B2B eCommerce may seem confusing to some, but in short, it’s essentially selling products or services between businesses through the internet on an online sales portal. It’s used to enhance efficiencies for companies, rather than having to process orders manually via phone or email. That’s right, B2B can go all-in digital!
For many years, we’ve all depended on B2C to show us the best practices. But, B2B eCommerce is slightly different, as there are varying challenges and goals. Many B2B brands find it difficult to provide an easy-to-use customer experience, while others believe it’s hard to manage complex organizational systems, like separate user roles and business models, data domains, and touchpoints. A successful B2B eCommerce campaign gives marketers a guide to follow to meet their customer’s expectations following best practices and thorough evaluations.
Attract customers to your eCommerce site
Keywords for products and services and industry-specific queries should help prospective leads easily navigate the product landing pages of your company’s website. Regardless of what lens you’re looking through – B2C or B2B – well-optimized SEO and PPC campaigns are essential in gaining new customers for any eCommerce site.
It’s best practice to conduct a routine product search audit on your website. Do this by putting yourself in the customer’s shoes and search for a product you would want to purchase. Is your business visible in search engine results?
If so, which pages do you land upon when clicking on the results? Are you receiving detailed product and pricing information easily or is multiple clicks away? These are all questions to test and correct if necessary to appeal to customers.
Convert your leads
In the B2B realm, email is one of the strongest conversion techniques for buyers. However, just like any email, the content has to be specific to the reader and be provided at the correct intervals. To get people invested in your email newsletter, you should ask them to opt in.
For example, many companies apply this technique for the first time website visitors when they’re asked to sign up for the newsletter by simply entering their email address and name. This makes it easier and more likely for visitors to sign up, instead of a jarring process.
Yes, it’s easier said than done. But, by establishing and asking yourself the following points and questions, you’ll easily be able to help assist leads into actual conversions.
- Map out your priority customer personas and track which product pages they’ll most likely visit. Ask yourself whether you should create email newsletter groupings that correspond to each of your main customer persona profiles.
- Set up your email marketing database and CRM to take advantage of progressive form fills. Discover when you would consider a lead as moving from generally interested in your products (warm) to ready to purchase (hot). Are you capable of tracking this information?
- Set up your email marketing data analytics so you can review the open and click-through rates of your email efforts.
- Make sure you have links for more information throughout your emails. This is the best way to engage readers who show signs of greater intent.
Evaluate the sales services
An eCommerce company’s shipping and delivery information aren’t just important in assisting conversions, it’s also essential in building up customer loyalty to your brand. Just like any online retailer, you should follow the best practices when it comes to your shipping services.
There are multiple APIs and shipping services that enable businesses to track orders throughout the purchasing, shipping, and delivery process. By partnering with APIs, customers can also check on the progress of their orders, offering an added value without generating more work for your customer service team.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are shipping and delivery details prominently explained on your home and product pages?
- Are there testimonials on your website to share customer experiences relevant to shipping and delivery reliability?
- Do you have a specific page with detailed information on shipping and delivery expectations?
- Are customers able to track their orders throughout the delivery process?
Build-up your loyalty
When it comes to business buyers, there’s always an opportunity to build customer loyalty and become one of their regular suppliers by offering great services.
You can analyze online conversions to discover if you’re able to offer a subscription-like retail service. If businesses are buying products that need to be refilled regularly, it may be best to offer a one-click ordering system to simplify the process.
As an alternative, it may be possible to view customer orders, predict when they will have to replenish, and set up an email reminder with a discount code prior to their reordering timeline. This demonstrates that availability at the point of purchase is top of mind for your customers.
Creating an online retail component to your B2B structure that’s focused on your business’ customers and has clear advantages. Business customers have content and services needs just as customers on the B2C side do, and their needs must be built into the very foundations of your eCommerce venture. Use the following best practices and allow yourself to enter the customer mindset, ensuring that you’re building a successful B2B online retail business.