With business to business online trading consistently on the rise, massively overtaking the worth of even B2C eCommerce, there has never been a better time to take advantage of B2B eCommerce solutions to allow your business to get ahead in the world of online retail. There are four main areas on which you need to ensure that your solution, and your business itself, focuses on in order to take advantage of the ever-growing market.
The Four Keys To B2B eCommerce Success
When approaching business to business eCommerce, whether as a start-up company or simply adapting a pre-existing B2B eCommerce platform, you should ensure that you keep these four key attributes in mind:
- Customer Experience – Customers, thanks to the constant advances in the B2C market, expect fast, intuitive, user-friendly websites which have been responsively designed to react to any device. Effective navigation tools, a single site search bar and a quick, easy checkout process are all necessities in order to maintain the interest and the goodwill of your site's user.
Buyers on behalf of businesses, however, expect much more, and judge a business even harsher on the state of their website's design and the features the site offers. Since B2B buyers often repeat orders, they want easier access to their order history, the availability of products and freight options. Instead of having to deal with a sales representative, as they would once have done, buyers now want to request a quote entirely online.
Until recently, business to business sites which did not take advantage of B2B eCommerce solutions only supplied limited product information, providing nothing more than the absolute basics of a product on the assumption that the buyer would know the part numbers of the product. Today, customers demand an ever-increasing amount of information; including detailed product descriptions, videos and images et cetera. It is rare that less content is required for B2B than it is for business to consumer sites.
The customer experience is often regarded as the lynchpin of the entire procedure. All other aspects of the transaction go into making the process as quick and easy as possible for the buyer.
- Personalisation – The amount of personalisation the customer expects is another result of B2C innovations, but B2B eCommerce solutions are taking this personalisation a step further, through the use of personas and an analysis of on-site behaviour. This determines what products and which promotions are presented to the buyer.
Once a buyer logs in to your website, persona-based personalisation needs to be implemented so that the offers and products they are shown are influenced by the buyer's purchase and search history, along with geographical location and seasonal, or market-based, offers.
B2B websites often use similar integrations as B2C sites to gather information about the visitor, thereby allowing them to offer products dependant on the buyer's internet or search history on other sites, not just the customer's journey across a business' own site.
- Content – Content is beginning to be regarded as the new marketing, a kind of marketing that the user takes an active interest in, a kind of marketing which a business does not do towards a prospective customer but, instead, with a prospective customer. As such it's important that a B2B eCommerce solution contains a way for your business to provide engaging and informative content, not only for your own online store, but for all of your sales channels.
Content can include product content, 'How To' or application content, company relevant content and product literature, and it should normalised as much as possible, so that your user feels a sense of legitimacy and unity about your business. However, for product content, customers can also compare and contrast specific products to see which one best suits their business' needs.
It is often useful to ensure that your content is available both online and offline, and that your content is distributed to channel partners, who might otherwise miss it.
- Integrations – B2B eCommerce requires easy, seamless integration into a wide range of systems which, often, include other products, pricing and customer records. Integrations can include:
Customer Relationship Management – These platforms include customer information, sales representative assignments and quoting systems.
Credit Card Payment Gateways
Enterprise Resource Platforms – This platform includes customer information, order management and history, inventory availability and pricing, et cetera.
Expertly Crafted B2B eCommerce Solutions
By keeping these four key points in your mind when deciding upon a business centric platform, you can ensure that you are choosing the right solutions for you. Remember that making the process as easy as possible for the user is the cornerstone of all B2C or B2B online retailing. If you consistently keep your buyers in mind you have a much better chance of growing your company into the successful eCommerce business it can be.
At Advansys, we offer B2B eCommerce Solutions with a particular focus on ensuring customer satisfaction through our integration of professionally designed features.
With award-winning website designs and solutions, we are here to help you fully explore your business' potential with regards to the world of online retail. For more information, call us on 0845 838 2700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us begin building your business' intuitive and personalised B2B site.