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Common Obstacles for B2B Merchants and How to Overcome Them

With such a rise in the B2B ecommerce market, merchants must be very careful not to fall behind their competition. You must stay organized, aware of the market trends, and aware of any obstacles which might keep you from success. Here are a few things to be aware of so that you don’t get held back by some of the most common challenges present in the B2B world.

Something that merchants also forget the importance of is SEO. It is one of the most critical aspects of your eCommerce store because it is what will lead potential B2B buyers to your site in the first place. There are a few ways you can set yourself up for success from the start. For example, using the right keywords in your landing pages, appropriate use of HTML tags,

including Meta content, using alt attribute for images, and more. Some B2B businesses keep their pages hidden in an attempt to hide themselves from snooping competition.  While this may sometimes be required, businesses who use this as a rule are making a very big mistake. If search engines cannot index your pages, they will never appear in their search results. This means decreased visibility for your business and your products. Organic search is one of the most common avenues for an interested client to take when on the hunt for a purchase, and you don’t want to count yourself out of the running. 

Another thing that often isn’t considered enough is the selection of an ecommerce platform which offers a robust set of B2B capabilities. Since B2B and B2C ecommerce do have their differences, you should be sure to choose an ecommerce vendor that understands and has experience with B2B businesses. Nothing is worse than working with a company that does not know enough about your business to help you succeed. It’s important to select a platform which knows the B2B market and the features to help you succeed in it.

Another thing to avoid is the tendency for some ecommerce merchants to lose sight of the importance of omnichannel. If ecommerce is your main point of sale, it should of course be the focus. As if replicating the customer’s in-store experience, you want all aspects of your brand to be reflected through each channel. This will undoubtedly result in business-to-business repeat buyers. In addition, if you do also have a brick and mortar location, it’s important to educate sales reps and train them to advocate for your ecommerce site while in the store. Even if you are not a company with a brick and mortar location, the people on your sales team who market your business should also be well prepared to discuss your products and ecommerce presence thoroughly to potential buyers. 

In addition to the style of your website, your content should be through and clear. Content is king, and yours should go beyond the traditional text and basic image content. Your online catalog should provide detailed product information, dimensions, photographs from every angle, technical documentation, and anything else that may help them to feel comfortable with the product they are buying. With B2B transactions, products are often being bought in bulk, and no consumer wants to purchase hundreds or even thousands of an item for their business unless the feel sure they know what they will be receiving. Executive buyers need to know that the seller knows exactly what they’re talking about and can provide the resources to back up their knowledge, buying online may be a new venture for the company. If a B2B site can make the customer feel as if they’re seeing the product in person, they’ll likely have a successful sale.

The design and functionality of your website is another important factor in giving your customers a quality experience.. Keep your website fresh and inviting by going beyond the traditional text and basic image content. You can incorporate other content types such as videos, blogs, and social media. In addition to the various content types, there should be a robust set of features available to help your buyers easily make orders and browse through your products. Lucking, certain ecommerce platforms such as Magento make it easy for B2B merchants to implement the unique features needed. Magento has many B2B features already built into the platform, but to add some extra functionality to your site, there are countless extensions available to easily integrate into your platform to improve user experience. 

Whether you are just starting out, or are a veteran of the B2B space, it’s always a good idea to take note of the obstacles which keep you from thriving further. As time goes on, things may be brushed aside to create time and space for other issues and innovations, but it is important to circle back to the basics and give attention to those original challenges. An important thing to remember no matter how long you’ve been in business is to never lose sight of your competitors. The B2B market is thriving and growing at an exponential rate. There will always be someone a few steps ahead of you whose ideas and features are pulling in more clients than you are. It’s important to pay close attention to these competitors and learn from them. What it is about their company or ecommerce site which seems to be satisfying consumers? By taking note of this information, you can hopefully improve your own business and rise above these competitors. 

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