“B2B E-Commerce industry has developed into a multi-trillion dollar market and is expected to see further growth over the next several years.” – According to GlobeNewswire
B2B E-commerce businesses have evolved significantly during the past several years. Why is that?
Since business owners are looking constantly for trustworthy online retailers that can provide various products they need at the best value, more and more B2B sites are set up to provide services for various manufacturers and organizations. The B2B model is growing as businesses choose to use commercial websites as their main mean of communication. In recent years, the proportion of websites targeted at organizations and businesses has increased compared to websites targeted at consumers.
Different from individual customers, businesses always own a unique purchasing process that saves time and money. This often explains why, when making purchases, businesses often focus on logic while consumers are often dominated by emotional factors. B2B is favoured by many businesses because transactions and cooperation between businesses often bring diverse benefits and efficiency, businesses also quickly prove themselves through the co-operation and working process.
Because of the popularity of B2B E-commerce, there might be great competitions that the merchants have to encounter. How can they deal with this? How can they attract more customers?
It’s time for business owners to come up with suitable strategies that allow them to stand out from the crowd. Let’s explore with us 7 useful strategies for B2B E-commerce businesses to adapt and become outstanding!
#1. Add more product information on your B2B website
Providing clear, detailed product and service descriptions on your website will help facilitate the buyer’s decision-making process.
According to the report “Rethinking the B2B buyer’s journey” of LinkedIn, buyers have rated product information and demos as the most important type of web content to view on a business’s website.
Let’s take the Square company as an example, its sales page has videos, photos that illustrate how different tools work and lists the benefits of their POS system. With this information, customers can trust your business better.
The website is where you can provide more insight into the company. For example, if you sell cloud-based phone systems, it not only explains how your service works to share information about the integration process and the benefits of wireless connectivity. You can also include datasheets, catalogue descriptions and videos demonstrating how to use the product or apply the system.
Being transparent can lead to higher sales results and help foster a sense of trust between you and the buyers.
#2. Take advantage of social media marketing
Using social networks is a great way to engage with potential buyers. A 2017 survey by the Content Marketing Institute found that social networking is the third most important marketing tactic for B2B businesses after email newsletters and blogs, and is the second most effective paid marketing method after SEO. There are several important things to keep in mind:
- Posting on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter is a great way to attract traffic to your website and prove you understand the true needs of the customers you serve.
- Try to keep the post informative and varied: share infographics, product demos and customer reviews, as well as industry news and announcements about deals or sales.
- To attract more potential buyers, you can also hold a conversation on Twitter to answer questions or use live on Facebook to demonstrate how to install a popular product.
If you need an example of useful, compelling content, check out HubSpot’s Instagram. This marketing software company shares inspirational quotes, global news, infographics about the status of small businesses and useful marketing tips.
#3. Improve the search engine and product filters
Most buyers do not have time to scroll through hundreds of product names and numbers to find what they are looking for. A clean interface and fast on-site search option can improve the shopping experience ten times.
In fact, in a 2018 BigCommerce B2B survey, 71% of respondents said an easy-to-navigate website was the most important selling feature.
Therefore, it is necessary to build a page that allows visitors to search by product type or product name. Alibaba, a global e-commerce platform has a huge search engine and an intuitive interface: you can filter products in categories, search for items with the most frequent requests and price requests for multiple items in one sample.
Depending on the business, you may also have search options that allow buyers to choose from a list of the customers’ most interesting points or price filtering items. if you sell a lot of different systems, consider creating an interesting online questionnaire to suggest solutions based on the buyer’s answers.
#4. Provide flexible orders and price options
Providing buyers with a personalized buying experience can go a long way toward securing sales. To make sure your customers feel adapted and comfortable, you need to give them a wide range of options.
Review your financials and sales forecasts to see if you can adjust packages or pricing models to offer more extensive solutions. That may include allowing for monthly software service contracts, for example: eliminating minimum subscriptions or discounts for products on a certain amount.
It is also a good idea to offer a variety of payment options from credit cards and digital wallets to purchases and payments – buyers can pay in any way that is appropriate for their business.
Providing buyers with flexible terms, such as a larger payment window or the ability to pay in instalments, is also helpful. Another option is a paid support system that allows businesses to extend payments without incurring any additional credit risks.
#5. Add customer’s feedbacks and ratings
For buyers who buy the things needed for businesses like software, hosting or wholesale products, the purchase is not a one-time decision. It begins with a progressive relationship. To make them feel confident enough to commit to your products or services, in the long run, buyers need social proof.
According to a 2017 Demand Gen survey, 67% of B2B buyers said they relied on peer reviews when making purchase decisions.
Publish your company’s reviews and ratings to build credibility and help reassure buyers about your value. This is a good idea to include reviewers’ names and images to establish a sense of trust and authenticity.
Also, instead of posting a single piece of text that some buyers might cover up, grab their attention by taking a quote from each review as OroCommerce does. The B2B e-commerce company also links to case studies on their homepage, essentially acting as more in-depth reviews.
In addition to posting reviews on your landing page and distributing them throughout your website, you may also want to create a customer opinion page.
#6. Optimize the website on mobile devices
Improving your website functionality on mobile platforms can result in more sales. Like most consumers, B2B buyers enjoy the convenience of shopping and conducting research on phones.
According to a report from Forbes Insights called The Connected Executive, 66% of executives said a mobile-friendly website made them more likely to join or buy from suppliers.
Moreover, 37% of executives used phones to make purchases worth between $ 5,000 and $ 100,000.
However, the transition to mobile devices is only improving the user interface. You also need to make sure that buyers have access to the same mobile device features as they do on desktop computers, namely the ability to search, fill order forms, and make purchases.
For example, Handshake, B2B e-commerce platform for manufacturers and distributors, has a mobile application that allows sales representatives to access digital catalogues, write orders, check goods and inventory when they are on the move.
#7. Improve customer service
Having excellent customer services can help you build trust with the customers. Therefore, it is important to come up with great ways to provide buyers with an easier, more enjoyable shopping experience. You may want to extend customer service time, for example, or install live chat on your website.
Buyers can enter a question in the chat window that pops up at the bottom of the site, then receive real-time answers while they view different websites.
At a practical level, live chat can resolve confusion and cut down on customer service email and phone calls. However, the main purpose of live chat is to show your willingness to help and reassure buyers.
In addition to using live chat, cloud-based software company Salesforce.com invites visitors to call with questions. Within a few minutes of selecting, you will see a pop-up box displaying the company’s customer service number and a note that says, “Do you need help? No problem.”
In Demand Gen’s survey, 85% of respondents said their experience with the designated sales representative persuaded them to make a purchase. Buyers want to talk to someone who understands their business model, knows their problems and goals and can explain why a specific product or service will benefit them.
Moreover, developing a reputation for accessibility and adaptation will help you to increase customer satisfaction. The key to growing your B2B e-commerce business is serving the needs of buyers. Consider how you can revamp your site, provide more flexible solutions, and improve customer services.
The key to growing your E-commerce business is serving the needs of buyers. Consider how you can revamp your site, provide more flexible solutions, and improve customer services.