When you say e-commerce, you might initially think of the more prevalent B2C – or business-to-consumer – model wherein an Internet user shops for something at some online retail store. But that’s only one out of the six primary types of e-commerce. If you want to earn a more considerable income out of e-commerce, you’ll want to go for the B2B – or business-to-business – model instead wherein you establish a business and sell your goods to other companies who aren’t directly competing with you. Of course, since you’ll be embarking in e-commerce, you’ll need a website to promote your B2B business to potential customer businesses. So how should you build your B2B e-commerce site to make it successful in the long-term?
Go for a contemporary website design
You can sell any product you like under the B2B e-commerce model – though for illustrative purposes, assume that you want to sell sunglasses. You might have heard of the B2B success story of designer sunglasses manufacturer Linda Farrow which is why you want to try the said e-commerce model yourself.
Of course, Linda Farrow can only take in so many clients that buy designer sunglasses in bulk. You’ll thus want to turn those that you haven’t done business with yet into your customers as you also have a variety of customizable sunglasses to choose from that you can then sell to individual buyers.
Since you’ll be selling customizable sunglasses to large retail chains as well as small boutiques, you’ll want your B2B e-commerce site to feature a modern design. While there are several ways to achieve it, here are some common elements that every website with a contemporary design possesses that you can apply for your e-commerce site. In these examples we’ll use the sunglasses idea for reference:
1. Images that leave an impression
You’ll want to put up high-quality photos of your customizable sunglasses worn by models while partying at some club or music festival. It’s catchier than taking pictures against a sterile white background and uploading them to your website.
2. Visual effects effectively present your products better
If you have several customizable sunglasses to sell, a product grid might look flat to some of your potential business customers who might check out your e-commerce site’s product selection. Instead, you can use a revolving carousel to showcase your various customizable sunglasses in a more visually appealing manner.
3. Fonts that look good throughout your e-commerce site
All your potential business customers who might buy customizable sunglasses in bulk are most likely hip and trendy. You thus wouldn’t want your e-commerce site to carry fonts that belong more to a law firm than your customizable sunglasses distribution business. So when choosing fonts for your e-commerce site, make sure they match the nature of your business. Go for sophisticated typography if you cater to other companies that concern themselves with fashion. But if you’ll be selling products to more prominent corporations, opt for corporate-looking fonts instead.
4. Accurate product search capability
Some of the businesses who want to buy customizable sunglasses in bulk from you might prefer carrying only a specific make or brand in their respective stores. Rather than letting them sift through hundreds of pairs of shades, your e-commerce site should include a search function where they can look for whatever make or brand of sunglasses or other products you sell that they want.
5. Shopping cart
Any e-commerce site wouldn’t be complete without a requisite shopping cart where customers can place whatever goods they’ve selected for possible checkout. Yours should have one as well.
6. Buttons inciting a call-to-action
Your e-commerce site should encourage potential business customers to buy your customizable sunglasses You can accomplish that by putting a few call-to-action buttons on your website that contain words like “Buy Now!” or some other statement inciting visitors to purchase from you. Make sure your digital commerce site’s call to action buttons are in place where visitors can easily see them. Just don’t litter your website with too many buttons.
7. Contact information
Any of the businesses who want to buy customizable sunglasses from you might want to ask some questions about a specific make or brand over the phone or through e-mail. Your e-commerce site should thus have your business’s phone number and e-mail address published somewhere at the footer or on the sidebar.
Make your website easy to navigate.
Letting potential business customers go through several layers of user navigation before arriving at the page they want to buy from can drive them away from your e-commerce site. So when building your e-commerce site, make sure:
- Navigating from one page to another takes only less than a handful of clicks.
- Keep navigation points easy to find and easily readable to help visitors know where to look.
- Allow for navigation points to be easily pressable when viewed on a smaller screen.
Make your e-commerce site mobile-friendly.
Any of your potential B2B customers might come across your e-commerce site while they’re on a business trip somewhere. You’ll thus want its layout and images to be flexible across different kinds of mobile devices, thus making for good user experience.
Don’t forget to:
- Make sure any buttons and CTA’s are easy to click on.
- The font is a good size and easy to read.
- Images are optimized to reduce lag time.
- Navigation points are easy to find.
- Your mobile site is easy to navigate using thumbs.
According to a 2016 CMS Connected article, revenues generated by online B2B businesses might reach up to 6.7 trillion US dollars come 2020. That’s why if you want to make tons of money out of e-commerce, B2B is the way to go. But your B2B business wouldn’t be complete without a website since knocking on businesses’ doors is so yesterday. The above-listed tips on how to build your B2B e-commerce site should make it successful in the long-term. You’ll then want to look into some business promotional tips that you can use to effectively spread the word about your B2B venture to other businesses who might want to source products wholesale from you.
How can you build a lasting B2B eCommerce site?
- Utilize Product Images
- Have Visual Effects
- Choose Consistency with Font Types
- Offer a Search Feature
- Allow a Shopping Cart
- Have Call to Action (CTA) Buttons
- Include Contact Info