B2B customers want to compare and purchase products quickly, easily, and on their own time. This mentality was evident in a recent study in which 85% of respondents reported that they enjoyed B2B ecommerce because it saves them time. eCommerce for QuickBooks allows them to do just that so it is time to get moving on your ecommerce platform selection and implementation today. Why?
Because 71% of B2B buyers would leave their current supplier if they found a new supplier with the option to buy online! According to this study
So don’t wait, here are a few steps to get you started:
The first part of your ecommerce for QuickBooks journey comes in finding the right ecommerce platform. There are a number of things that need to be considered during your search, such as:
1. Will your customers and suppliers be open to this new way of doing business? Statistics like the ones above point to yes…but it doesn’t hurt to ask before you spend all this time and money on the project. Come up with a survey or just have a conversation with your most important customers and suppliers to get some feedback on your plan, will they use it? is there a particular feature they would like to see in the platform? having this conversation can provide you with some insight you may not have thought of before, make your customers and partners feel valued, and help you gauge what you need to look for in your platform so ensure customer and supplier satisfaction to make this project a success.
2. What is your industry doing? your competition? Talk to your peers, are they using ecommerce for QuickBooks? Have they seen success with it? Why or why not? Which platform are they using? Etc.
3. What is your budget for the project going to look like? Consider all possible costs associated with the project including monthly charges vs. one-time fees, support, and customization, can you make changes yourself or will you need to hire someone to help you with adjustments to the site? Maintenance, etc.
4. What must you have in your solution? Make two lists, one that is made up of all the things you absolutely HAVE to have in your system for success, and a second list comprised of the things you would like to have but are not critical to success. Some items to consider while making your list include:
- Integration: integration with your other important systems such as, most obviously, QuickBooks and other accounting systems, CRM, and ERP is absolutely necessary for your QuickBooks ecommerce platform. If you do not have integration with your important systems you will be working against yourself by slowing down your processes and risking data-entry errors.
- Marketing capabilities: are you able to brand the storefront in a way that remains consistent with your other online marketing initiatives?
- Data security: your customers won’t use the storefront if they do not feel confident that their information will be safe and as a business, protecting your data is essential.
- Sales Tax: does the solution allow you to remain compliant with sales tax regulations? Do they have a third party sales tax partner?
- Content management: being able to quickly and easily change your content is extremely important. Does the QuickBooks ecommerce solution you are thinking about give you the ability to easily change the content on your own? Does it have a built in CMS system? Do you need to know how to code in order to make those changes?
- Customer specific information: can your customers log in to see their order history? Invoices? Specific pricing? And other important account information?
- Possibility for growth and changes. Do not get locked in by your ecommerce solution, find out that that allows for the future unknowns. This will give you a huge competitive advantage today and in the years to come.
Once you begin to narrow down your ecommerce platform options there is much more to do including vendor selection, implementation prep, actual implementation, testing, go-live, and follow-up activities. For more information on buying ecommerce for QuickBooks, download this white paper in which we discuss:
- More on choosing the right platform
- Current industry research
- Building vs. buying ecommerce
- Return on investment
- And much more!