By Maaike Geys, 22 November 2021
The complex pricing of B2B companies is often what keeps them from shifting to e-commerce. After all, what price do you display in your webshop when there’s a different one for each customer?
It’s important that your customer is shown one correct price: theirs. And that inevitably differs from the price another customer sees. There are various reasons for granting discounts; for example, purchasing large volumes, a sustainable (profitable) customer relationship or short payment terms. The prices for each customer are already neatly listed in your ERP system. But how does your customer see those prices when they log in to your webshop? The solution is to seamlessly integrate your ERP system into your e-commerce system. But before you start programming, do your homework.
To make the integration a success, you must first have a complete overview of your pricing structure. How are prices calculated? Which rules govern discounts? What has been agreed and what exceptions have been made? You will be amazed at how many exceptions there are within B2B customer relationships. And they don't make on-screen pricing any easier.
You may not be able to reconcile the existing complex structures with your e-commerce ambitions. You may need to simplify your pricing. Afraid you’ll lose customers if you do that? A study by Bain & Company shows that 88% of all customers are willing to pay an extra 2.5% – some even more – as long as they don't have to change suppliers.
If you want to open a B2B webshop, it’s crucial you choose an e-commerce system that has been specially developed for the B2B market. B2B e-commerce solutions take into account the complex pricing of their target customers and are a lot more flexible than B2C platforms.
Your webshop must be a perfect reflection of your ERP system, so your customer always receives correct, up-to-date prices. This is especially important if you have large companies with long decision flows among your clientele. In a multinational, the contract is not negotiated by an operational buyer - the person who orders from your webshop – but by a senior purchasing professional. Thanks to seamless ERP integration, the operational purchaser is 100% sure that all prices match your agreements. They have a smooth, tailor-made shopping experience: the crucial factor in making your B2B webshop a success.
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