As state-of-the-art apps and ecommerce websites are developed to offer robust sales platforms, consumers are becoming more confident making purchases online. This presents plenty of business opportunities for emerging B2B ecommerce franchises. In today’s article we consider what is B2B ecommerce, the benefits of starting a B2B ecommerce business and the best three B2B ecommerce franchise opportunities out there at the moment.
Online sales have grown significantly over the last three years with many shoppers browsing a whole range of goods from the comfort of their living room. With 51 percent of UK shoppers preferring to make their purchases online, the B2C digital market is booming. But where does this leave the B2B ecommerce market? Before we can answer this question, we need to fully understand what B2B ecommerce is.
What is B2B ecommerce?
It can be defined as any type of electronic commerce transaction that occurs between businesses, for example a retailer and a wholesaler, and a wholesaler and a manufacturer. B2B ecommerce involves the sale of goods and services through an online sales platform from one commercial client to another.
B2B ecommerce in the UK
Now we’ve established the basics of B2B ecommerce, we can start to explore how it has taken off in the UK. While it might not have had such a significant impact as B2C ecommerce over the past ten years, it is evolving and growing at a rapid rate.
B2B ecommerce across the globe
Both wholesalers and manufacturers are taking the opportunity to appeal to an ever more online savvy audience, with an estimated 27 percent of the global B2B sales having an online component within the next five years. Also, the global B2B ecommerce sales are estimated to be worth around $6.7 trillion by 2020.
What does this mean for B2B ecommerce businesses in the UK?
Buyer behaviour is likely to continue to change, which will force B2B ecommerce businesses to use new technologies to ensure they provide the ultimate B2B customer experience.
According to BigCommerce:
Ecommerce is no longer nebulous for B2B but a driving force. Merchants need to take advantage of that growing opportunity or risk being left behind.
>> Read more:
- Top B2B Franchises in the UK
- B2B (Business 2 Business) - What does it mean?
- B2B Enterprise: Create a Franchise
- The best B2B examples to look at
- Have a Knack for Sales? Consider Running One of These Top B2B Franchises
What are the benefits of starting a B2B ecommerce business?
1. The size of the B2B industry
In 2017 the value of B2B ecommerce sales via websites reached £133.6 billion in the UK.
While B2C ecommerce is much more prevalent than B2B ecommerce (internet shopping is more popular in the UK than in any country) many B2B ecommerce platforms are emerging.
It’s thought that these will become a facilitator for business on a national and international scale.
2. B2B ecommerce often has bigger order values than the B2C market.
B2B buyers tend to buy in large quantities, and often thousands of one item in a single transaction.
3. New B2B buyers have online habits
B2B sellers now need to attract millennials, as this group makes up much of the B2B buyer population. Therefore, B2B sellers need to be where their customers are- online! Around 90 percent of B2B researchers use the internet during the research process. Therefore, selling online helps B2B sellers ensure they are providing the experience B2B buyers are looking for.
>> Read more:
Top 3 B2B e-commerce franchises
If you’re concerned about the complexity of setting up a B2B ecommerce business alone, there are lots of opportunities to invest in B2B franchises. This way you get the freedom of being your own boss, but with the added security of being part of a reputable brand with tried and tested infrastructure and systems in place.
Here are three of our top picks:
Bartercard is a trading platform which allows businesses to buy and sell their goods or services to a vast potential customer base that is not accessible to their competitors.
The franchise has transformed the way companies manage their cash flow by developing a pioneering exchange system which enables customers to benefit from cashless transactions both nationally and internationally.
Why should I choose this franchise opportunity?
Unlike most franchises, the income opportunities are endless for franchisees. Becoming a Bartercard franchisee will allow you to work five days a week but create a 24 hour, 365-day revenue stream. So, if you have general business experience and people management skills, this could be the franchise for you.
How can I get involved?
There are two types of franchise opportunities. You can choose to run a regional brokerage franchise or a district business development consultancy.
Regardless of the option you choose, you need to be articulate with excellent presentation and excellent relationship building skills.
You'll also need to invest around £25,000 with access to working capital of between £60,000 and £90,000.
Investing in a Brokerplan franchise gives you the opportunity to offer your clients access to a wide range of financial products and services from over 250 UK based lenders.
What will be my role as a franchisee?
As a franchisee, you’ll be responsible for helping small and medium-sized businesses to secure business loans, obtain buy to let mortgages, and acquire asset leasing, to name a few.
Do you need experience?
You don’t need to have any experience of working in financial services, as you'll be given all the training you need. You need to have the confidence to work with owners and managers of SME companies and a passion for building your own profitable and sustainable business.
How much is the investment?
The investment needed to get your business off the ground is just £5,995. In return, you’ll attend a comprehensive training course and receive both marketing and business development support.
With the income of a typical franchisee coming in at between £2,000 to £8,000 per month, a rapid return on your investment is expected with projected earnings in the range of £30,000 to £75,000 for your first year.
Rosemary is an established and trusted bookkeeping franchise which offers its franchisees the chance to work flexible hours from the comfort of their own home.
Am I right for this opportunity?
If you want to say goodbye to long commutes so that you can focus on growing a successful management-style business, then this could be the franchise opportunity for you.
How much is it?
The cost of setting up a Rosemary bookkeeping franchise is £16,970. Alongside this franchise fee, there’s a start-up cost of £2,870, which includes all the necessary IT equipment and software you’ll need to get your business up and running.
What do I get in return for my investment?
Once you've joined the Rosemary franchise network, you'll take part in a comprehensive 12-week training programme which will provide you with guidance on how to set up and operate your business, win new clients, maximise your sales, and offer a first-class bookkeeping service.
Throughout your franchise term, you'll receive ongoing advice and technical support on bookkeeping, sales, marketing, recruitment, staff management and legislation changes, so you'll never be alone.
The rise of B2B ecommerce in the UK
It’s safe to say that ecommerce is likely to continue growing for many years to come. As consumers expect more and technology becomes more advanced, e-commerce companies will need to invest in their platforms. If you want to be part of this global digital shift and capitalise on B2B business’ demand for using online platforms for commerce, why not start a B2B ecommerce franchise?
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©