Wholesalers, Distributors, Manufacturers, and Brands that provide an Ecommerce experience need to address the unique concerns of their shoppers. By improving this user experience, B2B online stores can see big improvements in their conversion rates and revenue. While there’s no shortage of optimizations that you can look to deploy, here are some important ones that come up often for B2B shops that aren’t as big a factor in B2C stores:
If your regular customers know what products they want to buy, consider providing a way for them to simply enter SKU numbers in order to add items to their shopping cart, or upload a spreadsheet of items that will automatically be added to their shopping cart.
New Account & Account Upgrade Requests
Whether you require all users to register in order to shop, offer discounts to specific shoppers, or make it easy for shoppers to apply a tax exemption to their account. It’s important to make it easy for shoppers to know that they can reach out and submit information to you easily, anytime.
B2B stores are more likely to need advanced shipping solutions; give the option of support for live rates from major freight carriers or the ability to allow shoppers to provide shipping information for their established account (FedEx, UPS, etc…). These kinds of features allow shoppers to consistently place orders through your site and help cut down on missed sales opportunities due to the lack of shipping solutions that meet their needs.
Not all products can be easily quoted online. Large, bulk orders often incur better price breaks and require a more manual process to produce a quote. There are times when it makes sense to give shoppers a way to request a custom quote or match a price.
Restrict Products & Pages
It’s possible that not all information on your site and not all items in your product catalog apply equally to every shopper. It’s usually best to limit each shoppers access to only the applicable pages in your store, avoiding confusion, and keeping their focus where it’s meant to be.
Enhanced Product Details
Extra resources can be a huge benefit to shoppers. The availability of additional useful materials in PDF, video, and other formats gives each shopper a more detailed look into the product they want to purchase.
Many retail sites have a wishlist feature, which saves an item to a list until you are ready to purchase it. In B2B, it can be valuable to have a long-term list of favorite products and another way to speed up the reorder process.
ERP or POS Connections
Having your website reflect your stock availability from your warehouse software can be very important for shoppers. This shows that if a product arrives in your warehouse, shoppers can make a purchase, and alternatively takes inventory out of stock if they sold through another sales channel.
In a B2B world, many buyers are accustomed to paying on net terms. Consider incorporating an open-API platform like Apruve to alleviate the paperwork, risks, and delays that offering such terms would normally cause for your business. Their credit network connects business buyers to their suppliers with third party banks to extend risk-free lines of credit.
Mobile commerce is making waves in the B2C and B2B marketplace. Although many B2B businesses prioritize mobile a bit further on their commerce checklist because their serious buyers are sitting at desks and using full-sized PCs to make purchases, the reality may be very different. Whether shoppers are searching from their phone in a conference room or while they are waiting for their lunch, mobile is more important than ever before. Keep in mind that many shoppers first research from a mobile device, even if they eventually purchase from a desktop, so looking at your mobile conversion rates may be misleading. If your site isn’t effective on a mobile device, shoppers may not get to the point of purchasing.
If you’re not sure of your needs or how to achieve your goals, don’t hesitate to reach out to a digital agency that specializes in B2B E-commerce development and marketing. Whether you simply need a consultation or hands-on assistance, paying attention to your conversion rates is crucial to your success. Keep in mind that while this list offers many specific examples of enhancements that you can deploy, you’ll want to make sure that you cover the bases that make sense for your niche, including general topics like loading speed optimization.
- Robert Rand, CTO Rand Marketing