B2B merchants are searching for new and improved ways to provide their customers with the best possible online shopping experience – and they’re right to do so.
Earlier this year, in our blog post ‘How eCommerce Changed in 2017’, we spoke a little on the growth of B2B as B2C, and the impact that this has had on customer expectations. Each day customers interact with, and are exposed to, a wealth of features and customization through their online activities. Whether it’s paying bills through easy-to-use mobile banking apps or ordering their weekly groceries online, customers are growing increasingly accustomed to the high standards delivered to them by their personal B2C experiences.
Although B2B customers and their shopping habits are arguably more complex than those of B2C, their need for a more personalised and intuitive shopping experience remains the same. With large and complex orders, high-value items, and crucial business expectations to meet, ensuring that your B2B eCommerce site is fit for purpose should be a top priority for any merchant. Here’re our top tips for improving your B2B online shopping experience:
It’s likely that your B2B customer will require multiple users to access and manage their business account – and with this will come the need for differing roles and permissions. Offering these important features will ensure that your customer’s employees are not left confused, or equally, exposed to private data such as invoices and payment information.
Intuitive Repeat Purchasing
Do your customers often require repeat purchases? Allowing them to reorder on a weekly or monthly basis, quickly and efficiently, will greatly improve your B2B shopping experience. For this to work effectively, customers must be able to access their purchase history and have the ability to edit quantities etc.
If you want to go one step further, having a system in place that allows for the automatization of repeat orders will greatly improve customer satisfaction. Scheduled ordering can be an amazing help to businesses who may not have the time or resources to perform manual orders each week/month.
Personalised Recommendations & Discounts
Just like on all great online retail stores, your B2B customers should be targeted with tailored products, based on their tracked shopping habits and past orders. Not only does this increase the likelihood of additional orders, but it also ensures that your customer’s experience is personal to them, with exposure to the products that they’re most likely to value.
Similar to this, consider offering customers related cross-sells and up-sells based on their order history. No one appreciates discounts and special offers more than your business customers, and when applied to products that they actually want, you might just strike gold!
Keeping with the topic of personalisation, a wish list is a vital feature for customer organization and customisation. Enabling users to easily store items for future-use with the click of a button, the wish list promotes site visit returns and ensures your customers don’t forget about those favourite products.
The wish list also works to your advantage when it comes to retargeting your customers, and storing information about prefered products for recommendations.
Product Page Design
You wouldn’t purchase from a B2C site that was lacking in detail or product photography, so why expect your B2B customers to? Your product page design is an all-important factor in ensuring a great online experience.
A great product page should include multiple high-resolution images (showing material details and varying angles), detailed and clear descriptions, accurate dimensions, and an up-to-date inventory indicator.
Mobile commerce isn’t always associated with B2B businesses, but we definitely think it should be. Mobile phones and tablets play such a huge role for B2C eCommerce merchants, that these tools shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to B2B.
Building your own mobile app can provide a much more beneficial shopping experience for customers. The ability to browse offline, an easier UI and more focused UX, a more personal interaction with your business, and so much more – we definitely think it’s a tool that merchants should be utilizing. Don’t believe us? You can read our blog ‘The Advantages of a Bespoke React Native Mobile App’ if you need persuading further.
Navigation & Search Capabilities
There’s nothing worse than sifting through hundreds of products and web pages just to find the item you’re looking for – and for business customers, this can be even more frustrating. With deadlines to meet and people to please, your B2B customers are relying on the intuitiveness of your search tools to help them navigate their way to desired products as quickly as possible.
In order for your site to live up to these expectations, you’ll need to have enabled navigation filters, attributes, and detailed sorting, as well as implementing the auto-complete/suggest functionality to convert those queries as quickly as possible.
Tailored pricing can be especially important to your B2B customers. Ensuring that the quotes displayed accurately reflect your customer’s pre-negotiated contract is key to a happy customer relationship, and helps to maintain the personalisation of their account.
Ultimately, it’s all about treating your B2B customers as you would your B2C ones. Your eCommerce platform plays an important role in your customers business operations, and so it should provide the best possible shopping experience. Enhancing your site to suit your user, their needs, and their habits will save them valuable time, improve customer satisfaction and increase conversion rates for you.
Get to know your customers, follow these tips, and see your sales soar.