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What is a Customer Portal?

Customer Portals are becoming the industry standard and expected by most customers nowadays due to the benefits and convenience they provide to them. But why is that?

Alex E. Pjetra (Product Marketing Executive) Written by Alex E. Pjetra (Product Marketing Executive) 20 Jul 2020 in B2B eCommerce

A customer portal or client portal is a private and secure extension of a company’s website. It acts as a single point of access where customers can view account information relevant to them and contains other customer self-service functionality.

This functionality includes the ability to:

  • View and change account information such as contact information and delivery addresses
  • View and track their order history with details about each product they have purchased and relevant dates
  • View and download statements and invoices
  • View recently ordered products
  • View customer only products, discounts & offers, and other company-related updates
  • Make online payments or clear their remaining balance
  • Placing quick orders or replicate and submit existing ones
  • Save products to their favourites so they can find them quickly when needed

In some cases, online customer portals may integrate in real-time with a companies ERP system. However, not all portals have the ability to integrate.

We consider real-time integration as a must-have feature when searching for a customer portal. It will automate many areas of your sales cycle by providing your customers with real-time accurate product, service, account information and the ability to manage their own customer experience.

Customer portals access is available to customers 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Customers can access the portal on desktop, laptop, tablet. It’s designed with the customers’ overall experience and convenience in mind. Therefore, portals must be both user-friendly and mobile-responsive.

What are the key benefits of a Customer Portal?

A customer portal can provide your company and your customers with a number of important benefits that contribute towards a better relationship between the two and of course a better overall customer experience.

Below, we have listed the key benefits of a customer portal:

  • Streamline and automate your business operations by allowing customers to place orders directly into your business at any time.
  • Provide accurate, real-time product, pricing, stock and my account information directly from your ERP system.
  • Reduce overall business and customer service costs as you will provide online self-service payment account facilities.
  • Improve customer retention, satisfaction, and experience by providing a convenient location where customers can find account information, order history, statements, payment history and more.
  • Customer Portals have gated login which prevents competitors from viewing your products or pricing and only allow customers to view the information upon login.

Summary

A customer portal is an essential part of your eCommerce operations particularly if you have both B2B and B2C customers. It becomes the central hub that your B2B customers rely on to manage their self-service buying when they need it. It essentially gives them the ability to manage the purchasing process from end-to-end.

A portal can offer many benefits to your business such as:

  • Automating the B2B buying process
  • Improving the customer experience
  • Reducing your business admin costs
  • Providing and advantage of competitors

No matter how you look at it, a customer portal offers distinct advantages to companies that are pure B2B or even a B2B/B2C mix. Add ERP integration into the customer portal mix and you are now ready to supercharge your eCommerce business.

If you’re looking for an ERP integrated customer portal, you should take a look at the Aphix Customer Portal which has been designed with your B2B business needs in mind.

You can book a demo if you wish and see how our solution can help you meet your business needs.

Alternatively, feel free to contact us if you have any more questions on sales@aphixsoftware.com