- What is B2B ecommerce?
- What are the most common categories of B2B ecommerce?
- Where do the major types of ecommerce transaction occur?
- What are the characteristics of B2B buyers that make them unique?
- What do B2B buyers want when they come to your ecommerce site?
- How do I get ecommerce customers to visit and purchase on my B2B website?
- What is the value of B2B ecommerce software?
- What should I look for in a B2B ecommerce software solution?
- What ecommerce integrations do you need to be successful in B2B?
- What trends should you keep in mind to excel in 2020?
What is B2B ecommerce?
B2B ecommerce is short for "Business-to-business, electronic commerce." It refers to the selling of your products through an online B2B sales portal to other companies. B2B ecommerce B2C, or "Business-to-consumer," where products are sold directly to an end customer.
B2B sales tend to be more complex than B2C due to price, quantity, and transaction methods needed. Take the automotive and accessories industry. In this industry, there is a huge supply chain with customers along it from beginning to end. Suppliers communicate with and sell to manufacturers, who in turn distribute products to end buyers. Because of these layers, there are many different business relationships involved. The ecommerce component of this chain revolves around how decision makers at each level interact through internet channels.
What are the most common categories of B2B ecommerce?
B2B businesses come in many shapes and sizes and serve unique customers. With any online business, compelling user experience design is necessary to improve customer loyalty and expectations.
Here are the most common categories of B2B ecommerce that you should be aware of:
- Configuration clients in the B2B space sell services such as telecommunication solutions. Like subscription and volume sellers, B2B businesses in this category must accommodate the customer's increasing demand for personalized, quick content that helps them complete their journey goals.
Where do the major types of ecommerce transactions occur?
- There are three major places where ecommerce transactions occur:
- Online marketplaces, where businesses or consumers can purchase a number of products from a single location (may be open or closed to outside users)
What are the characteristics of B2B buyers that make them unique?
A few important characteristics makes B2B buyers unique.
- Supply chains are more important in B2B transactions—and with that, B2B wholesalers, distributors or retail businesses can play important roles in purchasing.
- There tend to be multiple decision makers when it comes to buying B2B products and services, so it's important to consider who you're selling to, and know that it might be more than one person.
- Prices tend to vary from customer to customer based on their terms and needs. Payment methods might vary from B2C transactions as they need to accommodate businesses that prefer to pay via subscription billing, financing, and more.
- Logistics matters. Truckloads, freight, parcel, and more - and solving for logistics will impact the overall relationship between manufacturer and end buyer.
- There tends to be long-lasting relationships between customers and manufacturers. This makes it even more important to cultivate solutions that the customer is asking for.
What do B2B buyers want when they come to your ecommerce site?
Though every business is different, B2B buyers are generally looking for the ease of experience that they get with B2C transactions. In fact, more than two thirds of B2B customers say that frustration sets in when websites do not personalize their offers. Sites should be easy to navigate and offer calls to action specifically for the customer. Along with convenience, the best B2B ecommerce designs consider cost, user experience, and ability to purchase as much as they need in the way that they need.
How do I get ecommerce customers to visit and purchase on my B2B website?
The key to attracting B2B customers is to create campaigns on the right channels for the types of businesses you are hoping to attract—whether that be through linkedin, Google advertising, or others.
Think about the offer that will incentivize a buyer to choose your solution over that of another provider. Consider special introductory deals or limited time offers for new customers, referral programs, and rewards. Giving something with a new buyer's first purchase is effective in encouraging customers to buy now. In addition to offers, consider the following:
- Positive Buying Experience
- Create a positive buying experience by giving customers the ability to do everything they need in one place—from the research stage to buying stage. Optimize your site with the necessary content flows that enables a potential buyer to move through the funnel easily and efficiently. Give detail and contextual content to the service and products on your site. In addition, qualifiers and disqualifiers should also be present on your site: what types of payment do you accept (or not), what types of businesses do you service (or not).
- Optimized Pages
- Product pages should be optimized to include product specifications, technical details, images, video, and FAQs - just to name the basics. You can even optimize content pages that are high-value on your B2B website for those who want detailed contact and policy information.
- There are always pricing considerations for buyers whose orders tend to be large and wholesale. It makes sense to cater to how buyers pay by offering tiered pricing, quotes, and promotions. This can be accommodated through a robust shopping cart.
- Marketing and SEO
- Powerful marketing and SEO capabilities are necessary to compete online today. Having integrated marketing and SEO capabilities is absolutely necessary to cut through the clutter and have your website found through paid and organic channels. Consider using an ecommerce platform with integrated analytics dashboards and reports, so you can easily improve how you market to your customers.
- Provide your buyers with personalization options and features that allow them to customize the solutions they need. This might include variant options on product pages, or the ability to purchase via different transaction methods.
- Today, it's important to understand omni-channel selling, or have multiple outlets to sell products and services. Many businesses today will utilize various platforms to sell to various channels, but there are also platforms, like Inxeption, that make it easy to sell through various channels as well as price and market differently, in a single dashboard.
What is the value of B2B ecommerce software?
In today's landscape of intense competition, it is necessary to invest in digital channels and platforms that will help you grow. The right B2B ecommerce platform or portal can make sure you can compete effectively, find and market to new customers, and increase how much you can sell to a given customer.
Ecommerce software can help you manage the products on your website in ways that your customer can easily interact with, and that you can monitor and scale easily.
What should I look for in a B2B ecommerce software or solution?
Consider whether the B2B platform fulfills the needs of your business.
- Are you SMB or enterprise?
- Does the solution offer complex and configurable products with variants as needed?
- How about an omni-channel experience that is seamless for both the customer and the end buyer?
Finally, make sure it allows collaboration via chat, live time, etc. and offers the types of transaction methods you need for purchase orders, in cart financing, etc.
What ecommerce integrations do you need to be successful in B2B?
Depending on your needs, your business might require logistics integrations, shopping cart capabilities, and inventory and order management systems. Inxeption makes it easy to transform your business by connecting the robust platform capabilities to a new or existing online presence.
What trends should you keep in mind to excel in 2020?
If you want to excel in 2020 in the industrial ecommerce space for B2B businesses, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Be mobile. Even small businesses are engaging digital transformation to offer optimized sites and mobile apps for a high-quality customer experience of delight and ease.
- Consider scale. Do you need more traffic to your ecommerce site? Consider omni-channel selling or the use of business marketplaces where you can sell more and discover new customers.
- Be data driven. When it comes to choosing an ecommerce platform or optimizing your existing website, focus on customer data when it comes to making decisions. How do your customers like to purchase? When are they bouncing off your page and how can you make it easier for them to stay and convert?