B2B eCommerce Must-haves: Improve the Customer Experience
B2B eCommerce is the buzz today, but not every vendor knows what he’s doing. While some vendors have adapted their stores to the modern B2B customer, however, there are others who remain woefully behind. The following are some of the key pointers to make sure that your store is all that it can and should be:
B2B eCommerce stores need to be highly personalized for each customer. Here are some ways personalization can be brought in:
• Pricing and contracts:
Make your online pricing and contract customizable, just as you would when dealing with physical B2B customers.
• User groups:
Let organization create user groups so that their entire purchases department can have access to their specific needs.
Interact with the customers through social media or your own forum. Make it simple for them to reach you.
• Purchase support:
Let customers interact with your sales staff, just as they would at your physical location. Make your sales representatives available through live chat.
• Payment options:
Your customers can come in any size, a small run-from-a-garage start-up or a global conglomerate, make sure you have payment options that suit all of them.
In making an eCommerce site intuitive, a vendor makes it simple for a customer do what they need to. Here’s what should be done:
When the customers are on the website, the call to action buttons should catch their action. They should know they can find similar products, compare, add-to-cart, and purchase at the click of a button.
Interaction buttons are those that either help the customer contact you or the supplier of the product (if you’re the distributor), and get their queries answered. There should be a contact supplier button for every product, and a button to contact you, the vendor on every page.
B2B customers are people in organizations doing their jobs, and as the person who wants to do business with them, it becomes your job to make it easy for them to work with you. The easier you make it for them to do their job, the more they’ll love working with you:
When a customer starts searching for a product, your auto-complete feature should save them the effort of typing things out. When they type in the name of a product, you need to start selling with the search results – provide images/listing of variations, types, same-brand products, similar products, and related products. Of course don’t flood their search results either, strike a balance between at least three of these elements.
Provide the customer with tools to make their product searches easy. Tools include comparison features and filters. Remember that your customers have almostas much technical knowledge of the product as the manufacturer, so give them many more filters to work with.
Your customer wants to search, find, evaluate and order as soon as possible, so make it easy for them to move around. Make your website’s user interface simple and clean, and let customers move from category to information to comparisons smoothly. Try to follow the three-level site architecture rule, i.e., no more than three clicks to reach anywhere on the site.
• Product visualizations:
With organizations wishing to look up to date with the latest trends in both technology and design, there will be customers who will value the aesthetic appeal of a product on par with its functionality. Give the customers plenty of product pictures to work with, and have at least one video for each product.
Innovation is still the name of the game, at least partly, so think like your customer would and you could come up with your own ideas to improve your customer’s experience. Make your B2B store as easy to love as a B2C store.