Internet is unarguably the greatest invention of all times. About 30 years ago, I doubt if anybody even imagined that internet would play such a pivotal role in our lives as it does today. The advancement in technology has made the whole world shrink into a tiny place that is accessible through computers and even hand held devices like mobile phones, palm top and others. Today, internet has become an integral part of our lives and has completely changed the way we live, we work, eat, do business, travel, etc. Today we are totally dependent on internet for everything we do.
Currently, there are billions of pages available on internet on varied topics. One can easily find hundreds and thousands of sites dedicated to any particular topic. Ranging from business to matrimony, from automobile to space research, you name it and you will get the information through the world wide web. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Orkut have revolutionized the way people interact with each other and disseminate information. These sites have found global acceptance not only among the youth, but also among entrepreneurs or business owners who use them for brand promotion, for announcing new product launches and marketing of their business.
Talking about business, B2B (business-to-business) portals have emerged as a viable option of promoting and doing business online in a much cheaper and cost-effective way. B2B portals, also termed as e-marketplace is a large community of buyers and suppliers listed on the site with the aim to develop and establish new business relationship and retain the existing ones. These sites provide a platform to buyers and sellers to interact and generate maximum business inquiries through the use of different tools and services offered. But how do one get maximum response or inquiries for one’s products through a B2B portal?
Below are some tips that can help one in getting maximum product exposure and good business response.
The first and foremost step that one should take is to register/ list one’s company on any leading B2B portal. The registration is free on most B2B portals. Others charge a nominal fee for listing the company. All one has to do is to fill a simple registration form and post relevant/ correct information on the company, email address, nature of business, and other details. It is important to give authentic information on the company and nature of business as that would help in getting relevant response from prospective business partners.
Though free members are offered limited services, at least one can get a hang of it before proceeding to become a paid member. After seeing the response one gets as a free member, they can opt for a paid membership to get additional services and benefits. Most B2B portals allow free users to post up to 10 products along with photographs and specifications on the site. It is important to give maximum information on your products to get good response from the buyers.
Most of the listings on B2B portals are categorized industry wise, in order to help buyers find suppliers and vice-versa, as per their area of interest. Some sites have focused on product listings with complete product details, specifications and photographs to help users easily browse different products listings under a category or sub-category.
While posting your product on a B2B portal, always try to upload the product image and give the product details, specifications, functions and other information related to the product as that may help the buyers in finding your product faster. Also mention the advantages that your product has over those offered by your competitors. It is worth mentioning the terms and conditions related to sale, shipping, packing and location of the products to increase the chances of getting good buyers response.
Those who have visited B2B portals must be aware of Trade Leads service offered by most of B2B sites. Trade Leads basically serve as a notice board for the registered users of the site where they can post buy/ sell requirements for any product and most B2B portals offer this service without any cost. All you have to do is post maximum and correct information in order to generate a response. For instance, while posting a buy trade lead, one should clearly clearly describe product requirement, quantity, delivery time, shipping destination and other vital information. If you have sample of your requirement, you can upload the sample photograph to get more specific and faster response.
One should always assess any buy requirement thoroughly before responding. Also avoid sending too many or heavy attachments through mail. Do not use short forms related to any product name and never send too many reminders to the buyer. Also try to keep your company profile updated and regularly respond to the emails received in response to your posted trade leads or company listing.
There are several other paid services offered by B2B portals such as featured products, catalogs, websites, trade fair promotion, credit reports et al. All one has to is to analyse one’s requirement and budget before opting for any paid service. B2B portals are well promoted in search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. and thus can offer maximum visibility to any company/ products at the global level.
With a plethora of services offered, all one has to do is to make maximum and best use of B2B portals for their business propagation. A word of caution though, always thoroughly verify the credentials of any company before making any transactions or doing any business online.