Five Lessons Retail Can Offer B2B for Commerce

Columbus Chamber
The Columbus Chamber provides connections, resources and solutions that help small businesses and Fortune 500 enterprises grow Central Ohio's economy.

Member Insights by eComchain

Survey reports predict that B2B ecommerce industry is going to be worth $12 Trillion by 2020. If you want a share of that pie then you need act fast and get your b2B platform on the right track. Just getting your business online is not enough, everyone’s out there and doing everything they can to beat the competition. So unless you have the right ecommerce partner, you cannot expect phenomenal results. Increased buyer expectations and improved technology is complementing the rising need for business automation.

Online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Alibaba have changed the SMEs do business. B2C procurement managers are ever on the lookout for integrated solutions to B2B procurement that will make their jobs and lives easier, source goods at much cheaper prices than retail. In order to offer them with a stellar shopping experience, all you need to do is look at how the top retailers are crushing it at B2B and B2C ecommerce.

#1 – User friendly sites across multiple channels – One of the most important features of a successful ecommerce enterprise is to offer an attractive and engaging website which will attract and entertain customers. Along with being engaging and beautiful, they need to mobile friendly as well so that the customer can experience the same easygoing and friction less feel through every platform they can engage in. The quality of the web and mobile presence says a lot about the brand – about the quality of the product and the customer service that a user encounters. The powerful interface and user-friendliness will make it a pleasure for your customers to visit and interact with.

#2 – Driving engagement through enhanced personalized experience – Ask anyone is retail and they will tell how enhanced personalized experience delivers the biggest profits. B2B websites can learn a lot from retail here by replicating the easy online shopping experience.  A personalized B2B interface will allow them to choose, modify and update their purchases across categories. With the user-friendly platform mentioned above and innovative design experiences, the efficacy of the B2B site will be boosted manifold. When customers can find what they are looking for quickly with unique and personalized suggestions to match their search, the likely of their returning and spreading the word is higher.

#3 – Unique content-assisted purchasing – Unique and descriptive content is very important and this does not mean just well-written product descriptions, which is of course of extreme importance in ecommerce. But there needs to be a proper content strategy that is unique to every ecommerce site, giving customers a clear idea of each product and then linking the product pages with other related products, leading to larger (combination) sales. Specialized content paired with multiple visuals of the product, stories behind the products and then connecting with a social cause, could also lead to higher customer engagement.

#4 – Working on your reviews and making them available at multiple platforms – More than 61% of customers today read online reviews before making any purchase decision. This shows that more than anything it is social proof that drives credibility. The first place to start with could be the “Testimonials” section of your own ecommerce site but then you need to ensure that these are available across all the multiple channels that your business is present in. This is not all, for businesses need to have favorable reviews on every social media and industry websites as well. A great way to showcase these is to integrate these reviews and the social media buttons right into the product descriptions, again enhancing customer engagement. With an intelligent ecommerce platform this is easy to develop as well.

#5 – A clear call to action button – If there is anything that retail has always done well, it is their call to action strategy. Traditionally, the B2B industry is not known for this but in the age of digital selling this is an important skill to learn. So while framing that all important and well-written product description, make sure that you have a unique call to action strategy. This can highlight different things at different time like a discount, some additional offers or incentives, newer items, colors or models. They should ideally convey a sense of urgency which will drive the customer to take action, thereby resulting in quicker sales. Make sure that the navigation throughout the site happens through of least resistance and friction.

When you make it easy for your customers, when you deliver an absolutely irresistible customer experience, you will be driving up your customer loyalty numbers.