Global B2B eCommerce has evolved into a multi-trillion dollar market and is expected to continue to grow over the next few years. According to Global B2B E-Commerce Market 2018 report, B2B eCommerce sales are forecasted to be more than twice as high as global online retail sales by 2020.
Today’s buyers prefer to research and choose what to buy on their own, without any vendor influence. And only 29% of buyers want to talk to a salesperson to learn more about a product before making a purchase.
If you want to capitalize on this market, you need to know how to appeal to these buyers with their own sets of shopping preferences. Whether or not you’re new to B2B eCommerce, take note of these few tips to ensure the success of your online B2B store.
1. Learn From the B2C Experience
Forrester reported that 73% of millennials are involved in B2B purchasing decisions. These millennial buyers are used to online B2C experience and they are expecting the same experience when shopping for work-related items.
Therefore, it is crucial for B2B sellers to know their audience and their preferences.
You can learn a lot from B2C eCommerce platforms by paying attention to the website design, product pages, site navigation, checkout process, delivery option, return procedures, and every other important aspect. If it ensures a smooth buying process, you might as well replicate it.
2. Choose the Right Platform
A study conducted by Accenture revealed that:
- 36% of B2B firms say that their website is not easy to use and is a barrier to generating more sales
- Whilst 32% of them mentioned that their B2B customers don’t consistently visit their website
There’s no way to lose an online sale faster than having a poorly built site that makes it too difficult to make a purchase.
Also, it is more difficult for B2B sellers to have an easy-to-use site than it is for B2C sellers, because B2B online sellers have more unique and specific requirements when it comes to tiered pricing levels, customer-specific products, and customer account management.
However, not all eCommerce platforms are designed to handle such requirements, leaving many B2B firms to suffer from providing customer experience that is below par. This can greatly hinder the ability of B2B sellers to drive revenue from online sales.
It’s time to upgrade your eCommerce platform to one that can handle customer-specific needs such as those mentioned above. Most importantly, you should be able to manage and scale the software to handle your business’ future volume.
Dropee can do exactly that for your online business, you can request for a free demo here.
3. Improve Product Information
Did you know that 98% of buyers perform online research on work-related purchases prior to purchasing offline?
Meanwhile, majority of B2B customers begin their research using B2C marketplaces like Lazada or Amazon (33%), or using search engines (26%), where product information become their primary source of information.
When B2B sellers move their business online, they are no longer relying on hardcopy catalogues to share product information. Your online store is your product catalogue. Since buyers are doing research online, product information must be present and easy to because you want your products to show up in search results.
Note: Your product information has to be accurate and comprehensive so that it is easier for buyers to compare different products.
4. Don’t Expect Results Overnight
Online entrepreneurs have spent years building customers’ confidence, putting in efforts in coming up with promotional campaigns, incentives, and email lists for customers in order to earn recurring customers.
When you’re new to a marketplace, buyers will be more cautious with a new, unsubstantiated seller, this is because you’ll often have little to no feedback or reviews.
So don’t expect that instant rush of customers to your online store and to sell out your products within a day. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day too. To be successful in online selling, it takes a fair amount of perseverence, patience, and testing.
5. Educate Your Sales Team
Most sales teams view eCommerce as a costly alternative to the skills they have developed through years of hard work.
Self-service eCommerce platforms will only further threaten themif they are principally order-takers, so it is important that the eCommerce website works to empower and not replace your sales team.
Instead, you ought to explain to your team that the new eCommerce website will improve their jobs by giving them more time to foster existing relationships, cross-sell and up-sell, and have more time looking for new opportunities.
Improve Your Business with B2B eCommerce
Investing in the right systems and technology will certainly help B2B sellers turn their eCommerce strategy into an integral part of their business, allowing them to take advantage of the tremendous opportunity before them.