6 B2B eCommerce Mistakes You're Probably Making (And How to Fix Them) - Part 5: Post-Launch Maintenance

B2B eCommerce is a potential minefield of pitfalls and missteps. Falling victim to common misconceptions or poor tactics is easy to do, whether you’re a seasoned eCommerce professional or a small business just getting started. 

That’s why it’s important to familiarize yourself with B2B eCommerce mistakes. You don’t want to make them, repeat them, or accidentally fold them into your online store strategy.

Fortunately, many B2B eCommerce mistakes are easy enough to identify. 

In this series, we’re focusing on a few of the most common eCommerce pitfalls and strategy missteps, so you can avoid them. We’ve already covered not being customer-focused, product gaps, neglecting a digital-centric ordering process, and undervaluing your product offering.

Mistake number five in our series is failing to maintain your store after launch. Did you launch with all the energy and excitement you could muster only to let your store stagnate? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. 

Launched? Check. Maintained? Oops.

Your B2B eCommerce store launch is a big deal. It should be. You’ve put in countless hours and plenty of resources, run through a handful of pre-launch checklists, and your store is finally live. That’s great!

Unfortunately, businesses can get so preoccupied with the launch (and all that entails) that any thoughts of maintenance and post-launch upkeep go out the window. 

How much time and money did you set aside for store maintenance and upkeep? If your answer is none or next to nothing, you’ve made a pretty common B2B eCommerce mistake.

“The store practically runs itself after everything’s uploaded and live, right?” Wrong. Going live is only the first hurdle. Too many businesses think a B2B eCommerce store is a one-and-done implementation. We’ve written extensively about the importance of planning when launching a B2B digital storefront and this doesn’t end when the site goes live. Below are just a few of the post-launch items you’ll need to consider along with pre-launch concerns:

  • Adding new products (or product lines) and expanding the product catalog
  • Updating existing product information
  • Software and platform updates
  • Database security
  • Reporting efficiency
  • Post-launch marketing strategy

Keeping your online store up-to-date and running smoothly is an ongoing challenge, but it’s one you can handle with some forethought and planning along with help from a modern eCommerce platform.

B2B eCommerce Maintenance and Upkeep Challenges

eCommerce maintenance and upkeep are pretty broad. Where’s the best place to start? 

Of course, the underlying technology (eCommerce platform, apps, services, and plugins) powering your storefront has to stay up to date, but what about the data you’re feeding into the store? What about security and reporting? 

It’s smart to establish goals, benchmarks, or even just check-in assessments to help measure performance and stability. The last thing you want is for your sales to plummet because you haven’t been paying attention to the details.

Maintaining Product Data

The biggest ongoing challenge for any eCommerce store is maintaining product data. Your goal is to have accurate information and an appealing copy attached to each and every product you offer, and that can be a lot of work.

That’s why a lot of B2B eCommerce operators use something like a content management system (CMS) to organize, accessorize, and present products in an effective way. Marketing teams expect to have the access to create and manage product listing or merchandised pages that contain a mix of content and products.

Data Reporting

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re dealing with so much data, whether you’re a small business or an enterprise-level eCommerce giant. It’s one thing to gather and organize all that information. Turning your database into actionable insights is enough work for an entire team.

Too many business owners fail to make the most of their data reporting. In fact, according to NewVantage Partners’ 2021 Big Data and AI Executive Survey, only 39.3% of companies are managing data as a business asset. 

The more you understand your data and the intentions behind the data, the better your eCommerce store will be. 

Updated Systems

Believe it or not, some of the most frustrating technical problems for B2B eCommerce stores can be solved by simply keeping your software and platforms up to date. You’d be surprised how many businesses are still operating on legacy systems that haven’t been updated or replaced in years or even decades.

Running on the latest and greatest? Make sure you’re implementing new security patches, upgrades, and system improvements

    Daunting B2B eCommerce challenges become small speed bumps when you’ve got an exceptional eCommerce platform working for you. Why waste valuable time and resources trying to figure things out yourself when you can trust experts to guide you towards success?

    How An eCommerce Platform Can Help with Maintenance and Upkeep

    Post-launch maintenance and upkeep of your online store can seem daunting. No one wants to handle product updates and database audits all by themself. Smart marketers find the right eCommerce platform to do the heavy lifting.

    • Seamless eCommerce integration – Modern eCommerce platforms such as headless and API-first options allow B2B businesses to connect best-of-breed platforms and leverage valuable eCommerce features and functionality. Ensuring integrations between your commerce platform and back-office systems like ERP and PIM software are critical for maintaining fully-featured and dynamic storefronts.
    • Product management – A flexible eCommerce platform can make product management easier, drive new sales, and leverage customer demand. Managing and maintaining a product catalog requires ongoing investment - a commerce platform makes those tasks easier through import/export tools, merchandising control, and access to data through API or data collections reporting. 
    • Software as a service hosting – Cross “update eCommerce platform” off the to-do list - Hosted commerce service solutions give your team one less thing to manage or keep updated. Instead of investing valuable time (or resources) for another IT and technology task, the commerce service vendor maintains the platform for you.

    Your ideal eCommerce platform will make integration, product management, hosting, reporting, and all the in-betweens easy and efficient. 

    Master Maintenance and Upkeep with a Flexible Headless Commerce Platform

    Don’t be one of those businesses that never updates their online store. Instead, outsource your eCommerce management to take control of your digital store’s maintenance and upkeep. 

    The right eCommerce tools can change the way you do business. Contact the professionals at Slatwall to learn more about our eCommerce maintenance and upkeep solutions. We promise they’ll integrate seamlessly with your existing eCommerce infrastructure.

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