B2B eCommerce and COVID-19: Is This the New Norm?

B2B eCommerce

The 2020 global pandemic of COVID-19 has flipped the world upside down. Businesses all over are navigating government-mandated closures, restrictions, lay-offs, and more all while transitioning to a virtual environment to meet the needs of their customers and stay in business. What customers expect has changed. The norm has changed. As businesses prepare for things to go back to “normal,” they need to be asking the question: “what if this is the new normal?” Whether the world goes back to a pre-pandemic state or not, the expectations of customers and businesses have changed. 

Is B2B eCommerce/online business the new norm?

For business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) companies, there has been a strong push for eCommerce in the 21st century, and now it’s a must-have. What has been viewed as a potential option in the past has become a necessity in the age of COVID-19. Companies that aren’t able to demonstrate their products in showrooms or face-to-face meetings are at a standstill if they don’t have an option to do business online. Many are realizing the time to invest in a robust online platform is NOW, for both serving their clients and driving new sales to remain in business. 

B2B companies that manufacture and distribute complex and customizable products have a real opportunity to meet the requirements to grow during this eCommerce-centric new norm by utilizing an online CPQ (configure, price, quote) software for their business. 

Could CPQ software be the new norm?

What is CPQ Software?

What paper catalogs, price lists, and order forms accomplished before, CPQ software makes possible entirely online. Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) software makes it possible for companies to determine the prices of their products while providing a wide range of customizations and variations with accuracy. Product price lists stay up to date in the real-time  for reliable quotes of configurable products. Existing SKU numbers are used to configure, price, quote, and even visualize products fully online. CPQ software bridges the gap between businesses and their customers. It equips businesses with the tools and resources to do business well and efficiently online, driving more sales, and creating brand loyalty. 

The Necessity of an Online Pricing Configurator 

Meet your customers’ product preferences more efficiently and accurately by using an online pricing configurator. What was a great alternative to price lists, order phones, and phone calls, has now become a necessity for post-pandemic business. Through the use of an online pricing configurator with CPQ software, customers can customize and order products entirely online. An online pricing configurator eliminates all paper references and forms, replacing it with a simple point-and-click item building process. Because the products and selections are based on real SKU numbers, customers will not be able to configure something that cannot be built, resulting in fewer setbacks and mistakes. Unlike dated price lists, an online pricing configurator updates all prices, giving your customers the confidence that they are receiving the correct prices and quotes. 

A CPQ Configurator does what a piece of paper can’t, making it a necessity for businesses seeking growth and sales in this new norm.

Benefits of 3D Product Visualization

COVID-19 has made it clear that B2B and B2B2C eCommerce is a necessity. CPQ software and an online pricing configurator can make this happen without the need for a brand new website if the budget is limited or the set for the year. However, a configuration option can exist on the “backend” within a product visualization interface. 

When products are configured, rendered, and ordered completely online, there is still something missing: the 3D experience of a showroom or storefront. Just because the norm has changed, the current demands of customers have not. Customers want a visual experience tool to visualize complex products and sort through options. Even before the new pandemic norm, customized products were not visualized with selected preferences until manufactured. An online 3D product visualizer gives customers the confidence of seeing real-time 3D images of their selected product preferences before placing an order or making an inquiry. 

In addition to giving customers the confidence of seeing their products in 3-dimension before placing an order, a 3D product visualizer also benefits the companies that utilize them. Not only will having a 3D product visualizer increase sales, but it will provide efficiency for companies that provide hundreds to millions of product variations and preferences. How? Software generated images. Your company will no longer have to pay for the manufacturing of products that have low sales volume. Visualizer tools will also eliminate the need for product photography. The same software that runs the newest computer gaming systems is used for these software-generated images of products.

A 3D product visualizer is a great addition, or necessity, to any online pricing configurator. Businesses that provide 3D rendering of their products will drive sales and create brand loyalty.

The truth of the matter is that the norm has changed. What customers demand and expect from an eCommerce society can be achieved through CPQ software. Clarity’s online pricing configurator and 3D product visualizer are established and proven for efficient B2B eCommerce. 

If your team would like to see a demo of B2B eCommerce software in action, we’re ready to show you:

request a demo

At Clarity Web Solutions, we understand the expectations of this new norm. With 20 years of experience in creating affordable, specialized business software, we have seen businesses transform their sales process and business with configurators, visualizers, and more. Keep your  business going with virtual options today, and yield the benefits of software implementation for years to come. 

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