could be a gamechanger for F&B businesses.
#3 How is B2B F&B eCommerce Addressing Modern Market Issues?
Regardless of industry, every B2B business needs to operate with two key items in their sales and operation – automation & data. eCommerce is the tool that enables B2B F&B businesses to achieve both key items.
Your B2B food and beverage company needs automation to:
Solve headcount issues
Eliminate manual work and reduce human errors
Increase staff overall productivity
Streamline processes for faster speed and efficiency
Save cost, which will lead to increased revenue over time
Your B2B food and beverage business requires data for:
Insights into customer buying patterns
Finding new markets
Delivering the right product at the right time and the right outlets
Segmenting markets to improve sales and profitability
Increasing average order value
There are also other benefits that a B2B F&B business gets just by adopting an eCommerce practice:
#4 Benefits of eCommerce in B2B Food Industry
Streamline Sales Processes
An eCommerce platform automates and simplifies many sales processes, so a B2B F&B business owner’s team can handle requests and orders more efficiently.
Improved Customer Experience
An online sales channel provides a more convenient experience for your customers since they can check inventories and make purchases without the aid of your sales team. This experience is similar to a B2C purchasing experience, which can lead to better customer experience and increased customer loyalty.
Increase Customer Lifetime Value
An improved customer experience through self-service portal makes it easy for customers to do product research, make purchases and track orders shipments easily. This will encourage your customers to purchase from you more, increasing their customer lifetime value.
Future-proof your Business
ECommerce helps you build, expand, and maintain flexibility regardless of the complexity of your business model.
Are you convinced that eCommerce is the next go-to step for your B2B FMCG business? Make sure that your B2B eCommerce solution has the key features below.
#5 Key Features for a Digital B2B Food and Beverages Commerce Solution
Key Integrations with ERP or Accounting System
With the high volume of orders coming in for your B2B F&B business, it’s no longer feasible to manually key in each order into your ERP or accounting system. Make sure that your B2B eCommerce solution can be seamlessly integrated with your existing accounting system to forego all the manual data entry work!
A self-service portal should be accessible by your customers from different platforms or channels. Allow your customers to order from your native app or website with the same high quality experience.
Visually Appealing UI/UX
User-friendliness aside, bad design has no place in modern B2B eCommerce. Your eCommerce solution should have an intuitive user interface that requires little to no tutorials to use.
Customized Pricing Structure
B2B F&B companies have very complex pricing structures. The pricing for each customer depends on variables such as quantities ordered, seasonal promotion, different quoted prices for different customers, and the like. Your eCommerce solution should make customized pricing for each customer an option.
Self Service Account Management
Your customers should be able to access their own past orders, invoices, credit notes, and order status from their account on your chosen eCommerce platform.
Your B2B customers are likely repeating a few purchases with you, which would make a reordering option convenient for them. Your eCommerce solution should allow your customers to revisit their past purchases and reorder in a few clicks.
#6 Get Started with a Free Demo from Boostorder Now
Boostorder provides an end-to-end digital transformation solution for B2B businesses like yours. Visit our products or solutions page to learn more about how our services can help you, and contact us to get a free demo session here!