Working with more than one sales channel can be complicated
if you don’t take the right approach.
B2B brands are increasingly choosing to open up B2C lines of business.
Manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers alike are beginning to realize the benefits that selling directly to consumers offers. Higher profit margins, instant end-user feedback, and greater responsiveness are all key benefits that competitive brands want to leverage.
The current pandemic has also prompted many companies to reconsider their line of business, especially if they offer their products or service in a brick and mortar location. Lack of in-store shoppers has definitely pushed businesses to find additional ways to move their offerings and stay competitive in their industries, and often that results in switching from B2B to B2C.
However, making the transition from B2B to B2C is no easy feat. Most brands do not want to give up on their established B2B lines, so they end up operating as a hybrid company, with multiple lines working in parallel.
For the unprepared, this can be a recipe for disaster. Effectively managing multiple parallel product lines requires the use of robust software to establish a framework for tracking inventory, sales, and support.
Don’t Go Through the B2B-to-B2C Transition Alone
Without a multichannel e-commerce management solution in place, simply keeping track of sales and inventory across multiple sales channels will become a full-time job. You may easily end up uploading and organizing Excel files all day just to keep track of your inventory.
Splitting a finite resource across multiple sales channels is inherently risky. If your Amazon page says you have 100 units of a product in stock, but you actually just sold them all to a partnered vendor, you run the risk of getting your entire Amazon account shut down.
When it comes to inventory management, the stakes are high for organizations operating parallel B2B and B2C business lines. Most companies that go through this transition successfully do it one of two ways:
- Hiring Software Developers. You are going to need to automate your multichannel sales processes to some degree. Hiring your own development team is expensive, but it can give you total control over the degree of automation you implement.
- Using Purpose-Built Software. Specialized software such as SellerActive’s allows ecommerce sellers to open up multiple business lines and manage them effectively. This enables multichannel development at a fraction of the cost of hiring a brand-new development team.
Automated software provides an important benefit to B2B sellers transitioning towards B2C. It does not limit the number of actual channels you can reasonably accommodate. This means you can be present on every sales channel your potential customers are on.
Unlike the manual Excel spreadsheet method, there is very little difference between being present on two channels, three channels, or more. The software enables simple management of every business line from a single point.
Technology Will Help You Keep Up With Competitors
If your B2B company has decided to start opening B2C product lines in order to maximize its competitiveness, you will absolutely need to automate the management of these separate business lines.
In an environment where specialized software allows for scalable growth across an ever-wider number of sales channels, you need to be prepared to set up shop wherever your competitors go. Beating them on Amazon won’t help if they are beating you on Walmart and eBay.
Setting up and managing multichannel listings is a must-have for competitive B2B companies opening up B2C product lines. You need to be able to easily create and publish listings for every marketplace you are selling your products in and to automate the process as much as possible.
Otherwise, competitors won’t have to challenge you on the quality of your products or the loyalty of your customers. They will force you to spend more time and resources than you can afford, simply by maintaining multichannel product lines.
Automate Pricing and Order Management
B2B merchants who open up B2C sales channels need to be able to reprice their products on the go. Competitive and private-label listings cannot get stuck with static pricing that fails to reflect the product’s real-world value. Purpose-built software allows online sellers to establish algorithmic pricing rules that keep their products performing.
Similarly, the ability to consolidate multichannel orders in a sensible way will improve fulfillment. The faster, and more reliably, customers get their goods delivered, the better they will feel about your brand. State-of-the-art multichannel management software is critical to making sure your processes reflect the latest trends in online commerce efficiency.
Find out how a multichannel management platform like SellerActive can help you automate and optimize your sales processes to capitalize on direct-to-consumer sales.