The growth of B2B eCommerce is unprecedented with B2B online sales expected to reach $6.7 trillion by 2020 according to market research firm Frost & Sullivan. Research also shows that modern B2B buyers are using their mobile devices more and more to investigate products and buy online. As such, a mobile online sales app has become the cornerstone of any modern omnichannel buyer experience. But what is the ‘secret sauce’ for a successful B2B sales app?
To find out, consider the following points:
Design for Mobile
B2B buyers are getting younger and rather than use their laptop or desktop, they prefer to use their mobile device. For everything. Mobile users spend more time in apps than they do in a browser. To satisfy your buyers expectations, your online sales app must be designed for “touch” interface, support responsive design that will adapt to different screen sizes and run natively on iOS and Android apps.
In the B2C world retailers offer most of their customers the same prices, but the B2B world couldn’t be more different. B2B brands and wholesalers pricing is far more complex and dependent upon a variety of factors such as predefined contracts, how much a customer buys, credit terms, shipping terms and more.
If your buyers don’t see their specific pricing within your app, why would they use it? Make sure to integrate your mobile storefront with your ERP so you can provide buyers with their own their unique pricing. This could make all the difference between them ordering online or continuing to order the old way (wasting your sales forces’ precious time).
Targeted promotions and discounts
Special offers are vital for upselling and cross-selling in the B2B industry. Promotions and discounts can assist in “closing the deal” and help you eliminate stagnant inventory, promote end-of-season or end-of-life goods. But what works for one buyer may not work for another.
Your B2B commerce platform should allow category managers, marketing executives and sales leadership to quickly adapt to market conditions and easily create targeted promotional campaigns. To facilitate an omnichannel approach, make sure you can create those once, and push all promotions to your sales app, your B2B web portal and to your field sales app
Customer specific e-catalogs
B2C eCommerce apps usually display all their products for all their customers but again, B2B customers are different. When they buy, it’s not a leisure activity, it’s business, and they want it done quickly and efficiently.
You may have a huge e-catalog, but in order to be relevant to different buyers, your app will need the flexibility to maintain different catalogs for different buyers, seasons, currencies, and markets. You’d want to customize catalogs even further by segmenting your products using business filters such as stock levels, price levels, and valid-through dates.
Live inventory levels
You won’t instill confidence in your mobile online ordering software if buyers end up placing an order when items are out of stock. To meet their expectations, it’s critical to show up-to-date stock information in your app. Integrate with your ERP to capture and present such data.
An added advantage is to allow them to view items on back order, show specific stock levels or when stocks are running low.
B2B purchasing often involves multiple decision makers. 71% of B2B buyers say that 2 or 3 people are involved in any B2B purchase, so your app will need to have the flexibility to manage several different stakeholders accessing the purchasing workflow along the way.
Order history and repeat transactions
Many of us are creatures of habit and when we find something we like, we stick with it. That’s your aim with your B2B buyers. You want them to be so happy with your products and service that they keep coming back for more. Why not make this easier for them by providing the option to quickly view their previous orders?
By giving them immediate and real-time access to their recent transactions, favorites, order history, account details and more, your app will create an enjoyable online experience that will encourage repeat ordering and increase revenue.
When it comes to B2B commerce, relevancy and efficiency are critical considerations. Make sure your mobile online buying experience satisfies your buyers expectations by following the points above.