E-commerce has revolutionized how we buy and sell, shaping consumer behavior for over two decades.
However, what may surprise you is the immense impact it has had on the global B2B market.
The total Global Business-To-Business (B2B) E-Commerce Market is estimated to reach $18.97 trillion by 2028.
At the end of 2021, B2B e-commerce in the US alone reached $1.7 trillion, representing 16% of total B2B US sales in the US. EMarketer forecast a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.7% in B2B e-commerce over the next five years.
For Consumer Packaged Goods (CPGs) manufacturers looking to increase revenue while helping their customers to grow, B2B e-commerce is a priority.
A key part of this is enabling B2B customers to reorder products more efficiently. So too has the investment to unburden employees from time-consuming tasks like reordering. An easy way to handle reordering is through app-based reordering on smart devices.
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 fulfillment and inventory management process
- Boost order volumes with real-time product data and information and supply chain management
Increase the reordering and fulfillment process efficiency
There is a key opportunity for CPGs with their high-frequency store (stores with a high sales turnover, like a convenience or discount store) customer base by increasing the efficiency of product reordering.
High-frequency stores have smaller IT teams than bigger store chains. They also lack mature product reordering processes to monitor and replenish their stock levels.
Also because these stores are spread over a wide territory, 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 fulfillment 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. In contrast, B2B customers place 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.
Convenience is critical to driving user adoption. This means minimizing irritation in the buying process and removing the frustration of labor-intensive bottlenecks in reordering.
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:
- Save time. Thumbing catalogs and typing in product numbers should be a thing of the past. Employees can scan and search for products anywhere with MatrixScan and augmented reality. Scandit Smart Data Capture removes many of these manual processes.
- 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 will likely lead to larger basket sizes.
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.
Boost basket size by providing insight and intelligence
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.
Why scanning and data capture 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. High-performance scanning scans product barcodes in any condition, like glare, varying distances, and even damaged barcodes.
What smart data capture solution do you need?
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’s high-performance barcode scanning into a web application, as no set-up or app is needed.
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.
Devices and how buyers use them
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.
Availability of IT and development resources
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.
Scandit is flexible enough that it can be implemented on any smart device and be used to speed up the processes above, and more. Below are some of Scandit’s Smart Data Capture solutions that come with a pre-built UI and can be implemented with just a few lines of code.
SparkScan comes as out-of-the-box data capture technology that can be implemented with just a few lines of code. It provides a pre-built barcode scanning user interface for easy integration into existing applications.
The benefits of SparkScan include an ergonomic design and a built-in interface that fits over the top of any native app, ensuring frictionless integration.
MatrixScan Count streamlines counting processes like inventory management and receiving, by enabling simultaneous scanning of multiple barcodes. It leverages multi-scanning and augmented reality to count items at the tap of a button.
MatrixScan Count allows increased productivity through single-button while taking over tedious counting tasks. Like SparkScan it can be rapidly deployed with just a few lines of code. The augmented reality overlay provides real-time feedback and even notifies users if a scan has been missed.
A leaner reordering and supply chain management process
Right now, CPG manufacturers are looking for a cost-effective way to enhance their customer satisfaction and buying experience. Scandit’s Smart Data Capture’s automated, on-the-spot product reordering process is an ideal solution. It is also flexible enough for large multinational or high-frequency stores.
Whether you’re considering a web or native app, Scandit will work with you to choose the right solution. If improving your B2B e-commerce platform is one of your priorities, so contact us today and start a conversation.