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Posted by Kate Khom - 10 December, 2018

5 eCommerce B2B Strategies To Beat Your Competitors

As a B2B vendor, you probably understand the importance of having an eCommerce website for your B2B Marketing Strategy. However, simply making your products available online is no longer enough to deliver a customer experience that will attract and retain more buyers.

In today's competitive B2B market landscape, you need to understand the gap in the marketplace so you can seize the opportunities that will make your eCommerce site stand out.

What do your customers want in their purchasing experience that your competitors aren't delivering? How can you improve the customer experience so you can lead the pack and win more sales?

5 Ways To Make Your B2B eCommerce Website Stand Out

A recent research that evaluated 318 B2B eCommerce sites has identified five key improvements you can implement to stay ahead:

1. Mobile Responsive Website

According to Google, over 90% of B2B buyers who have a superior mobile experience are likely to purchase again from the same vendor while only 50% of those reporting a poor mobile experience will buy again. However, only 53.67% of B2B eCommerce sites surveyed are mobile responsive.

As more B2B buyers are using their mobile devices to conduct business, it's critical that your website offers a mobile-optimized experience. Not only will it reduce bounce rate and increase conversions but it'll also improve the SEO ranking of your site as Google's algorithm uses mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.

ECommerce B2B StrategiesSource

Here are a few tips to optimize your website for mobile devices:

  • Improve page load time.
  • Place important information and calls-to-action close to the top of the page to minimize scrolling.
  • Ensure legibility of all the text and images on mobile devices.
  • Format your content to be "small screen friendly" and make sure links, buttons, and fields are "thumb friendly."
  • Streamline your checkout flow to minimize the amount of information required to complete a transaction.
  • Leverage mobile-specific features such as tap-to-call, location services, geo-fencing, and autofill.

2. Product Videos

Videos are becoming increasingly popular among shoppers. They help increase conversions and sales, build trust with your customers, improve search engine ranking, engage website visitors, and attract mobile users.

Video Marketing strategySource

In fact, 51% of marketing professionals worldwide consider video a content format that delivers the highest ROI. However, only 18% of B2B eCommerce websites surveyed are using videos to sell their products. 

Here's how you can leverage the power of video for your B2B marketing:

  • Focus your resources on creating videos with relevant and engaging content as most viewers value content quality over production quality.
  • Use demo videos to showcase your products in action.
  • Leverage the power of storytelling to build relationships and engage your audience.
  • Create "cornerstone" videos that you can atomize, expand, or combine for use in various channels so you can maximize your investment.
  • Ask your customers to record short testimonial videos and post them on your website and social media.
  • Use videos throughout the entire buyer's journey to accelerate the sales cycle. Tailor the video content to address your prospects' specific questions and concerns at various stages of their customer lifecycle.
  • Create instructional videos to show existing customers how to best utilize your products to improve customer retention.

3. Product Ratings and Reviews

Did you know that displaying product reviews have been found to increase conversion rates by as much as 270%?

Meanwhile, 85% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations and 73% of consumers trust a business more after reading positive reviews. In addition, showing five reviews can increase conversion rate by as much as 400%.

However, only 40% of all eCommerce websites surveyed feature customer ratings and reviews on their product pages.

Social proof for Online SalesSource

Displaying social proof can help you build trust and increase conversions. In addition, the user-generated content often includes relevant long-tail keywords that will help improve your SEO ranking. 

Here are some tips to make product ratings and reviews work harder for you:

  • Allow visitors to sort reviews (e.g., by relevance, date, category, etc.)
  • Encourage customers to write detailed reviews by including prompting questions in your review form (e.g., pros and cons, would you recommend this product, etc.)
  • Display negative reviews, which can help increase trust and lend credibility to positive reviews.
  • Set up post-purchase email reminders to ask your customers for reviews.
  • Incentivize customers to leave a review.
  • Experiment with the placement of customer reviews on your product pages.

4. Mobile App

Make it even easier for your customers to order with their mobile devices by offering a mobile app so you can reduce friction and increase conversion rates by streamlining the purchasing experience.

This is a great opportunity for vendors who want to stand out as a leader in the B2B eCommerce space, as only 13% of the businesses surveyed offer mobile apps to their customers.

Here are a few ways to optimize your B2B mobile app:

  • Design a fast and streamlined user experience.
  • Leverage push notifications, but don't overdo it!
  • Include a CRM component in your app to enhance customer communications and deliver a personalized experience.
  • Use your app as a marketing tool -- some buyers test out an app before engaging with a business. Make sure you're delivering a stellar experience from the get-go.
  • Allow users to customize their experience, e.g., by creating shortcuts for frequently-used sections or a personalized dashboard.

5. Enhanced eCommerce Functions

B2B customers want the ability to "self-service" -- e.g., manage their account, research product information, and place an order whenever and wherever they want. In fact, two-thirds of respondents in a customer service survey indicated that they preferred web-based self-service over talking on the phone with a sales rep.

B2B buyers value website features that allow them to do their jobs faster and place their orders with less friction. Here are some of the top features you should include:

  • Save cart: out of the 318 websites surveyed, only 40% allows customers to save items in their carts. However, this is a key feature that will allow customers to pick up where they left off even if they switch devices so you can reduce cart abandonment rate and increase conversions.
  • Bulk search: just 60% of the websites surveyed has a bulk search function that allows customers to add multiple products to their carts all at once instead of having to search for the items individually. This helps streamline the purchasing process, make it easier for customers to buy more from you, and increase the average order value (AOV.)
  • Re-order list: B2B customers often need to reorder the same items frequently. Providing your customers with a list of past purchases can help facilitate the reorder process and increase the customer lifetime value (CLV.)
  • Customer support: customers want to have their questions answered right away. Adding live chat, messenger, and a knowledge base to your eCommerce website will allow you to assist customers at critical moments as they're making their purchasing decisions.
  • Payment options: many B2B customers prefer to make payment using methods other than credit or debit card. Some of these options include ACH/e-check, e-procurement (punchout,) purchase order, and extended credit.

Conclusion

B2B customer expectations are fast-evolving and delivering an outstanding eCommerce experience is the key to acquiring and retaining more customers. 

Wonder how your eCommerce platform is measuring up? Download the latest Apruval Rating report on the best B2B eCommerce websites to find out.

Summary


What are the top strategies in B2B eCommerce?

  1. Mobile Responsive Website
  2. Product Videos
  3. Product Ratings and Reviews
  4. Mobile App
  5. Enhanced eCommerce Functions

Best B2B eCommerce sites and Strategies