Take Your Channel With You

In most cases, a multi-channel B2B Commerce strategy actually grows sales in a company's sales channels. However, to ensure that your channels adopt and promote your B2B Commerce initiatives, here are a few best practices that can assist in taking your channel along for the ride.

Let your dealers and distributors offer the best pricing. This is probably the #1 way you can avoid channel conflict as a B2B company. Undercutting on price is a huge no-no as it positions you as competition for your channel network. Refuse to undercut your local channel on price. Give your channel network the edge on price--they keep their foot traffic and you make up the difference in increased margin on online sales.

Promote your dealers and distributors on your B2B Commerce site. Your commerce site is going to catch a lot of attention from search engine crawlers and new customers alike. While B2B Commerce is a growing shopping method for a lot of businesses, there are still a fair number of who research online but still want to see a product in person before buying. Help those customers find a dealer near them and pass the leads on to your channel partners for follow-up.

Create special dealer- and distributor-only promotions--and then promote them online. While it might seem counter intuitive to promote in-channel sales and discounts on your B2B Commerce site, it's actually a good commerce practice for avoiding channel conflict. Your physical locations get the boost from real-time only offers and promoting it on your site lays the bait for those "researchers" who might otherwise defer their purchase until a later time.

Provide the systems needed to effectively run a multi-channel on-line business. The B2B Commerce platform you use to run your marketplace and to deliver the features and functions needed by your channel and end-users is essential to ensuring that the decision and purchasing process delivers a great experience and so that you can properly manage your entire value chain.

B2B Commerce holds great opportunity for you and your channel if implemented properly. But one things is for sure, any software vendor that does not have a multi-channel B2B Commerce strategy will find their sales coming under increasing competition and if they do not take there channel along with them, they will lose a substantial part of their sales and service capability.

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