Many brands rely a great deal on their retailers, especially companies that have traditionally sold their products physically. The future is in for a major shift. More companies are deciding to take control of their own brands and to communicate directly with their end customers. The journey onto the internet not only has a positive impact on companies, but stronger brands also benefit retailers.

An increasing number of companies are wrestling with the issue of taking greater ownership of their own brands, digitally, without ending up in conflict with their retailers.

Digitalization and the rapid rise of e-commerce have resulted in B2B and B2C companies suddenly being able to talk directly with their customers and strengthen their own brands. In spite of this, many rely on their network of retailers and hesitate to take the step to go fully digital. In the opinion of Fredrik Hrdlicka, Sales Executive of the Litium e-commerce platform, companies need to take control of their brands and invest in their digital platforms if they want to continue to be competitive. 

7 step guide to getting started with B2B e-commerce

“Companies that have a long history of physical commerce and who have had close collaboration with retailers are especially likely to hesitate when it comes to a new way of relating to their end customers. Nowadays, you can only keep existing customers and attract new ones if you go digital. By selling directly to the end consumer, you can relay a different feel around your brand than your retailers can, and you can show so much more,” Fredrik explains.

Platform an important tool

By owning your brand, you have the opportunity to reach new markets. Through the internet, companies can aim their marketing efforts to their end customers by communicating directly with them. And in this, your digital e-commerce platform is an important tool.

Fredrik Hrdlicka
Sales Executive
Black Week and Christmas are rapidly approaching and e-commerce is facing its most hectic period. A lot can happen when there is a greater-than-normal load on your e-commerce site, and something going wrong can have dire consequences. You have to be prepared lest your customer experience be impacted by high traffic, e.g. in the form of delayed response times or, in the worst case, that the site crashes. That’s why we put together a check list of concrete tips for ideally preparing for a period in which uptime and response times are vital.
Getting started late? Keep in mind that it's better to have a simple plan than none at all. If you can’t check off everything, at least ensure that you have an overall plan. Start with the most business critical aspects and work from there. Good luck!

1. Assign a project manager

Black Week and Christmas retail are a project in and of themselves in which many people are involved (in-house and out at suppliers) making it’s easy to miss or forget things. Therefore, it is important to assign a project manager to be responsible for ensuring your progress. If you don’t have the time or resources in-house, you may benefit from bringing in an external resource during this period. You will be paid back for investing in this many times over since you can reuse and refine the processes you set now for the coming years.

2. Identify business parameters 

It is important to prepare by setting clear targets. Start from your current situation, compare it to last year and define your expected targets and a best case scenario.Use existing data and set the most important KPIs for your particular line of e-commerce – visits, response times, sessions, turnover, etc. For your e-commerce site, also set performance limits that, once reached, you will need to take particular measures in the case something arises. If you already have a good idea of your KPIs from the start, you will actually be working from real data rather than just a feel for how things are going. This way, you can set real fact-based targets for what you want to achieve rather than let your decisions be determined by emotion.  

3. Involve your suppliers

Compile a list of your suppliers and document areas of responsibility and contact persons. Distribute this information to your other suppliers as well as to your own organization so everyone knows who to contact should anything unexpected arise. It is good to have one supplier (preferably a technical implementation partner) as your single point of contactwho can be in charge of the contact chain. 

Your e-commerce is an ecosystem of services – from main suppliers such as platform and operational suppliers to technical implementation partners and all auxiliary services, such as for payments, etc. It goes without saying that it is vital that you are clear in your communication with your most business-critical suppliers. In addition to supplying contact information, it is important to inform suppliers of your market plan as well as through which channels your promotions will be distributed so that everyone is aware of and prepared for possible peaks on your site. 

Daniel Hultgren.png
Daniel  Hultgren
Bilder från detaljhandelsbutik.
Just because more and more stores are closing doesn’t necessarily mean we have to talk about the death of retail. Certain people argue that it's more a case of a retail renaissance that we are experiencing right now. Traditional stores are on their way out, but are leaving room for increasingly experience-based premises.

During the 2018 D-Congress in Gothenburg, the “new store” was a hot topic of conversation. The majority of people there agreed that bricks and mortar stores have gained an entirely new purpose with the forward march of e-commerce. New expectations from customers create new and higher demands on what a store should be today. According to a survey by Eventbrite the millennial generation puts far more value on experiences and events compared to earlier generations.

Gustav Tranback
Skylt med text
With 490 stores in 18 countries and EU-wide online sales, fashion chain Lindex is anything but a rookie when it comes to omnichannel sales. After having an online presence for over 10 years, Lindex has more experience and greater knowledge of digital retailing than most retailers. Lindex is now on the threshold of the next generation e-commerce solution. With the aim of further developing its leading position within omnichannel retailing, the plan is to launch all-new e-commerce on the market in 2018.

Henrik Sörstedt joined Lindex’s digital journey two years ago. Since fall 2017, he has been Director of Customer Experience, a new role within Lindex with responsibility for the brand's digital strategy and channel development which aims to supports Lindex’s e-commerce operations.

Åsa Lundborg Ling