eCommerce business: transforming a B2B business to B2C

Posted by Pete Croucher | May 3, 2020

Key learnings:

  • Options for building your eCommerce business brand
  • How to manage your product data to avoid headaches down the track
  • Why SEO is crucial to your eCommerce business success

Many a successful B2B business owner has avoided the B2C market and relied on being a distributor to bring home the bacon.

But the reality of doing business in this digital age is that to stay alive and really succeed in business, you need to be online and selling directly to your consumers. Building an eCommerce channel direct to the end user is crucial to your long term success.

One brand or two?

No matter what type of website you are building, whether it is a simple five-page website or a powerful eCommerce website, the first thing you need to do is to define your brand strategy. And when you are building an eCommerce business off the back of an existing B2B brand, this step is crucial.

You have two options that will guide your strategy:

  1. Create an entirely separate brand for the B2C side of your business
  2. Build your eCommerce business into your existing B2B brand

In the majority of cases, we recommend going with the second option and having a single brand for both sides of your market. And there are a few reasons for this:

  • It is the most transparent approach and least likely to annoy your existing trade customers
  • You should hopefully already have traffic coming to your B2B website – using the same brand and website allows you to quickly build the eCommerce business without having to
  • start from scratch with Google or invest heavily in Google Ads

You can build on the existing brand awareness for your products to quickly build your eCommerce sales

If you choose to stick to your existing brand, you need a plan for keeping your trade customers happy. And you do this through transparency and open communication. Build a separate wholesale trade login where your B2B customers can view customised pricing and access the information they need. Explain what is happening at every stage and show them that they will still receive the same level of support from you as they always have.

Related posts
What it takes to create a cohesive digital brand strategy
How to create an SEO strategy for your organisation
The market-led approach to website builds

The devil is in the detail

An eCommerce business website relies on huge amounts of data for Google to be able to find and read your products… and then show them to potential customers. And when those customers land on your website, they need that product information to make a decision about purchasing your product.

For small businesses with less than a few hundred products, data entry probably isn’t a huge deal… but once you have more than that, adding products onto your website becomes hugely time-consuming. Everyone underestimates how long it will take!

Also if you are manually entering product information you are opening yourself up to a possible data integrity nightmare. Ideally, you need a single source of truth, rather than managing two versions of data across your ERP system and website.

ERP integrations are complex… and that’s why so many people avoid them. But when your ERP data flows from your operating system to your website, where the information is all structured for SEO and search, that’s worth its weight in gold for your business. And we’ve seen that time and again for our clients.

Show me the traffic

Think of your website as a storefront… the more traffic you get through your doors, the more likely you are to make sales.

In the bricks and mortar world, opening a store on a busy street is the best way to guarantee a flow of traffic. In the digital world, you do this through a solid SEO strategy that gets you to page one of the Google search results for as many relevant keywords as possible.

When you include SEO as part of your website build and content strategy from the very beginning, you will be amazed at how quickly you will start to see results. If you include SEO as an afterthought, without building it into the structure of your website, you will end up pouring money into Google Ads… and as a long term strategy, that will never cut it.

To get results in the long-term for your eCommerce business, in the form of qualified traffic to your website, you need to combine Google Ads with solid SEO.

Partner with the eCommerce business experts

At Brilliant Digital, we are the experts in eCommerce business websites and digital marketing. We handle everything from complex ERP integrations and eCommerce website design to content, email marketing, social media and advertising.

Contact us to discuss your brand and how we can help you transform your thriving B2B business into a winning B2C brand.

Read more website design articles.

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