Electronics Wholesalers and B2B eCommerce


Working in B2B electronics wholesale can be challenging, especially for wholesalers. Yet, it is a growing market. For instance, in 2019 the retail consumer electronics market expanded to $1 trillion. For the same period, the wholesale electronics market was valued at $301 billion. There are many opportunities in this space if electronics wholesalers can address obstacles around evolving customer demand, unpredictable supply chains, tight margins, and short product life cycles.

Let’s discuss the consumer electronics market

Undoubtedly, many electronics wholesalers and consumer electronics retailers are facing the swift transition from in-store to online sales. Therefore, many are migrating towards a complete digital transformation. In the digital age, it is crucial to adopt B2B eCommerce. Electronics wholesalers who have already digitized their sales channels are seeing a revenue growth of five times that of their competitors. What is holding other organizations back? Keep reading to learn more:

Slower adoption

Management may be comfortable with their current internal systems and have the mindset of “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” In some cases, electronics wholesalers still rely on Excel to manage their inventory and act as a protocol for a customer relationship management (CRM) system.

It’s difficult to imagine how Excel can scale to meet fluctuating customer demands. As new products hit the market, the sales team may start pounding the phones, reading scripts and taking orders. Perhaps, the marketing team sends out email campaigns to take orders from customer inboxes. Is this reaching customers where they are, on their mobile phones playing with apps?

Invariably, it’s challenging to maintain an ERP and WMS with complex pricing and product variation come into play. Further, creating an eCommerce site requires another investment, and the hope it will integrate with the existing tech stack. Nonetheless, when prices fall and overhead costs rise simultaneously, capital investments are placed on the backburner.

Concerning external forces, many vendor-based eCommerce solutions are frequently refurbished B2C platforms that cannot handle the complex set of systems needed for a B2B outfit.

Don’t use a B2C platform for a B2B business

Unfortunately, many electronics wholesalers make the mistake of thinking a B2C eCommerce site has enough features to address the needs of their B2B customers. Well, they don’t. We’ll clarify below.

1. For starters, B2B sales can be a complex process. For instance, a B2B electronics wholesaler may manage 500 or more orders from varying brands simultaneously In addition, products housed under those 500 brands may include thousands of SKUs. Also, B2B customers may have varying pricing agreements and buy from specific product lines. One customer may purchase electronic games and toys while another wants electronic office equipment. Therefore, a B2C eCommerce platform designed to show the same products at the same price would not work for this shopping environment.

2. Next, there is the quoting process to consider. Most B2C eCommerce solutions do not offer quoting features and instead are quite static concerning pricing. Instead, electronics wholesalers need the option of digitizing the pricing request and availability process. Otherwise, they can’t benefit from automation and will have to continue processing quotes manually. In that case, what’s the point of eCommerce?

3. Frequently, B2B customers are companies. These companies often buy in bulk and require approvals before making purchases. They may make purchases at specific times of year. They may also have their preferred set of eProcurement tactics. Also, they might need more complex shipping options such as sending their products to different warehouses. As a result, B2C eCommerce solutions are equipped to manage unique B2B customer needs.

4. Now, think of net terms. A B2C eCommerce solution may only take payments in the form of standard credit cards or perhaps PayPal and crypto. Nonetheless, B2B clients often use net terms and even credit. A B2C eCommerce platform isn’t designed to accommodate net terms. Thus, electronics wholesalers would have to determine a workaround and go offline to provide purchasing options on terms.

How to select the right B2B electronics wholesalers eCommerce solution

Unquestionably, B2B electronics wholesalers deserve a customizable B2B eCommerce platform designed for how they do business. It should be scalable, flexible, and secure. What features should come with it? Check this list we’ve compiled:

Personalized catalogs

As an electronics wholesaler, you probably sell a wide variety of products from numerous brands. However, it’s critical to have the ability to personalize products and prices for each company. Moreover, it’s essential to offer a self-service customer portal with the pricing structure that has already been negotiated. Also, you should be able to customize cross-sell and upsell campaigns. For new visitors, all products should display at their MSRP pricing.

Customer-based permissions and workflows

Since B2B customers are often companies, the shopping process should align with their purchasing preferences. Choose a B2B eCommerce solution that enables end-users to determine approvals, permissions, and workflows. Thus, you make purchasing from your site easy.

RFQ automation

The primary reason for digital transformation is to reap the benefits of automation so employees can use their time more strategically. Thus, an automated RFQ workflow is a must for an electronics wholesaler’s eCommerce site. Further, integration with a robust pricing engine facilitates automated quotations. As a result, you can respond more rapidly to RFQs and RFPs. Another powerful feature is quoting workflow customization.

Agile checkout processes

The checkout process should be personalized for the client and customizable. Therefore, it’s crucial to select a platform with rich API’s that make reordering convenient. In addition, it should provide workflows with one-page checkouts. Remember, it’s about implementing a solution that makes sense for your customers.

Forward-thinking electronics wholesalers have found success with B2B eCommerce

There are electronics wholesalers who carry close to 1,000 brands and serve thousands of clients. Thus, organizations like these need B2B eCommerce platforms that can rapidly onboard new customers and automate marketing. To illustrate, customers can upload their CSV forms, use one-step order forms, or opt for the traditional shopping cart process.

For accurate product information, it takes a PIM integration. It also helps to integrate a native CRM for a 360-degree view of every client and purchase.

Ready to get started?

So, what’s preventing you from enhancing your electronics wholesale business with a B2B eCommerce platform? Are the issues internal, or are there too many choices it’s difficult to decide? The first step is to identify the obstacles. Further, ensure that you select a B2B eCommerce solution rather than a B2C platform. Without question, the B2B wholesale electronics space continues to expand. Retain your competitive advantage by implementing a B2B eCommerce solution that will scale with your business.


Latest Issue

BDC 311 : Dec 2023