What do the most successful B2B web stores have in common? A lot more than online orders and payment processing. Here’s a look at 10 critical factors every B2B ecommerce strategy needs to get ahead.
Never underestimate the importance of design. Your clients should be able to find exactly what they’re looking for as soon as they arrive. Your store needs to be fast and responsive, with pages that load quickly and provide smooth, intuitive navigation across all major devices: desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
2. User Experience
Content may be king, but that doesn’t mean writing endless, text-heavy sales pages. Top B2B web stores use rich media, from images and video to widgets and sharing tools, to craft an immersive, guided user experience. As your customer relationships grow, you can enhance this experience even further with personalized catalogs and web promotions.
The decision-making process in B2B sales is often a group effort. As such, it’s important that your website provides all parties involved with the information they need to make their decision.
For example, B2C websites don’t typically assume technical expertise on the part of the customer. Technical specs, if listed, are often minimal and not featured prominently. In B2B sales, IT specialists will almost always be reviewing this information, so incorporating it is crucial when designing your website.
Search Engine Optimization is the key factor that drives traffic to your store. Identifying the principle search terms that your clients use to find what they are looking for, and then optimizing your website’s content for these terms, is vital for gaining a competitive advantage. The good news is it doesn’t have to be difficult. Many ecommerce solutions feature built-in tools for optimizing your web store’s pages.
This may seem obvious, but it’s important to maintain your site and keep it current. If you host a blog, update it with regular posts. Test old links to make sure they still work. Don’t leave seasonal, promotional, or other time-sensitive themes up longer than they should be. It can be surprisingly easy to let details like this slip. Making the time for them gives you an edge over those who don’t.
Successful companies grow and change. You don’t want to have to rebuild your website every few years as you continually add new sections and content. Planning ahead and choosing a scalable solution that adjusts and expands with you will save a great deal of work down the road.
This is doubly true for companies with more than one storefront. Top B2B organizations often manage multiple fully-branded sites from a single platform. A flexible solution is, therefore critical.
Integration is the secret ingredient of top B2B companies. Without integration, you are forced to manually copy order, customer, and product information back and forth between your web store and your ERP. Integration automates this process for you, keeping your store up to date with the client and catalog data from your ERP, and transmitting orders directly to the ERP from your online store. It saves you countless hours of manual entry and it reduces risk of costly errors.
Whether you’re doing business locally or around the globe, you will need to have the proper logistics in place to receive and fulfill orders. Considerations like regional sales taxes, warehouses, shipping methods, and language support for the countries where you do business are essential when choosing an ecommerce solution.
9. Social Media
Too many B2B companies make the mistake of assuming social media is a B2C-only channel. Social media opens your business to millions of potential clients. You need only determine the strongest platforms for your company, and craft content tailored to catch the interest of your target audience. This content need not deal directly with your product or service, either. For instance, marketing, finance, or tech-related posts can be a great way to engage other business owners.
The best B2B sales practices focus on building relationships rather than pushing for a quick sale. Prospective clients are usually weighing several options. You can make your business stand out by offering them value upfront. Establish your authority as an expert in your industry by sharing some of what you know. Company blogs and client case studies are two excellent and easy-to-implement ways of doing this right on your website.
Ready to talk with an ecommerce specialist about implementing these strategies for your web store? Give us a call and let’s talk about your project.
k-ecommerce is an innovative B2B and B2C ecommerce platform that integrates to Microsoft Dynamics and SAP Business One. It allows you to simplify and accelerate your organization’s ability to sell online by pulling pricing, inventory, product information and more from your ERP and displaying it on your online store. Contact us today to discover how our ecommerce solutions can help your business grow.