The world of eCommerce is competitive regardless of the size of your business. But for midsized businesses, competing with giants like Amazon can feel like an impossible task. Unfortunately, continuing to grow and evolve in the modern market requires making a move to eCommerce. Even if your business has a solid following and a strong local presence, if it lacks the infrastructure or knowledge to make the move to eCommerce, you may end up stuck in a spot that is tough to grow out of.
B2X Partners recognized the issues that businesses needing to break into the world of eCommerce were facing and decided to create a solution that works for midsized businesses with strong potential but a not-yet-fully-developed online presence.
B2X Partners is a full-service digital B2B eCommerce agency focused on helping distributors and manufacturers develop and execute digital commerce strategies. With over 30 years of industry experience and best practices, B2X Partners bring this insight and best practices to complex B2B businesses in a way that is practical, profitable and focused on each individual businesses' success. B2X Partners is passionate about helping businesses build and operate their own DigitalBranch.
We caught up with the president of B2X Partners, Justin King, to find out what inspired the launch of B2X, the problems the company is seeking to solve, and how they are making eCommerce not only possible, but also easy for midsized businesses.
What prompted the start of B2X partners? Were there specific pain points you witnessed?
While there are tons of resources and agencies focused on B2C eCommerce, B2B eCommerce, especially the businesses we work with, are incredibly complex. They have complex technologies, complex products, and complex business processes.
We started out trying to help address two key challenges: digital transformation and product data. Digital transformation is a huge hurdle. It requires resources, buy-in, organizational structure, and operations. We help create a revenue-focused, customer-centric plan that looks at all facets of the eCommerce operation.
Product data is also a beast. But it's also the key to creating a great user experience. For organizations with tens or even hundreds of thousands of SKUs, getting product data organized, categorized, completed, and integrated with online tools such as on-site search, navigation, filtering, and merchandising can be an overwhelming task. We help business tackle this and build a future-facing product data strategy.
What are the main problem or questions you hear from businesses just starting eCommerce?
We often hear things like “I don’t know what I don’t know.” What this means is, businesses know that they need to start utilizing eCommerce, they just aren’t sure where to get started. They know that they need resources and they know that they need technology. They understand that it is going to cost time, effort, and money. What they just aren’t sure about is what the roadmap should look like, or when they should start seeing their business begin to grow through online sales.
What systematic approaches do you use to move companies through this digital transformation?
After hearing those words, “I don’t know what I don’t know,” for a couple of years, we realized that what we needed to develop was a brand new system that offered a simple solution. So we started by building on our experience with our clients and the best practices we've developed. Then we watched the leading nationals. Finally, we reverse-engineered a system we call the X eCommerce System (XES). It’s a seven-point approach to building and growing a profitable digital business that is all centered around your customers. It is a system, not a software. We’ve started talking about it with our clients and will be launching it as a book in September.
What would you say to a business that have not yet started moving into digital transformation?
Understand that the world around you is not slowing down. Leading B2B businesses are continuing to invest more and more in eCommerce and moving their core business online. Amazon is making inroads into B2B on multiple fronts; increasing the B2B products they sell and aggressively building relationships with suppliers and buyers. Finally, Amazon is developing more and more e-procurement integrations to plug in directly to your buyers' e-procurement system. That is, Amazon wants to be the out-of-the-box punch-out for every major system. Amazon knows the value and potential of your digital business. Is your business capitalizing on that?
What tools do mid-sized businesses possess to compete?
I deeply believe that mid-sized distributors and manufacturers are in a unique position to compete. We look at putting the customer at the center of the equation, and your business’ deep product knowledge and customer understanding is key to that. The task is to translate that into an exceptional online service.
There are a number of ways that you can do this. Start by determining what your customers need and respond to that. Then, consider whether an even better customer tool could be made by optimizing it online? For example, is quick reorder or building an online quote important to your clients? Would videos to explain complex products or new services help shorten their time to learn? Would contract drivers in your service regions allow you to offer same-day delivery to new or key regions? Ask yourself, what do your customers truly need to make their everyday work life easier, and how do you build the tools to achieve that for them?
Turning the shift to eCommerce into a simplified system that any business can implement is a great way for midsized businesses to not only break into the online market but also to excel there. Whether resources are stretched thin or previous efforts to tackle an online client base have failed, B2X Partners is making eCommerce accessible to all businesses. You may not need to have a goal of topping Amazon on sales in any given niche. But establishing your business on the web is a must for staying relevant and successful now and in the future. With the right strategies in place, you might just be surprised to find your business successfully competing and even beating out the major online competitors.
B2X Partners is a full-service digital B2B eCommerce agency focused on helping distributors and manufacturers develop and execute eCommerce strategies. With over 30 years of industry experience and best practices, B2X Partners bring this insight and best practices to complex B2B businesses in a way that is practical, profitable and focused on your success. At B2X Partners, we are passionate about helping businesses build AND operate their own DigitalBranch.
Topics: Disrupting B2B