B2B e-commerce has become essential for wholesalers, manufacturers and distributors. The latest statistics show that global B2B e-commerce sales will reach over $6.6 trillion by 2020. Offering this option is a must for enabling these organizations to engage their customers and partners, any time and place (Data source: Frost & Sullivan).
So why is it so challenging to setup a B2B e-commerce portal?
Does this sound familiar? A company has contracted a development team to build their B2B e-commerce site. After the site goes live, the company asks about certain scenarios regarding the site and the development team answers:
- “well, you did not ask for that”
- “we were not aware that you wanted the site to work like that”
- “that is not how the system works”
Now, your company needs to spend more money and resources on making these necessary changes. All this could have been solved had you chosen the right development team. Due to its importance, before choosing a developer, you need to dig deeper to find the right team.
Finding the Right Development Team
While there are many development teams who claim to be experts in the B2B sphere, the truth is that due to the complexity of the company’s business rules, you cannot just hire anyone or team to build this crucial piece of your business. As a result, when looking into a development team, consider the following when doing your research:
Do They Know How Your Business Works?
Without understanding what your company does and how it operates, developers will not get a full grasp of what you really need. Without that knowledge, teams will build that they think you need. When it comes to B2B e-commerce, development teams need to understand:
- How does your customer base currently purchase from you? How do they look up details about your products /services? How would they like to purchase from you?
- What are the common questions / requests from your customer service team? What are their repetitive tasks?
- How do you get paid for each order?
Did They Understand Your Business – Are They Putting Forward Concrete Solutions?
After asking about the past and the present, the development team needs to start asking questions about the future:
- Where do you see the company in 24 – 36 months?
- Will there be other changes in that time frame, i.e. new suppliers, new markets, new rules
From here, the development team needs to think through the above questions and start to put forward ideas to handle these e-commerce challenges. Listen carefully to see if their suggestions are inline with your corporate and sales strategies. Are they talking expandability and adaptability? Can they demonstrate the advantages to your company in a meaningful way? Did they paint a picture where your needs are met?
Are They Challenging You or Are They Just Taking Your Solutions for Granted?
When you go to the doctor, do you say what you have and what prescription your doctor should write? Or do you inform your practitioner of your symptoms, wait to be examined and then walk out knowing your condition and getting a prescription. So why is it any different when it comes up to your B2B e-commerce site? Are you telling the development team what solution is required for the site? You should not; however, most business owners or C-Suite executives feel the need to convey – even enforce – that solution. So, is the development team just taking notes and not challenging you in any way? If so, then you will end up with a less than adequate system that may cost you way more than you bargained. A seasoned development team will challenge your solutions and provide the ones you need – not the ones you want.
What SimboliQ Offers Wholesalers, Manufacturers and Distributors
Faced with the challenge of finding the right development team? This is where the team from SimboliQ comes in. We have the business and technology experience and knowledge that can properly guide you through this process. We get to know our clients’ businesses intimately, challenge the decision makers and offer concrete solutions that adapt to the direction the company is heading.
Regardless of your size, SimboliQ can help you make the right decisions for your company for today and years to come. SimboliQ works with other firms to offer you a one-stop shop regardless of your online needs.
Contact us at email@example.com or (888) 916-8647 to setup a meeting where we could discuss your needs or for more information, visit our website at www.simboliq.com.