When it comes to e-commerce, B2B and B2C have more similarities than you think. Keeping simple navigation, mobile-friendliness, and intuitive product search, and qualitative product pictures have similar UX strategies.
Typical B2B settings like multiple decision-makers, longer buyer cycles, personalized pricing policies, high volume sales, multiple product ordering, buyer-specific product lists might make things a bit more complicated.
In order to be successful a different approach than the typical B2C strategy will be needed. In this blog post, we will list four commonly overlooked factors that will boost your B2B business – if they are implemented correctly.
These factors are all B2C best practices, but they need to be implemented with a B2B mindset in order to attract and eventually convert leads.
Shipping options and costs
Quite a lot of businesses spent their time optimizing the wide end of the sales funnel.
But almost everyone overlooks the obvious process of shipping and order satisfaction. Your delivery service plays a critical role in establishing and maintaining your B2B relationships in the final stages of the initial order.
Your shipping strategy and communication will make or break conversions as a study from UPS shows:
61% of respondents abandoned a shopping cart because shipping costs made the total order value more than expected.
50% reported abandoning a shopping cart because the order wasn’t large enough to qualify for free shipping.
In fact – unexpected shipping charges – are the most important reason for shopping cart abandonment.
Great, you got numbers to back this up, but how does shipping actually affect B2B e-commerce?
Well, the most faced challenge comes from the fact that most businesses operate in the wholesale market. Dropshipping is incredibly common as well as international order fulfillment.
This means that finding a reliable and affordable shipping company that monitors its shipments and files the proper customs clearance documents should be a top priority for your B2B growth.
To address these needs, the Chinese e-commerce platform Alibaba Group built its own shipping solution called OneTouch.
Of course, everyone aspires to service their customers like Amazon, but these large scale in-house solutions aren’t always possible. Outsourcing shipment can save you a headache and tools like Temando can be integrated directly in your Magento webshop and will help you to reduce costs, lower the cart abandonment rate, increase sales and eventually grow your business.
The people factor
We all buy at big corporations like Amazon and Apple, but even so, we prefer to buy from people rather than companies.
Positioning yourself as a real person who connects with real people is the most overlooked factor in B2B e-commerce, and there is a good reason for it. Businesses fear personalization because it might make them look unprofessional.
B2B marketing is mostly account-based, which means that items are purchased often by multiple stakeholders on behalf of an entire organization or company.
Just because the purchasing process rarely involves one person, it doesn’t mean that your B2B communication shouldn’t be focusing on addressing these individuals.
Facts prove that having a light massage with a casual tone that is mixed with personalized communication boosts your conversions and improves brand loyalty.
For instance – Facebook ads that feature user-generated content have a 300% higher CTR compared to “brand-only” content ads.
The power of personalization is often overlooked in B2B advertising.
Why would this work?
Simply because people not only want to connect with fellow people, they also want to be treated like people. This means they will more likely make a purchase from a company they connect with, rather than a cold, heartless organization that is run by a team of robots.
Communication that features impressive-sounding buzzwords is often seen as empty and meaningless and discourage people from interacting with a brand.
It doesn’t matter which tactics or tools you choose, just remember that personalization means one thing: people are connecting with people.
Segmentation is a must
The key step after personalization is segmentation. It means that you need to divide your leads, prospects, business needs, customers, products, etc. Another way to characterize your B2B buyers is by the “why” behind a purchase. What is their driving motivation to close the sale?
You could categorize the different buyers in segments such as price, timing, and relationship. You should choose a method that allows you to tailor the approach to both prospects and returning customers.
Segmentation is definitely a must when your e-commerce business had a mixed B2B and B2C audience.
The best way to do this is by creating multiple store views that allow you to segment users when they login to your webshop so you can show them a tailored product line, pricing structure and even a personalized design and layout.
All of this starts with a centralized backend. Multiple store views can enable you to consolidate your product catalog, CRM, customize key B2B elements like discounts, product grouping, volume pricing, SEO and marketing campaigns.
Success in B2B e-commerce is all about reaching the people behind an organization or company and trust is the glue that makes client relationships stick.
Trust applies as well to the first impressions as much as it applies to interactions further down the funnel and after a purchase.
So, what exactly are companies overlooking in their communication through their webshop? In one word – simplicity.
Cut out the fuzzy buzzwords and eliminate all distractions that a client could prevent from making a purchase.
A report from ConversionXL shows that people form an opinion in about 50 milliseconds, and the majority of this is design related.
Create experiences that ask the webshop visitor to complete one specific action by using psychological triggers and persuasive design to increase conversions.
Great design generates trust and people are more likely to stick around to get to know your company and the products you sell.
Design your website in a way that every pixel is formed with your goal in mind – to direct your prospect into your sales funnel.
Try to answer common questions in an FAQ list that prospects email you about. Make sure that there is enough information to be found in your about page, tell them your story, what makes your company unique. This will build up a trust while you explain to them your company history and values.
- Communicate openly about shipping costs and link to your warranty and return of shipment information.
- Reflect trust in the ease of payment by offering multiple payment options.
- Create secure logins where clients can safely secure their shipping, payment and other customer preferences.
- Show off your certifications.
- Let customers write reviews and endorsements about your excellent products and customer service.
Same – but different
B2B e-commerce requires a similar strategy as B2C to be successful. We hope that you can use the above advice to strengthen your e-commerce experience for your customers in order to supercharge your sales.
Are you in need of a new webshop with a tailor-made user experience to match your customer needs? Why wait, smash that contact button and get in touch with us straight away!