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BizReport : Ecommerce : April 28, 2021

How digital storefronts can elevate black-owned B2Bs

New data shows more than half (60%) of black-owned businesses were facing financial struggles even before the pandemic hit, and that about 40% have since closed their doors. One problem is having the right resources to drive traffic, a problem facing many small businesses, but especially problematic for black-owned businesses who are seeing greater disparities community-wide.

by Kristina Knight

For this reason, one digital expert believes these business owners should push further into the digital space, using online storefronts to begin driving traffic that has dramatically slowed since the spring of 2020.

"Listing products on online stores allows Black-owned businesses to reallocate the time and resources that traditional B2B commerce requires to reach new customers. Corporate buyers looking to support small or diverse businesses often turn to online stores where they can easily filter, search and identify Black-owned businesses based on diversity credentials. These online stores have large audiences across a number of digital channels, giving small business extensive reach," said Danielle Hinz, Global Solutions Leader for Local Government, Amazon Business.

Hinz notes that many online B2B brands have established supplier diversity features and credential selling programs that will connect smaller, diverse businesses with buyers.

"For example, Aldevra, a veteran and Black-owned medical and foodservice equipment provider, uses Amazon Business to reach a broader audience and increase sales. Aldevra's sales on Amazon Business doubled year over year, and through 2020 it grew in incremental sales across industries, including commercial sector, education, healthcare and government. Selling through an online store has helped Aldevra directly reach thousands of new customers with simplified purchasing processes and analytics that help them determine inventory needs," said Hinz.

And while the digital commerce space is quite crowded, Hinz believes that AI tools such as keyword generators and credential filters can help businesses just opening a digital storefront break through the clutter to find that core customer base.

"Optimization features such as keyword generators and credential filters highlight specific sellers based on their criteria. As businesses increasingly focus on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts, online stores provide the tools for buyers to set a Diversity Certifications Policy to guide buying decisions and search for products based on diversity certifications. For example, on Amazon Business, Black-owned businesses can upload certifications onto their accounts and make themselves easily searchable by organizations looking to support diverse sellers," said Hinz.

Tags: Amazon Business, B2B commerce, B2B ecommerce, B2B tips, black owned business tips, diverse businesses, ecommerce, ecommerce trends, mobile commerce

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