It’s no secret that the B2B eCommerce space presents a tremendous amount of opportunity. With projections to grow to $1.18 trillion by 2021 in the U.S. alone, the space is poised for growth that is more than double the size of B2C eCommerce.
If you want to capitalize on this market though, you have to know how to appeal to its new group of buyers with their own set of shopping preferences. Whether you’re new to B2B eCommerce or not, takes note on these tips to ensure the growth and success of your B2B online store.
Focus on Customer Experience
As you read over these tips, you’ll realize that they all have one thing in common – they focus on customer experience. Just like B2C, B2B sellers must build their eCommerce strategy around the wants and needs of their buyers. You must have an intuitive customer experience that makes it easier and more convenient to shop online than ever before.
Do just that and you’ll have a competitive advantage that builds trust with your buyers so they shop with you again and again.
B2B eCommerce Tips You Must Know
Keeping that in mind, let’s dive into our top tips for B2B eCommerce selling. If you still aren’t sure if you should be selling online, then check out all the advantages of B2B eCommerce.
1. Learn from B2C Experience
73% of Millennials are involved in B2B purchasing decisions.
It’s important for B2B sellers to know their audience and its preferences. Millennial buyers are used to the online B2C
experience. They’re looking for that same experience whether they’re shopping for personal or work related items.
Take action: B2B merchants can learn a lot from B2C online strategies. Pay particular attention to the checkout process, product pages, website design, delivery options, site navigation, return process and site search. It’s about making the online buy process as smooth and easy as possible.
2. Improve Product Information
98% of buyers are doing at least some online research on work-related purchases that they make offline.
Most B2B customers to begin their research using either consumer marketplaces, such as Amazon or eBay (33%), or search engines (26%).
B2B sellers are no longer relying on print catalogs to share their product information. Your online store is your new catalog. And with an online store, product information must be available and easy to find. B2B customers are starting their research online and you want your products to show up in results.
Take action: Product information needs to be accurate, detailed, and consistent across your product listings. Customers must be able to find and compare different products.
3. Make it Personal
A recent survey found that 80% of buyers don’t believe that the salespeople they deal with understand their business.
B2B buyers don’t want to be asked vague questions by uninformed sales rep about their business. They will dismiss the interaction and move on to a company that understand their business, its challenges, and the solutions needed to fix them. B2B buyers expect the same personalized treatment they get when shopping on B2C.
Take action: There are a few different areas where B2B sellers can improve. First, consider developing a content strategy that includes blog posts. Cover important topics that talk about your customers’ challenges and how they can overcome them. B2B buyers like being able to research answer to their own questions. In the process, they’ll get to know your brand and products.
Second, B2B sellers need to organize their customer data and leverage a customer’s search history and past purchases. This allows you to make relevant product recommendations and identify cross-and-up sell opportunities. Experiences like there can encourage more purchases when buyers are ready to buy.
4. Upgrade eCommerce Platform
57% of B2B executives said their top technology need for investment was an eCommerce platform, making it the highest reported need.
Selling online is no longer an afterthought for B2B. Many are realizing that their current eCommerce technology is holding them back from meeting modern customer needs. You can’t compete by continuing to use a 3rd-party plug-in to your ERP or a legacy eCommerce platform.
Take action: It’s time to upgrade your eCommerce platform to software that can handle your specific customer requirements like price levels and term accounts. Most importantly, the software should be manageable and scale to handle the future volumes of your business. Read more about how to choose the best B2B eCommerce platform for your business.
5. Integrate eCommerce with Back-end Systems
57% of B2B executives stated that eCommerce integration was another top technology need.
As you implement a new eCommerce platform, B2B sellers must also plan to integrate it with their back-end technology like an ERP for managing operations such as inventory and order fulfillment. Integration allows for automation of your business processes so as you grow, you can efficinently handle your data volumes.
Take action: Consider and research multichannel integration platforms from providers like nChannel. Integration providers help you with many multichannel processes such as online listing of large product catalogs, drop shipping, inventory synchronization, complex order fulfillment and much more. Integration is key to scaling your business and providing the best customer experience possible.
Improve your B2B eCommerce Strategy
Investment in the right processes and technology will help B2B sellers turn their eCommerce strategy from an afterthought into an integral part of their business, so they can capitalize on the tremendous opportunity in front of them.
Keep learning about B2B eCommerce and what you can do to improve your online selling strategy:
- B2B eCommerce Trends: What Trends B2B Sellers Need to Know About
- How to Choose the Best B2B eCommerce Platform for Your Business
- How to Navigate B2B eCommerce: Go-to-Guide for Manufacturers and Distributors Selling Online