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1,500+ brands are using us to grow their online B2B.

Are you ready to revolutionize the way your B2B customers order from you from just $49 per month?

  • Let you customers place and manage orders online
  • Use your existing website for your B2B customers
  • Rapid setup, get up and running in record time
  • Empower your sales team with sales agent ordering
  • Automate previously manual tasks, and much more!

Trusted by 1,500+ brands including

Mesauda

🚀 Let's begin your B2B transformation.

In your live demo, we'll go through your current B2B challenges, how we've helped brands like you, and run through some of SparkLayer's main features relevant to you.

Alex Weston

We'll get back to you 4 hours (typically sooner!) to arrange a good time to speak. Alex Weston, Sales Director

You can also email us at hello@sparklayer.io.

How to level up your B2B sales with EDI

Lucy Vinestock, Marketing Manager

February 14, 2024
Best Practice Guide
How to level up your B2B sales with EDI

Despite the evolution of B2B eCommerce, one thing remains the same - the need for EDI.

Using EDI in conjunction with tools like SparkLayer is becoming a more common use case for us. A lot of the merchants we’re working with are selling to some of the biggest retailers out there (Nordstrom, Asda, John Lewis, Macy’s etc). Do they do that with SparkLayer? No way. They use an EDI partner, like SPS Commerce, to achieve this.

So, how do they then service the longer tail of smaller retail chains, independent shops, and wholesale buyers that want to sell and represent their brand? This is where having an online presence, which allows customers to self-serve, can make a massive difference…

These independent, smaller retailers often don’t have a Purchase Order system and are looking for simplistic ways to replenish the products that their customers love most. They want a platform that empowers their sales team rather than replaces it, and they need an intuitive interface that their B2B customers can access whenever they want. They need a standardised, scalable approach as well as customisable aspects that can evolve as their customer base grows. Inventory management becomes even more important, especially for hybrid stores balancing B2C and B2B demand.

This is a commonly overlooked area by brands selling B2B. More often than not, the burden falls on customer support staff to help place orders - usually back and forth with some complicated spreadsheet that's been chopped and changed several times, manual look-up of an inventory management system, and a debate over the price list used.

We’re often asked how a system like SparkLayer works with EDI. The simple answer is that it doesn’t need to. These two approaches to B2B complement each other perfectly and add significant value to different profiles of customers, but both meet the aim of making it simpler and easier for customers to replenish stock.

Using tools like SparkLayer alongside existing EDI and ERP systems removes the manual processes that can slow down Sales, Finance, and Ops teams. This level of integration makes the most of automated functions, ensures consistency of elements like customer-specific product and price lists, and removes the risk of human error. Teams are freed up to spend more time on value-add tasks like enhancing customer experience and driving revenue.

The key thing when entering this type of discussion is knowing which of those customer groups a brand or distributor is looking to service - and how that cohort of customers wants to buy.

From there, it’s a case of building a tech stack that fully supports business goals, whatever they may be and however they may evolve. Investing in software that integrates with both legacy and future platforms is key, as is conducting market research and continuously evaluating business needs.

Roundup

If you’re launching a hybrid function on your existing B2C website, or looking to upgrade your existing B2B website, we’d love to help. You can get in touch with our team here.

Why not sign up for our newsletters while you’re at it? Don’t worry - we’re too passionate about tech to be sales-focused all the time, so we promise to provide helpful resources and advice.

Lucy Vinestock

Lucy Vinestock

Marketing Manager, SparkLayer

Lucy’s background in Marketing covers the entire eCommerce spectrum, and she joined SparkLayer in December 2023 to supercharge our efforts. From content and partner marketing to data analysis and SEO, Lucy is overseeing our full Marketing strategy. When she’s not colour-coding spreadsheets, she’s probably up a mountain, at a yoga class, or cooking up a storm in the kitchen.
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