The next generation is not just approaching the workplace, they’re here. And the face of business to business transactions has drastically changed.
Salespersons are no longer the initial point of contact for most buyers. Customers want to begin their transactions online and are much more willing to trust outside sources than a company’s sales staff. If your company deals in B2B transactions, then a stellar eCommerce website is an absolute must. Optimizing B2B eCommerce websites doesn’t have to be hard. Here are some of the most vital elements to consider.
While some businesses sell only to other businesses, and others manage to avoid B2B transactions entirely, the vast majority of companies sell to a mixture of both client types. But when it comes to designing a website, many companies drop the ball. If your website caters to one client type over the other, you’ll alienate potential buyers. The good news is that accommodating different customer groups is actually incredibly simple.
For example, setting up a login for “VIP” or wholesale customers allows you to choose what prices and deals these customers have access to without confusing or inconveniencing the rest of your clients. You can be a general or as specific in your customer groups as you want, scaling up or down for your business’s individual needs. As a general rule, block B2B information behind a login, but keep all other transactions available without a sign-up process. People buying for an organization or a company are able and willing to set up an account on your website, someone who wants to make a one-time purchase for themselves is likely not going to bother.
We’ve already mentioned how customers aren’t interacting with sales representatives much anymore, people turn to online research to help them with their buying decisions. So while you definitely need an amazing eCommerce site, that site won’t do you much good if nobody notices it. You need to establish a strong online presence to drive traffic to your site. Some points to consider:
- Social media
Everyone is on social media, and they’re doing more than sharing pictures of their children. People, including B2B buyers do at least some of their product research over social media. There’s nothing worse for sales than an outdated or nonexistent social media presence, which leads many people to assume a company is inactive or not trustworthy. Manage your online presence carefully to make information about your services easy to access and up to date.
- Brand establishment
Use your online presence to boost your own brand authority. Without adhering to this general online marketing tactic, your state of the art eCommerce site will be all but useless.
Your website itself should also function as a resource for people looking into purchasing the products you offer. Implementing website features like live chats to answer customer questions and having a prompt response system set up to engage with any queries is essential. FAQ’s should be comprehensive and frequently updated to give customers confidence in your products. If you’re the go-to place for information, odds are you’ll see yourself become the go-to place for buying, as well.
Next to pricing, personal relationships are the most important aspect of keeping customers from flocking to the competition. Building personal relationships with buyers helps make them long term customers. Transitioning to a primarily web-based sales method can seem like you’re leaving that personal touch behind, but that’s not true. Allowing buyers to customize their orders and their experience can help bring some of that personal touch back.
Your customer grouping system should give you a good start, but be sure to allow as much leeway for custom orders as you can. Include text options on your buying screens that allow customers to add extra instructions and be sure to follow up on any order queries immediately. Make sure your online customers understand that they can ask for custom considerations and that you are more than happy to oblige.
A blog is a great, one stop shop for all your industry information, company updates and humanizing web content. If you can maintain a current blog, you’ll make your website that much more accessible. Blogs are great for SEO help, as well.
And your blog should absolutely be connected to your eCommerce site. Linking to a different domain is a disaster and will only confuse customers. If you don’t have the staff or the time to update a blog frequently, there are content creation companies that can help you stay on schedule. Don’t worry about posting incredibly frequently (sometimes as little as once a month will do) so long as your content is informative and relevant. Remember, it’s better to post less content than useless content.
For more help building an engaging eCommerce website, visit Wagento.