In the mega-lucrative but increasingly specialized world of B2B eCommerce, what are the best strategies for hitting the top ranks? What are the top ranking B2B sites doing that their competitors are neglecting?
In this article, we take a look at eight dominant B2B eCommerce sites and examine the top strategies they have nailed perfectly, driving awesome results.
8 Great B2B eCommerce Sites
Launched in 1999, Chinese-owned Alibaba is hands-down the world's largest global eCommerce site. Showcasing products from SMEs ranging from finished products to raw materials in over 40 industry categories, Alibaba serves over 18 million buyers and sellers from over 240 countries and regions. The full range of B2B strategies and tactics are in full play at Alibaba, and its success is beyond phenomenal.
The B2B experience that Amazon Business delivers is a tightly refined, 5-star enterprise packed with every possible feature to meet both buyers' and sellers' business needs.
Owned by Staples, Quill was intentionally designed for B2B eCommerce. Trailing a close 2nd behind Amazon, Staples has also perfected the business customer's shopping experience on Quill, through comprehensive categorization, guided navigations, and filterable search results.
Like a story within a story, Zendesk offers an innovative B2B solution simplifying the complexities of incorporating customer service within a B2B website. Zendesk's ingenious central framework and integrations allow a B2B company's customer service agent to easily respond to customer reviews across a broad spectrum of online review sites and communities.
Building long-term partnerships through successful business relationships, OverDrive's B2B site serves a global network of publishers, libraries, schools, and retailers with one of the largest online catalogs of digital content in the world.
Offering over 350,000 healthcare products on Medline's top-ranking B2B eCommerce site, interactive features help guide the business customer's experience, efficiently honing in on exactly the information and/or product(s) needed.
As one of the first major players on the B2B eCommerce field, Grainger has a major advantage over most of its competitors with its rich, tightly designed customer interface. Every component is intuitively tied together, from mega-menu style type-ahead results while searching, to search boxes embedded within navigation menus.
8. Iron Planet
This B2B site provides online auction solutions for international buyers and sellers of used heavy equipment. The entire B2B customer interface revolves around meeting business customers' needs. Also, Iron Planet offers an "Iron Clad Assurance" of satisfaction, backed by a team of certified inspectors who conduct a thorough review of every piece of equipment.
10 Strategic Tune-Up Questions for B2B eCommerce Sites
The top ranking B2B eCommerce sites know that profits rise or fall according to how well they meet their customers' needs. Check if your B2B eCommerce site needs a tune-up by considering the 10 following strategic questions:
- Have you created high-priority customer personas and tracked their potential transactions all the way through your site? What needs improvement?
- Are you performing random product searches regularly throughout your site's navigation and search boxes? Any missing products or details?
- Is your product catalog filterable by multiple attributes?
- Are product images high quality and zoomable? Are there multiple product views?
- Are you prominently cross-selling products according to relevant relationships?
- Do all landing pages and product ordering pages display shipping and delivery details? Is there also a shipping/delivery page? Can deliveries be tracked?
- Is your data system tracking new business customers' orders for trending inventory and potential increases in product reorders?
- Are product reorders one-clickable and/or able to be scheduled automatically?
- Does your site offer B2B configuration to handle various customers' roles, order authorizing policies, spending limits, etc?
- Does your site offer integration with customers' financial book-keeping data systems?
Just as retail customers are increasingly shopping online, business buyers are also turning more readily to B2B eCommerce websites for making purchases. Making your customers' job easier by streamlining the purchasing process to meet their needs more efficiently will quickly pay off. We are all motivated by our emotions--positive purchasing experiences are key to achieving the top ranks of B2B eCommerce websites.