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Point. Click. Pay. Ship. Track. Receive. That’s the simplicity of business-to-consumer shopping online. From cat food to clothes to cars, consumers can buy just about everything from just about anywhere.
Now people who buy for their businesses are bringing those same expectations to their business-to-business world.
They expect the same experience when they order widgets needed to build their signature product as they receive when they purchase items like office supplies.
Growing pressure from customers for businesses to get online and provide a more seamless experience compounds those expectations.
Customer demand is a major force driving the expansion of the B2B e-commerce market, which Forrester projects to reach $1.8 trillion by 2023 while accounting for 17 percent of all B2B sales in the U.S.
Today e-commerce makes up just 12 percent of U.S. B2B sales.
That leaves hundreds of thousands of small- and medium-sized manufacturers and distributors asking the question: Why can’t B2B e-commerce be as easy as B2C?
The reality is that B2B transactions tend to be more complex than B2C. Unlike B2C transactions where you’re the sole decision maker, B2B deals often involve multiple decision makers, contract negotiations and back and forth on product specifications.
"Customer demand is a major force driving the expansion of the B2B e-commerce market."
Plus, many small- and medium-sized companies simply don’t have the in-house resources — web developers, digital marketers and other expertise — required to ramp up their B2B e-commerce efforts. In fact, some still rely on fax machines to complete deals.
Now there’s help.
UPS has joined forces with e-commerce technology company Inxeption to help more businesses sell online. We’ve integrated platforms to help businesses organize all aspects of the e-commerce supply chain from one convenient place.
This platform integration is tailored to small- and medium-sized businesses that are new to B2B e-commerce or lack the needed IT infrastructure.
Inxeption is more than just an internet storefront. It provides a B2C-style shopping experience tailored specifically for B2B transactions.
The platform recognizes that most B2B payments are made via purchase order, not credit cards. This is especially convenient for business customers with variable contracts and pricing agreements in place.
It’s one thing to have an e-commerce site. It’s another thing to drive people to it. Many small- and medium-sized businesses don’t have digital marketing expertise in house, and bringing it in is a sizable investment.
"Inxeption makes it easy with a plug-and-play digital marketing solution that covers all the bases."
The Inxeption platform makes it easy with a plug-and-play digital marketing solution that covers all the bases for businesses that want to concentrate on what they do best — manufacturing and distributing their various pieces and parts.
The Inxeption platform includes marketing tools that allow them to execute digital marketing campaigns and track success straight from the platform.
With customers flocking to their site, it’s just a matter of time before the pointing, clicking and paying begins.
With UPS as the shipper of choice, shipping, tracking and receiving are a click away. UPS APIs and algorithms are built in so buyers and sellers alike can easily manage and monitor packages.
Of course, security is vital for B2B and B2C customers alike. It can make or break a business. Considering the global average cost of a data breach was $3.86 million in 2018, most small businesses could not survive such a hit.
The Inxeption platform takes security to the next level with blockchain technology.
Transactions are encrypted and distributed to multiple nodes. Each set of transactions sits on top of another set of transactions, which deters hacking. And there’s no third-party access to data — no middleman or marketplace access.
Just the buyer and seller can see the information they exchange. This is key for maintaining confidentiality between the buyer and seller in a B2B relationship.
Our alliance with Inxeption is just beginning. We understand that e-commerce platforms integrating advanced technology with global logistics gives B2B merchants seamless solutions for managing growing demand.
"The Inxeption platform takes security to the next level with blockchain technology."
That’s why we’re continuously providing innovative solutions like this to provide our customers the capabilities they need to sell, ship and serve more customers around the world.
Eventually, it won’t be hard to distinguish between the B2B and B2C e-commerce experiences.
In fact, it will all be as easy as ABC.
Click here to read about how UPS and Inxeption are joining forces to make B2B e-commerce easier for merchants.
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