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4 major B2B fulfilment challenges and their solutions
Order fulfilment

4 major B2B fulfilment challenges and their solutions

Yukta Anand
December 7, 2022
mins read

B2B (Business to Business) fulfilment is essential as it helps ecommerce sellers stock up on products which can be sold to potential customers. B2B fulfilment has grown exponentially in recent years to make it an attractive business opportunity, but anyone fulfiling such orders knows it is not a cakewalk.

B2B fulfilment is a complex process that requires precision due to its bulk order volume. At the same time, challenges like the need for robust inventory control and higher operational costs add to the stress of B2B sellers.

While efficient B2B order fulfilment may seem daunting, B2B sellers would be relieved to know that a few straightforward changes in their action plan can help streamline fulfilment and expand their business.

In this blog, you will learn about B2B fulfilment, its challenges and how to overcome them.

What is B2B fulfilment?

B2B (Business to Business) fulfilment is the process of shipping and delivery of bulk orders to other businesses or retailers and not directly to customers. B2B fulfilment focuses only on processing orders between two businesses and helps ecommerce sellers stock up on inventory which is then sold to customers.

For example- a manufacturer produces footwear for women. The manufacturer sells the jackets to an ecommerce brand, which further sells them to potential customers through different sales channels. In this scenario, B2B fulfilment refers to order fulfilment between the two businesses.

According to research, the global B2B ecommerce market is growing at the rate of 18.7%.

What are the challenges of B2B fulfilment?

To overcome the challenges of B2B fulfilment, we must first understand what they are. Let’s take a deep dive:

1. Lack of efficient inventory management

Inventory management can be complex for B2B sellers as these orders are often high-volume. Keeping track of shipments coming in and going out of the ecommerce warehouse can be tough. Despite the difficulty in inventory management due to the bulk order volume, ecommerce sellers can try to manage it efficiently, or it may lead to stock-outs, overselling and delayed order processing.

2. Higher operational costs

B2B fulfilment often requires storing and shipping hundreds and thousands of units of an SKU (Stock Keeping Unit). As a result, B2B sellers require bigger ecommerce warehouse space meaning higher storage costs. At the same time, more manual labour is required to pick, pack and ship orders on time while adhering to SLAs (Service Level Agreements), leading to more expenses. Furthermore, if order processing is done using technologies such as barcode scanners or robots- B2B sellers have to incur costs on them.

3. Delayed shipping

Expectations of B2B customers have grown. They want an experience similar to the one given by ecommerce giants like Amazon, so lightning-fast shipping, real-time order tracking and active post-purchase notifications are the norms now. However, inefficiencies in order fulfilment or lack of automation can lead to delays in shipping, which disappoints customers and tarnishes the brand image.

4. Lack of customer support

A dedicated customer support team is essential in B2B fulfilment, as orders are high-volume, and even minor issues can lead to big problems. Active communication with your customers about order status, expected delivery date, and more is beneficial for B2B sellers.

Research shows that 50% of B2B buyers are unhappy with their purchasing experience. Thus, you can boost ecommerce sales by enhancing your customer’s shopping experience through:

  • Ensuring active customer support
  • Enhancing website functionality
  • Providing detailed descriptions
  • Having an easy check-out process
  • Providing discounts (if possible)

How to overcome B2B fulfilment challenges?

A few right strategies will help you overcome B2B fulfilment challenges and unlock business growth. A tech-enabled logistics platform like Eshopbox can help you ensure seamless B2B fulfilment. Let’s see how:

  • Eshopbox has a robust IMS (Inventory Management System) to simplify inventory management, provide full-inventory visibility, demand forecasting, prevent stock-outs and more.
  • You can save operational costs by storing inventory across Eshopbox’s distributed network of state-of-the-art fulfilment centres instead of leasing multiple warehouses.
  • Eshopbox ensures dedicated account management to ensure quick solutions to all problems taking your customer relations to the next level.

Summing up

B2B fulfilment can be tricky- shipping and delivering bulk orders on time, adhering to SLAs and without in-transit damage can be daunting. Fortunately, you can level up your game plan with the right strategies like efficient inventory management. 3PLs like Eshopbox can help you scale your B2B business and reach new heights through smooth and cost-effective fulfilment.

Connect with our fulfilment expert today.

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