While online commerce may slowly be seeping into the B2B world, there are still plenty of areas of friction. Difficult-to-use supplier websites with insufficient product information can lead to high rates of online cart abandonment, research says, while some sites pop up to connect buyers with suppliers, then leave the companies to manage an actual purchase transaction on their own.
In a new article for Supply Management, Office Depot business specialist Nigel Crunden said that the click-and-collect function, allowing orders to be placed and fulfilled at faster speeds, has the potential to rid B2B eCommerce of much of this struggle.
Click-and-collect allows companies to order the items they need on a last-minute basis. According to Crunden, it is especially useful for companies even if they have monthly or weekly supplier agreements, as “business needs can change at a moment’s notice.”
According to the author, however, suppliers and logistics firms have important roles to play to ensure that the click-and-collect function can actually live up to its potential.
[bctt tweet=”Suppliers and logistics firms must ensure that the click-and-collect function can actually live up to its potential”]
Crunden said that suppliers must advertise and educate their corporate clients on their click-and-collect services, and facilitate an omnichannel adoption of the tool with the same level of service regardless of channel.
“Logistics providers are also under pressure to play their part in making the process as easy as possible for the end user, which can be challenging,” the expert wrote. Logistics firms must adapt to the demand for fast delivery to new locations through click-and-collect, meaning they will be forced to ensure sufficient capacity to handle the need.
According to Crunden, PwC researchers expect the click-and-collect function to rise in popularity by 12 percent by 2018 in the U.K. alone. While B2B firms are facing intense pressure to adopt such services, he added that because click-and-collect is not a new trend – and the B2C world is well-versed in the service – companies will have had time to figure out the best ways to implement the tool within their eCommerce strategies.