Posted On: Feb 11, 2022 By Tim
One of the most important elements to get people buying from your B2B eCommerce site is to make the whole buying experience as simple as possible.
But what does that mean?
That’s an understandable question, there are a lot of moving parts that affect a B2B eCommerce website. What we mean by this is to take away as many reservations or obstacles that someone would have to buy from you.
If you are not sure where to start, here are some tips and ideas on how to simplify your B2B eCommerce buying experience.
When potential customers come to your website and are looking at one or more of your products, they want clear and relevant information that tells them what they need to know. Some of this will be universal such as;
Up to date inventory numbers.
Full range of product pricing.
Dimensions and measurements.
Compatibility with other products.
Some of the information, on the other hand, will be specific to each individual customer. For this, personalised product info that’s tailored to your target audience, or even to different factions of your target audience, can go a long way. However, this can mean a lot of work.
A different alternative could be noting down the most common questions from your customers and adding an FAQ to products. This way, it can be easily updated when new common questions come along.
You have all the product info on the page, you have answered all the questions customers have about the product, however, now there is a new consideration.
What do other people think?
B2B buyers want to know what their peer groups have to say. 91% of people read online reviews, with 84% of service businesses and tradespersons said reviews are ‘important’ or ‘very important’ in their decision. This just goes to show how much a review can do to push sales. After a sale, it’s worth following up with your customers to ask them to leave online reviews
If you have few or no reviews, another solution is to have videos showing your products to highlight the benefits, augmented reality or in-person demos can also provide you with the ability to understand your customer's needs.
A simple checkout process normally covers making it as simple as possible, so as not to waste your customer’s time. An example would be allowing the delivery and billing address to be the same, and not having the customer fill out the details twice. This all is important and should be done to make a better checkout process, it is, however, not the only thing for a B2B eCommerce site.
With B2C customers, they expect to simply pay for an item at checkout and send it to a single location. B2B customers on the other hand, will require more options, a larger aray of payment options, multi-destination delivery options. Ensure your website's checkout caters to the different B2B customers.
A site search is a key component for a B2B website. Some people may not be authorised to buy directly. They may, however, be looking ahead for new products or information, for which they will report with recommendations.
The site search should be a focal point for this, as this is how customers will expect to find what they are looking for. If your search results are returning irrelevant results, they are likely to look elsewhere. Make sure that results are returning relevant results, if they’re not, it will depend on the system your website is built, to what you can do.
With companies needing stock of products to be able to use or sell, an important, time-saving aspect that a B2B eCommerce store can provide, is the ability to re-order a set of items.
Once you are a supplier for a company, they will buy the same stock from you consistently. Providing a simple way via your website to either, from their account, re-order with minimal steps or hassle. Another option could also be to essentially subscribe to receive a fresh stock of products after a set amount of time (e.g. a month), where, an order is placed and the company billed automatically.
Pricing is always a big part of a B2B enterprise. To incentivise customers to buy more, having tiered pricing, where the more ordered, the greater the discount. Having an eCommerce platform that allows you to do this, helps give your customers greater understanding and transparency about your pricing and also encourages them to order via your website.
As well as tiered pricing, many B2B companies like to offer loyal and repeat customers their own special custom pricing. Making custom pricing available to your customers through your website can then help improve their experience with you, providing more options on how they conduct business with you. A system that lets you offer tiered and customer specific pricing is the Magento 2, which comes with a range of additional B2B features too.
Finally, the last thing you want to do is track your key performance indicators (KPI’s). These, however, are not simply number of orders, net and growth profit, stock levels etc. (though these are important).
Your KPI’s should also include how the business is performing internally, other elements that are useful to track are:
Complete orders fulfilled
Partial orders fulfilled
Replacement products provided
Order and shipping speed
Number of returns
Tracking these KPI’s will tell you how your company is performing. Understanding how many complete and partial orders have been fulfilled can help you see where there might be issues with supply or shipping.
Replacement products can help you identify product shortages and if these shortages are consistent, then more concentration needs to be put on acquiring more, whether that be internally or from another supplier.
The order completion and shipping speed let you know how your warehouse and packing staff are coping. Are customers receiving their orders quick enough and where improvements could be made to the order fulfilment procedure.
The number of returns can help identify earlier products that may not be fit for customers, or other issues such as problems with shipping.
These are simply a few examples that can help continually improve your offerings and make your B2B eCommerce store and business better as a whole, making the whole orders process better and simpler for your customers.