B2B eCommerce for building materials: A digitizing guide


By Anna Korolekh

The building materials industry is one of the most traditional industries in terms of business. It is also one of the largest industries in terms of revenue, with more than two trillion dollars annually spent on construction materials and supplies. Hence, in the digital age, it’s more crucial than ever to initiate a digital transformation with B2B e-commerce for building materials. As such, it has tremendous potential for growth if only it embraced digital transformation to take advantage of this potential fully.

How eCommerce can help to streamline digitizing building materials’ sales

The building materials industry has a lot of room for growth, and an eCommerce platform can aid in that expansion. By bringing together all the necessary functions—customer-centricity, improved customer experience, increased inventory control, and more—an eCommerce platform helps streamline processes so that end users can focus on their core competencies.

For your business to grow, you need a strong backbone that will allow you to scale up as needed without compromising quality or ROI. 

By using an ERP system that integrates seamlessly with your chosen eCommerce platform (if one exists), you’ll be able to offer personalized marketing strategies while improving internal operations by increasing efficiency and reducing costs.

Customer-centricity and improved customer experience

Customer-centricity and improved customer experience are the main goals of a B2B eCommerce platform. The first step to achieving these goals is to develop a comprehensive strategy that focuses on your customers rather than your business.

With the right approach, you’ll be able to:

  • Deliver exceptional customer service, improving retention rates and increasing sales and brand loyalty.
  • Create an online experience that meets all of your customers’ needs. This helps you ensure they’re always satisfied with their purchases and makes it easier for them to recommend you or tell their friends about your company’s great products.

Improved inventory control

Inventory control is a vital part of any business, and eCommerce technology can be used to improve the process. With an integrated eCommerce platform, you can identify the most popular products and adjust your inventory accordingly. You’ll also be able to track sales data in real-time so that you know what items are selling well, which ones need more promotion, and more.

You can better manage your stock levels with automation. If your supplier has sent out too many widgets but not enough waffle irons, the system will alert you immediately so that you don’t run out of either. This efficiency streamlines operations overall and ensures that customers always receive excellent service when they shop with your company online or in person at its brick-and-mortar outlet store location(s).

Works seamlessly with existing ERP systems

There is no doubt that B2B eCommerce is a critical component of digital transformation. However, you need to ensure that your implementation is seamless and can be integrated with your current systems. If not, the whole process will be pretty costly and will take longer than expected to complete.

The best way to do this would be through an existing eCommerce platform that supports multiple integrations with current ERP systems (such as SAP or Oracle). This way, all of your data remains in one place, and there are no duplicates between what’s being done on each platform.

Offers personalized and targeted marketing

One of the most essential aspects of B2B eCommerce is personalized and targeted marketing. Personalized marketing involves targeting customers based on their needs, interests, and other characteristics. 

Targeted marketing is similar but goes beyond simply showing up in front of a potential buyer when they’re searching for your product or service—it also includes reminders about upcoming events that might be relevant to them (like a trade show or conference), as well as emails that contain helpful information related to those events (such as details about registration).

Why does this type of approach matter? In short: because it works! Customers are more likely to buy from companies they know, like, and trust. And one way for businesses to build trust is by establishing themselves as experts in their field—which can happen with targeted content tailored to each customer’s needs and interests. 

For example, if you own a construction company specializing in roofing services, then sending out an email every few weeks highlighting how much you’ve learned over time could help build credibility with potential clients looking elsewhere first (but eyeing up your services after reading through what was included).

Picking a platform for selling building materials online

Once you’ve identified your target audience, you can look into eCommerce platforms. You’ll want to choose a flexible and scalable platform, allowing you to grow as your business grows. It should also be easy to use, so salespeople don’t need extensive training before they can do their jobs effectively.

When comparing different eCommerce solutions, look for those with various features, such as customizable product pages or built-in A/B testing capabilities. This will allow you to optimize each stage of the buying process to increase conversion rates—and ultimately generate more revenue per customer journey than if we’re using an out-of-the-box solution from one provider only (which might even cost more over time).

It’s also vital for any B2B company looking at making the transition from traditional point-of-sale systems into digital channels such as web stores or mobile apps across multiple channels (such as web browsers on desktop computers), social media platforms like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp Messenger; mobile applications (iOS/Android) installed on smartphones owned by consumers around the world; messaging apps built specifically for companies like Slack which allow organizations collaborate through instant messaging service APIs between cloud storage services.

Improve opportunities for expansion

There are many ways in which eCommerce can help you expand and grow as a company. It’s important to note that any expansion must be backed by the proper infrastructure, including an eCommerce platform that can handle multiple languages and currencies and has payment gateways built-in, with integration between your ERP system and warehouse management system (WMS).

If you’re looking to expand globally, then web-based sales can be an effective way of reaching out to new customers. You don’t have to worry about getting stuck in customs or shipping delays when selling online. The Internet makes it possible for businesses worldwide to reach their target audiences without being limited by geography or time zone differences.

Digital transformation will be significant to the building materials industry in the future.

Digital transformation will be necessary for the building materials industry in the future. The benefits of digital transformation for this industry include increased sales, better customer service, and an overall shift from physical to online sales. Digital transformation will also allow companies to save money on staffing costs by automating processes that humans previously did. 

However, digital transformation also has challenges, including internal struggles about how best to adopt new technology and how much time and effort should be spent on it versus other projects or tasks. If you want to succeed at adopting eCommerce as part of your business strategy for this industry, it’s vital that you understand these challenges so that you can overcome them effectively.

In summary 

The building materials industry can benefit from eCommerce in many ways. Customers appreciate the convenience of shopping online and are likely to purchase from a site if it offers the products they want at competitive prices and has good customer service. 

Companies that sell their products online also gain access to new markets, which opens up expansion opportunities. Finally, an eCommerce platform streamlines many processes within your business so that it becomes more accessible than ever before.

Image credit: Petrebels/Unsplash

Anna has been in online marketing since 2009, and started her career with content-writing and developing link-building strategies. In 2010 was hired as an SEO analyst for Promodo marketing agency. By 2012 she extended her skillset beyond SEM becoming a digital marketing manager of the International department at Promodo. In 2014-2016 Anna lead marketing efforts at PSD2HTML web development company until she finally joined Oro Inc. family in November 2016 to lead digital promotion of Oro key products: OroCommerce and OroCRM.

Share this Story

Stay Informed

Go to Top