E-commerce has been shaping buying trends for the past 20 years. But surprisingly, the global B2B e-commerce market ($6.64 trillion in 2020) is around double the size of the B2C e-commerce market ($3.67 trillion).
Nearly one in three B2B organizations report that 50% or more of their overall revenue already comes from digital channels and 55% expect that will be the case within the next few years.
Enabling B2B customers to reorder products more efficiently has therefore become a key element of a manufacturer’s B2B e-commerce strategy. As too has the investment to unburden sales teams from low-value work. In a Salesforce study, ‘State of Commerce’, 63% of respondents reported that e-commerce has freed their sales teams from the logistics of order processing and allowed them to become strategic advisors.
And for Consumer Packaged Goods (CPGs) manufacturers specifically, increasing revenue, while helping their customers to grow, through better e-commerce is a priority – particularly within high frequency stores. Revenue generation is also an overriding factor for CPGs when picking an e‑commerce platform.
Web or app-based reordering on smart devices is an easy way to make the ordering process leaner and more convenient for product buyers. By digitalizing the process, manual processes and ordering errors are eliminated.
And according to Forrester, it improves the bottom line too.
Multi-billion dollar food distributor US Foods said that customers who buy online spend 5% more than those who only buy offline.
Source: Future-Proof Your B2B Commerce Strategy To Meet Customers Where They Buy, Forrester
In this guide, we explore the three major benefits of equipping CPG product buyers with scanning‑enabled native or web apps to:
- Increase the re-ordering efficiency, particularly in high frequency stores
- Improve user adoption by giving buyers convenient re-ordering
- Boost order volumes with real-time product data and information
Increase reordering efficiency in high frequency stores
A key opportunity for CPGs with their high frequency store customer base is to increase the efficiency of product reordering. Unlike large retail chains, high frequency or independent convenience stores don’t have large IT teams or mature product reordering processes to monitor and replenish their stock levels.
Also because of the widespread territories of these stores, CPG manufacturers find servicing them in-person extremely expensive. This issue is compounded by the lack of technology in this type of store. Typically, stock fulfilment relies on store owners and managers using slow, labor-intensive, and error-prone reordering methods such as product listings in catalogs, written orders, telephone ordering and emails.
It often involves the manufacturers’ sales representatives making costly visits to stores to assist with product reordering. And yet the reach, societal role and potential revenue of these stores, known by many as – ‘mom & pop’ stores, ‘convenience’ stores, ‘corner shops’ or ‘late shops’, is huge. For example, one globally renowned food manufacturer sells its products to around 2.5 million such stores worldwide.
A Better Ordering Experience for Better E-commerce
The smartphone, with a scanning-enabled web app or native app, is an easy way for manufacturers to immediately deploy and give their customers a simple to use reordering tool. It offers flexibility and speed for the buyer and freedom from the burden of costly sales visits for the manufacturers.
Drive user adoption and sales
A key challenge CPG manufacturers face, particularly with high frequency stores, is user adoption of new technology for reordering products. What drives adoption is ensuring they have the same B2C frictionless experience they are used to in their personal lives, when ordering B2B products from manufacturers.
The key difference being B2C customers are more prone to one-off purchases, while B2B customers place larger volume or more specialized orders, often as repeat business, and as part of their everyday role. This increases the importance of a frictionless experience.
Below are some of the features buyers of food and beverages would like to see to make the buying experience more convenient.
The B2B Buying Process 2019 Report, SAPIO Research
Convenience is clearly critical to driving user adoption. This means minimizing irritation in the buying process, removing the frustration of labor intensive bottlenecks in product ordering.
Armed with a smartphone in their pockets, buyers instantly have mobile ordering at their fingertips and can order products on the go, whether on the shop floor or in a warehouse. It eliminates the need for catalog searches or offline orders. By adding ultra-fast scanning to a manufacturer’s website or native app, buyers can conveniently:
Scan and search for products anywhere using Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK integrated into a web or native app without wasting time thumbing catalogs or typing in product numbers. Smartphone scanning eradicates such time-intensive and costly manual processes.
A well-known global food manufacturer anticipates a 15% increase in B2B sales by adding high-performance scanning to their B2B e‑commerce website to eliminate manual searches for buyers.
Build a cart on-the-go without the need to do it on a fixed desktop, saving hundreds of hours of ordering time. The speed and ease of ordering from a mobile scanning device is likely to lead to larger basket sizes.
Provide insight: boost basket size
Enabling a buyer to access product information as part of the reordering process is important for boosting order volumes. A native app on a smart device can utilize computer vision functionality to deliver a world of information to the buyer’s smart device screen.
Product look-up: Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK, combined with MatrixScan AR, can be enabled to scan the barcode of a product and overlay real-time information about it on the buyer’s screen. It can tell buyers about stock levels, display information about the product, expiration dates and even information about the rewards and loyalties associated with ordering a particular product. It’s a smart way to increase add-to-basket, conversion-to-sale and average order sizes.
Scanning performance impacts revenue
Buyers experienced errors in online ordering at least every two weeks. When products are returned revenue is lost.
A poor digital ordering process directly impacts a manufacturer’s bottom line. It can lead to abandoned online baskets, resulting in lost revenue and costly demands placed on sales teams in helping buyers to order products. Consequently, manufacturers are increasingly looking to equip store buyers with automated solutions that perform consistently well without breaking the bank.
Manufacturers need to ensure their reordering process, whether facilitated through a web or native app, is error and hassle-free. Through high-performance scanning, which scans product barcodes in any condition, like glare, varying distances and even damaged barcodes.
Web app or native app?
When devising the optimum B2B e-commerce solution for CPG product buyers, it’s important to consider the user’s needs. Here are some of the considerations:
What integration is required with other systems?
It’s important to consider integration requirements early on, when planning the right solution. For example, is there an existing ordering platform or does the app need to integrate with back-end systems like SAP or Salesforce? Scandit can advise on the best approach.
What is the environment where the device will be used?
High frequency stores operate in remote locations where internet speeds and connections are poor and, therefore downloading an app from an app store can be problematic. Therefore, it might be better to integrate Scandit high-performance barcode scanning into a web application, as no set-up or app is needed.
Watch Scandit’s SDK for the web in action
What’s your buyer’s need, what’s the experience you want to provide?
If streamlining the reordering process is the main goal, a web app is a good starting point for achieving immediate efficiency. If your buyers would benefit from enhanced features, then a Scandit-enabled native app delivers computer vision functionality to further the buying experience.
For example, with a native app you can include augmented reality to deliver visual information about products and stock availability. Optical character recognition software reads any alphanumeric code, regardless of text size, font or color and is ideal for tasks like price checking.
Watch Scandit’s native SDK in action
Which devices do your buyers use?
If your buyers want to use their own devices or different devices across their stores, a web app displays a mobile-optimized version of your web or e-commerce site to deliver the best user experience on different devices. Because web apps are accessed over the internet, through a web browser, they aren’t limited to a particular device or operating system.
It’s also important that a native app works seamlessly on different models. Scandit’s SDK works on over 20,000 mobile device types and all major barcode types.
What IT resources are available?
The availability of IT resources is an important factor when determining whether to deploy a web or native app. If deploying a native app, it’s worth ensuring you have the necessary IT resources to update a native app when new releases become available ensuring your buyers have the most up‑to‑date version.
A leaner reordering process
As CPG manufacturers look for a cost-effective way to enhance their customer’s buying experience, Scandit’s computer vision technology offers an automated, on-the-spot product reordering process, whether in large multinational stores or high-frequency stores.
And whether you’re considering a web app or native app, Scandit works with you to ensure you opt for the right solution that has an effective integration approach either to an existing e-commerce platform or backend system. If improving your B2B e-commerce platform is one of your priorities, why not contact us today and we can start a conversation.