Open your business up to new opportunities with BigCommerce

Merchants selling on BigCommerce are seeing firsthand the benefits around the rise of ecommerce in the food and beverage industry.

BigCommerce, an ecommerce platform helping mid-market and enterprise merchants grow their online channels, encourages key stakeholders within businesses to adopt new technologies to get the most out of the market. 

Lance Owide, general manager B2B at BigCommerce, said evolving consumer preferences is having a visible impact on the need for advanced ecommerce functionality.

“B2B buyers are used to online shopping in their personal lives, and they want that same kind of experience when they are shopping on behalf of their company.” 

Owide said surveys and market research have reinforced this claim, and the company’s work within the space had also shown a move towards an ecommerce platform that provides robust features that meet the specific needs of B2B buyers and sellers.

“A large number of buyers will switch to a new seller if the digital offering isn’t good enough,” said Owide. 

“When we think about why that is, it’s because as a buyer I will care about the efficiency of the purchase. 

“I want to be as efficient as I can when placing an order on behalf of my company.

“If I’m working for a catering company and ordering beverages or raw materials for the food, I want to be able to do it whenever I can, wherever I am, and without any hassle.

“Ecommerce is at the core of that transition because it makes it so much easier because I can see the catalogue, place the order track the order, and I can do it all online and that’s what a digitally native individual wants.”

BigCommerce’s B2B offering, B2B Edition, addresses these shifts in buying trends by providing a robust feature set designed specifically to help B2Bs grow.

An advanced buyer portal allows for almost complete customisation of the buyer experience, making it easier for customers to buy products their way, and on their time. 

Multi-storefront capabilities allow merchants to reach new customers across segments and regions, while personalizing the purchasing experience and increasing brand loyalty. 

And headless capabilities allow for advanced functionality, seamless integration, and personalized experiences through APIs.

Owide said concerns around replacement of a sales team were also unfounded. Instead, the implementation of new B2B ecommerce tools would benefit both the sales team and the company’s bottom line.

“The salesperson is imperative to the B2B relationship and keep those clients coming back, but they shouldn’t have to pick up the phone to take an order,” he said.

“That’s an inefficient approach. They should be able to empower that buyer to make that purchase themselves online after showing them how to do it.

“Now because salespeople don’t have to take those orders, they have more time to go out and find new customers.” 

Owide said the benefits to salespeople had a positive flow-on effect. 

“They can spend their time driving more business instead of having to pick up the phone to take an order,” he said. 

“Part of it is all about the seamlessness for the sales team, making them more efficient in the processes they have to run.” 

And this is the same for the buyer, which Owide said has already shown a desire for this transition. 

“Food and beverages are a fantastic example of this,” he said. 

“One of our merchants in the USA sells to bars and those bars can place orders at 2am. There is no salesperson up at 2am to take an order but the owner wants to place it on their way home
after closing. 

“BigCommerce’s B2B platform is all about bringing everything that happens offline, online — not replacing it. We want to enable you to be online to supplement what happens offline.”

Research conducted by BigCommerce also found that up to 94 per cent of all ecommerce sales are B2B, with the global B2B ecommerce market currently sitting at $10.4 trillion and Australia sitting second in average annual online expenditure per head. 

Meanwhile, the market is expected to reach $37 trillion by 2028. 

Tapping into this market will bring with it a string of benefits, not least of which is reaching a wider audience by adding a digital element to sales. 

“I call it the crawl, walk, run strategy,” Owide. 

“You take little bites of the apple, if you have not been online before you can start with something like putting your product catalogue online. 

“You can start by spinning up a store and having products online and anyone can find your site and your ability to attract new customers has
grown exponentially.” 

The process of getting the ecommerce platform up and running is also a simplified one, thanks to the tools provided by BigCommerce, such as pre-built website designs. 

“We have prebuilt themes, right out of the box,” said Owide. 

“They are mostly free, some are paid, but they all look fantastic right out of the box, and some are even built specifically for food and
beverage companies.

“It’s easy to create a beautiful looking site and that is all about engaging. You want to engage customers with product details they want when they want them and with BigCommerce you can build sites like that.” 

Owide said many merchants he deals with are coming to BigCommerce as part of an expansion plan, whether that is to new markets or new product lines. 

“With BigCommerce multiple sites can be managed from one BigCommerce control panel,” he added. 

“If you want to create a new brand you can do it with the click of a button. It is a simple process.” 

The ecommerce platform ultimately provides more efficiency around sales and makes it a 24/7 prospect as opposed to within business hours, or other traditional limitations, allowing a growth in sales conversions. 

“We have one merchant who jumped onto BigCommerce and saw a big jump in the success of their ecommerce site because of how engaging the site was,” said Owide. 

“Their conversion rate increased 191 per cent.”

Owide said by employing the tools outlined above, a company stood its best chance of helping draw in new customers while also building upon existing relationship

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