Only 36% of B2B executives think that sales reps understand their business problems and offer clear solutions.
With a B2B eCommerce platform, though, you can prove this statistic wrong. But how exactly does a company go about developing a B2B strategy? And what makes a B2B strategy stand out?
If you’re curious about making your B2B eCommerce solutions set your business apart, you’ll be interested in our following guide. Below we explain the top 5 things you should know about B2B eCommerce.
1. Treat B2B like B2C
Although you’re selling another business, this doesn’t mean that they don’t appreciate all of the specific information and treatment that you would give a B2C customer. With massive shifts in the economy leaning toward a more digital way of shopping and communicating, it’s a great idea to give your B2B buyers an experience they would get from visiting a store.
This means displaying high-quality product videos and images of your products and services. Make sure your onsite search is specific and helpful. Allow for flexible shipping options and order updates like you would give B2B shoppers.
B2B shoppers are usually on a schedule, so personalization based on their past purchases would streamline the process. Don’t forget to have great customer service and phone support options as well as real-time updates on stock availability.
2. Upgrade Onsite Search Functionality
Speaking of being on a schedule, B2B buyers typically don’t have lots of time to browse around your website looking for what they need. They want to be able to find it quickly and easily. To make this process smoother, enhance your onsite search functionality.
Say you sell a catalog of thousands of car parts. If customers can’t enter what they’re looking for and find it within a few seconds, your website won’t be of much help to them.
In the B2C world, website search is now a requirement – and the same goes for B2B.
When you enhance your onsite search, it will also enhance the relationships that customers have with your service agents. Instead of contacting them because they’re having trouble finding products, they’ll contact them to help make a decision on what product to buy or learn more about the functionality of an item. The relationship will become collaborative rather than transactional.
Let’s revisit the car part example. You’d want to use key search elements like the part number, manufacture, full and partial title, and the item details. These are major categories that will be commonly used to find and identify products.
3. Optimize Your Website
Regardless of the product or service you’re selling, you need to optimize your website – the most important B2B eCommerce platform – to attract clients and keep them.
Optimizing your website involves several tasks. First, you need to make your website run smoothly. This means fast loading times, a site structure that makes sense, and code that is up to scratch.
You also need to focus on your design. Are pages easy to navigate? Do they also look nice?
Lastly, you’ll have to focus on your content. Make sure product descriptions are clear and accurate. Include photos that give the viewer a clear understanding of what they will be buying.
It’s also a good idea to include some sort of blog or information portal that gives your audience access to valuable information. These posts will build your credibility and community presence.
Optimizing your B2B eCommerce website will not only make the experience as smooth as possible for the visitor, but it will also make your website stand out to search engines. The better your website performs and the more positive interactions it has with viewers, the higher it will rank.
4. Use Social Media to Build Relationships
You are selling to other businesses, but there is still a human on the other side. Social media has seen a large surge in popularity because it serves as a way to connect business owners to people. Although it has caught on in B2C commerce, it’s not as big in B2B commerce yet.
But social media has its place in a B2B eCommerce strategy – if you know where to look. LinkedIn is one of the best options for B2B. In the last 12 months, over 96% of B2B marketers used LinkedIn to distribute content, and professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of almost 3 members per second.
Facebook is also a great option if your audience is tight-knit or more community-based. Meanwhile, platforms like Instagram have typically been more successful with B2C marketing rather than B2B marketing.
B2B brands should be looking at social media as a way to build relationships rather than just sell their products. Once these relationships are established, then the sales will come naturally.
5. Make Wholesale Easy for Traditional Customers
Some of your customers may be happy to switch to shopping on your website – for many people, it’s much more convenient. But if you’re an independent retail store or one that’s had longtime ties in the community, your client base may be more reluctant to use B2B commerce.
When this happens, it’s important to cater to these clients’ needs. They may want a digital version of the spreadsheets and faxed order forms that they’re used to receiving from you, instead of an upgraded and more advanced process.
You can slowly introduce your new methods to them and see how they react. Often, clients will be much more willing to learn when they can take it slow than when they are forced to accept a new way of doing business right away.
Grow Your Business with B2B eCommerce
Grow your business faster than ever before by using a B2B eCommerce strategy. With the right tools, you can beat the learning curve and start seeing the benefits.
Our personalized B2B eCommerce software allows your customers to buy from anywhere and anytime. Contact us to learn more.