The online experience for your B2B customer is something that will likely be a main factor in their determining whether or not to select you as the business they buy from. For this reason, it’s essential that you give your ecommerce site the attention it needs in order to succeed in gaining loyal and satisfied clients for your B2B business. Whether you are coming from a B2C background or are new to the ecommerce world in general, there are some key factors to be aware of to appeal to the B2B market. There are in fact some differences between B2B and B2C as well as certain ecommerce features needed for B2B business to be successful.
Certain platforms, such as Magento, come full of Business to Business features. However, you may want to build out an even more robust site by adding additional modules and extensions. Such modules can be found in places like Magento Marketplace. Business to business orders differ from a conventional business to consumer order is specific ways. These certain needs by B2B buyers must be reflected in the functionalities of your site if you want to succeed in the B2B market. Some B2B specific features include a quick order possibility, requisition lists, quotation tools, customer structure and user roles, user ID capabilities, customer service options, the ability to select from different payment methods, and different order processes.
In the past, ecommerce features often did not take into account the user experience of a B2B client. Because sales are often made in bulk, many products on an ecommerce site would be captioned with “Call for Pricing” rather than have the ability to calculate a quote based on the quality and other information entered by the buyer. Those days are long over, and B2B customers have grown accustomed to being able to instantly access information just as a B2C client would. The thought of not being offered the same user experience as a B2C consumer is off putting for your B2B clients.
Another important factor in your customer’s online experience is the responsiveness of your customer service team. If your website is equipped with the option to chat with a representative from your company, a client will likely expect a quick response. The same goes for connecting with representatives via phone or email ticket. The client is going to need your business to be engaged in order for you to maintain business efficiency.
In addition to being able to quickly access information through a live representative, the B2B client is going to value the accessibility of customer reviews on your site. There is no better prediction of the quality of a brand than the way other businesses have experienced it. Even a negative comment can be useful to the merchant if the merchant company responds in a concerned and helpful way. And of course, positive reviews will be helpful in convincing the consumer that you have a quality product. Customer reviews simply help the client to feel more comfortable with the product in general
Another feature to help the client feel more aware of the attributes and quality of the product is to show it in a video. Videos help to get an honest view of what the product is without editing or special effects which can alter a photo.
There are so many different features which add to a B2B buyers experience, and when getting started with B2B, you want to make sure that you have everything you need to thrive and succeed in this new space. Doing the proper research helps you to understand what those things are and how to implement them in the easiest and most cost efficient way. Studies show that there are four “must have” content groups for B2B sites that are necessary for retailers to succeed. These four features include pricing information, technical information, blog posts, and shipping information. Followed by client testimonials and product reviews, this list is extremely useful when figuring out what’s most important to include within your B2B site.
Another useful tip to remember is to conduct a regular product search audit on your site. Just log in as if you were an interested customer, and search for one of your products. Can you easily find it in your search results? Does the link for the product bring you to the correct page? Are the steps needed to follow through with the purchase clear and easily navigable? All of this should be done to make sure there are no broken links or errors present within your site, but it can also help you to come up with new innovations to help move a customer along to check out. By acting as if you are on the other end of this situation, you can better put yourself in the shoes of your customer and understand what it is the client wants.
In a study done by UPS, the most appreciated detail provided to potential buyers by B2B merchants was the ability to know shipping costs before ordering which came in at 64% of voters. This was followed by the ability to see real-time product availability, ability to view purchase history, and the ability to see the delivery date when ordering- all at 63%. The ability to see product details and to make repeat orders also made the list- two very important aspects to the B2B buyers’ experience. Make sure that you have all of the extra content buyers look for before making a purchase clearly laid out on your site. Some more of these types of details include clear shipping and delivery policies, client testimonials, reliability metrics, the option for tracking, and other details about your products and services. The more information you can provide your potential clients with, the more likely they are to pursue and stick with your brand for their purchases.