B2G eCommerce stands for Business-to- Government eCommerce. It involves the electronic exchange between a business and the government on digital platforms, and it can be a lucrative market for prospective vendors.
But, of course, you need to do your research and due diligence.
This article will give you all the information you need to decide whether it’s the best path for your business and how to take your first steps.
- B2G eCommerce is a digital marketplace for business whose primary market is government agencies
- Government agencies put a tender there for businesses to bid on
- Businesses submit their bid for the contract
- The government agencies then select the winning bid
- While bureaucracy can slow the process, it can be a lucrative market
What is B2G eCommerce?
B2G is simply defined as Business-to- Government eCommerce. It is a digital marketplace designed to run a business whose primary target market ranges from government agencies (both local, federal, or state) or government institutions. B2G eCommerce can sell a wide variety of information, services, or products.
B2G eCommerce runs electronic transactions between the government and the businesses themselves. Unlike traditional eCommerce models who focus on individuals, groups or private/public companies, B2G eCommerce operates under strict (and complicated) regulations.
- Since the majority of state agencies are in charge of drawing out the pre-negotiated contracts, they take the first step in the entire process.
- So instead of businesses seeking to find clients, the government has to seek the business first.
- Businesses will then determine the fee they will charge, before submitting the project’s pricing.
- The government will then choose the most suitable tendered offer.
How does B2G work? Bids and tenders
When a government needs a project to be completed, or a product, they will put out a tender for businesses to bid on. A tender is a formal request on the price which the business would ask for.
Then businesses would draw up their quotes and submit it in the form of a bid. The government will choose one bidder and have a contract signed with them. Depending on the tender and the government, the contracts might be at either a local, state, or national level.
Get approved to do business with the government:
- You can (and should) sign yourself up for the GSA (US General Services Administration)
- This is a signal to different government agencies that your business has been approved to legally do business with the government.
Look for websites that display contracts:
- GSA website - An online shopping portal the government provides. It will give you an idea of the sheer volume of products and services they are looking for.
- SUB-Net - especially if you are already registered to do business with the government.
- SAM. GOV–a website where federal agencies have to list contracts valued over $25k.
Advantages And Disadvantages of B2G
There are over 12 million eCommerce sites across the globe. In such a competitive market, you will need to be sure the business model you choose is the best for your venture.
B2G eCommerce brings a variety of pros and cons to the table, which you need to consider before deciding whether to pursue this particular avenue.
- Large projects, which secure a good amount of financial security
- Jobs entailed are far more stable compared to the private sector
- A lot more time is taken for the approval and start of a work project because of excessive regulations.
- A decrease in overall efficiency during contracting.
- Extra regulations can mean extra unplanned costs.
Examples of B2G Companies
Although it is not easy to find out all the different businesses with B2G connections, there are a few listed here for you to check out.
Attune is a reliable internet solution service provider, known to digitize physical spaces with the use of up-to-date hardware and software. Their main product is the IoT Technology Stack.
Mark43, another company that focuses on technological solutions, and known for their success with the optimization of the police cloud data system. This, in turn, allowed the police to process their data a lot faster.
SkyCatch, another B2G company that focuses on aerial intelligence; specifically, data imaging. The government agencies tend to use their onsite connectivity, AI and overall strong analysis tools in order to design better plans for their project overall.
How Do Companies Obtain Government Contracts?
To get a contract from a government, you need to follow their stringent application process.
1. Research the target agency and their likely proposal format
You will want to take on in-depth research on how the target agency you would like to work for prefers their product/service. The fee you send through plays a huge role; as does your company’s overall history, experience and performance.
Expert tip: when applying for a contract, you need to be easy to contact, as they reach out for extra information where need be.
Agencies also request different format proposals, such as bidding, and after the bid, giving them an oral presentation. If they request you to give an oral presentation, you can take that as an encouraging sign they are interested in what you offer.
Understand the submission guidelines
There are a wide variety of businesses that are allowed to bid for contracts for both municipal and state governments, as well as federal agencies of the United States. In order to boost your chances of winning a bid, first make sure you thoroughly understand:
- the guidelines for submitting the bids
- which category of business you fall under (such as by checking the North American Industry Classification System)
3. Get your Unique Entity Identity
In order to start your journey as B2G eCommerce, you will have to get a hold of your Unique Entity Identity (originally DUNS). It is the unique 12-character alphanumeric ID for the physical operation of your business.
No payments are required here, and in doing so, you will be entered in the Dynamic Small Business Search database. In order to qualify for registration, you will need to have:
- Legal business name
- Date of incorporation
- State of Incorporation
- (Non-U.S. entities) National Provider Identifier
- Physical Address
4. Understand how government procurement works and what they are looking for
Once you place your bids, you need to understand the role of the government procurement departments. Because it runs on tax payers’ money, people working within this department have to be fastidious and accountable for what they spend their funds on.
It makes sense naturally that they will focus on businesses that offer the best service alongside the best price. Which is why your business reputation and visibility play a critical role in the success of your bid.
B2G marketing shares many similarities to digital marketing–but the strategy that you implement can look different, depending primarily on your target audience. When you are trying to market to the government, optimize your ecommerce business to B2G ecommerce marketing.
They often refer to B2G ecommerce marketing as public sector marketing and aren’t so well known. But if you would like to view businesses who are actively working for the government, then you can look at Kratos and Delta. Both of whom work as defense contractors for the military.
Bids and tenders
The most common marketing form is contracting, using bids and the tenders. So when you are marketing with B2G, the government starts the entire process by requesting for a proposal through RFP. They give out the project details, and who they would like to work with. Then it is up to you to bid against your opponents, and make yourself stand out from the crowd in order to attain the position.
Prioritize content marketing
The best strategies you can follow are prioritizing content marketing. You want to show them you have deep knowledge of your industry–through your website. Focus on blog thought-leadership posts and videos that position you as an expert in your field.
Work on your online branding and visibility
You will also want to build yourself an online brand, be mobile friendly, and take full advantage of social media. The more visible and relevant you are in the everyday business world, the more relevant you will become to the government.
Expert tip: try and establish partnerships with already established contractors. Starting to land a contract from scratch makes landing a contract incredibly difficult. But you could easily land a contract via subcontracting with a business already working with the government. It might not be as profitable, but it will boost your experience.
B2G Advantage for Small Businesses
Did you know that the government spends around $18 billion and up daily towards B2G contracts.
As a small business, the majority of people might not even consider qualifying and register to become a B2G company. However, the government has mapped different opportunities for smaller businesses within their budget, which can be of great benefit for you in the long run.
Not only will smaller businesses be able to secure a more stable form of income, but it can boost their reputation for the business.
For small businesses, consider paying a visit to:
- The GSA website
- OSDBU – Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
- OSBP – Office of Small Business Programs
- GSA Mentor Protégé Program - There is also the General services Administration GSA Mentor Protégé Program, designed to teach small businesses the tactics and steps on winning contracts from the government.
They are dedicated to creating opportunities for small businesses to work with the government. So if you are a small business, you won’t have to worry about large companies kicking out all the competition.
They host training and networking opportunities for small business owners, in order to boost their chances of landing a contract with the government, and allow them to avoid common mistakes that diminish their opportunities.
B2G eCommerce is a viable option for anyone looking to grow their business and boost revenue. It can take a lot of blood, sweat and tears to win a contract, however the rewards more than justify the effort.
- Focus on establishing yourself within the B2B or B2C first. Individuals and businesses can try out your business and vouch for your quality and reliability.
- Make yourself as visible as possible online and take your time fulfilling the requirements to register working for the government.
- Make sure you understand a governmental tender and contract inside and out before making a bid. The effort you make preparing your bid, will pay off when your tender is considered for selection.
Next Steps: What now?
If you haven’t started an eCommerce business, and are looking to build your online platform, then you will need a website:
- Find the Best Web Hosting Service
- Build your online ecommerce platform
- Grow your social media accounts
- Register your business to qualify for government contracts
- Bid for contracts that best fit your niche