While the B2B customer experience is inspired by B2C, the buying decisions are based more on logic and practicality. Just like B2C, B2B buyers look for a provider they can trust and makes them feel valued. What's different to B2C is the need to accommodate the more complex B2B buying requirements.
Developing a successful B2B eCommerce strategy is no simple feat. While there are a few obvious aspects to most successful eCommerce operations such as providing valuable information, great user experience and timely customer service, some things may not work well in a certain industries or geographical market. Whatever you do, make sure you keep adapting based on customer and your own sales team feedback. After all, your staff and customers are the best ambassadors for your brand.
So, what can you do to create a successful strategy?
Get your team onboard
Make sure your staff understand your aim. Explain your goals, tell them what wasn’t working before, and how you expect the B2B mobile commerce to improve all aspects of your business. They will want to know how their role will change due to that strategy, how results will be measured and crucially, how their compensation will be affected. They may need more education in advance of strategy execution so offer them training opportunities and provide cheat sheets (FAQs) for future reference.
Make sure they know that the strategy for B2B eCommerce was developed to support your staff and help them increase their sales. Respect the relationship your sales reps built with their buyers and get them involved as needed in the eCommerce offering you are devising e.g. have their contact information easily available when customers are logged in and ensure they remain on top of recent buyer activities so that they can better serve and support them.
Make the strategy cohesive
When putting together your strategy for B2B eCommerce make sure not to focus on eCommerce alone. Your strategy should focus on the entire customer journey, whether they are interacting in the field with your reps and merchandisers, ordering on the phone from your call-center, or making a purchase on their mobile app.
An outstanding B2B eCommerce solution will mean meeting your customers high expectations and showing them you are consistent and transparent in your message across all channels. Additionally, by unifying all your B2B sales on a single platform you will be able to get comprehensive data from previously disconnected sources, allowing everyone in your organization to make smarter decisions.
Make it personal
According to Gartner, by 2020, smart personalization engines used to recognize customer intent will enable digital businesses to increase their prots by up to 15%.That’s why it’s important to provide users with an experience tailored specifically for them. Customize certain aspects of the user-interface with your customer’s brand and other look-and-feel elements and provide multi-lingual support.
You can make the experience even better by creating a custom e-catalog based on their contracted terms (pricing, discounts etc.), tailor promotions to their needs and offer a variety of B2B payment options that are relevant for them. Accommodate role-specific aspects of the commerce experience e.g. senior buyers or those responsible for retail-chain purchases may have access to additional catalogs or may need to be involved in approval workflows of junior buyers.
A strong strategy for your B2B sales platform will remove geographical boundaries with multi-lingual, multi-currency and native tax support, making the buying experience even easier, and encouraging your customers to spend more.
An eCommerce app means your solution is also mobile. The best strategy will enable your wholesale business to take advantage of the use of mobiles and tablets, so that B2B buyers have quick, easy access to your products wherever and whenever.