October 28, 2019
Many B2B customers today are turning to B2B websites to purchase their products and services directly. While B2B businesses receive value from customer satisfaction within their operating procedures, customers today are looking for companies to go above and beyond their expectations.
The fact is that most B2B buyers are also consumer buyers, and where B2B customer experiences have improved, the B2B buying journey often hasn’t. B2B buyers now expect a more B2C-like customer experience when they purchase from a vendor.
If you are a B2B company, you need to adapt your current website to meet B2B buyer demands, otherwise, you’re at risk of losing potential business. According to a study by Gallup, only 29% of B2B customers are fully engaged and invested in the companies they do business with. This means that 71% are willing to switch gears and take their business elsewhere if the right opportunity presents itself. You do not want to be the business on the 71% side of this equation. You need to raise your client retention numbers with an eCommerce website that will nurture loyalty, foster engagement, and attract new customers through streamlined and optimized purchasing experiences.
Here are seven ways you can take your B2B eCommerce website to the next level.
One of the biggest mistakes we see businesses making is building out websites and experiences for customers and then assuming they will just arrive. This isn’t the case. You need to actively seek out customers and drive them to your website.
A paid and organic media strategy must be established prior to building your website. Be ready and willing to spend both money and resources to draw your customers to your business through channels such as display advertising, search marketing, social media, and email.
Developing an omnichannel commerce strategy for your business will provide your customers with seamless navigation across the buying process. Customers want to buy whenever and wherever they want, through any channel, or on any device.
An omnichannel strategy captures that technologically savvy customer who expects a variety of delivery options. These customers may begin their search on their tablet, but continue shopping and eventually purchase on their laptop later that evening. This omnichannel experience will give them the power and consistency to access every touchpoint in the buying process.
Maybe most importantly, an omnichannel approach will arm you with data that tracks your customer's purchasing process across all the channels you employ, giving you a complete view of your customers and their purchase habits. This is key to a strong Customer Experience Management (CXM) strategy. This data will help you identify and implement opportunities to personalize and optimize each specific buying experience.
In 2019, the average US adult will spend 2 hours, 55 minutes on a smartphone, which a 9-minute increase from 2018. With this increase in browsing time via mobile, your business needs to provide a smooth and seamless mobile platform.
57% of mobile users say that they won’t recommend a business with a poorly developed mobile platform. Not only does your B2B website need to be able to provide the information your customers seek, but this information needs to translate across all devices (mobile, desktop, and tablet). If there are any hiccups or discrepancies between experiences, then potential customers may land on a competitor’s site instead. Your mobile-optimized website should not only include information relevant to your product, but be designed responsively, and with a flawless mobile payment system or chatbot feature to assist with additional questions and answers.
Chatbots are extremely useful for your business. They can help you upsell or cross-promote products, and more importantly, they can respond to your site visitor's questions or concerns 24/7.
Customers may leave your site if they have difficulties finding information or encounter problems with payment. According to a study commissioned by Genesys, a chatbot feature done right can result in a 50% reduction in customer cart abandonment at critical points in the customer journey.
Personalizing the buying and selling experience isn’t just for B2C consumers, it should be at the core of B2B eCommerce as well. B2B operations have a long history of offline relationship building and long-term contracts. Today, in the digital landscape, a business must bring this personalized experience to its customers online if they want to remain current and competitive.
To improve your B2B website with personalization, you should provide your customers with a bespoke dashboard, pricing items, and specific deals and offers only available for them. An excellent customized eCommerce website will provide the customer with a feeling that they are still a person and not just a business transaction.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
An eCommerce SEO strategy is essential for any business, no matter where or how you sell your product. Most people begin their searches with generic terms and not branded terms. If you do not correctly implement an SEO strategy, you may never show up in a search query, and you could lose your customers to more optimized competitors.
50% of visitors are more likely to click a result if the brand appears multiple times in search engine results. If you’ve optimized your site and content using an SEO strategy, your business will be the one to show up more often. And your name will present potential customers with an answer to their problem: your product.
Paired with a comprehensive SEO plan, content marketing is a great way to forge a relationship with potential customers. 89% of businesses use content marketing, and of that 89%, 53% have been moderately successful, 19% have been very successful and 3% have been extremely successful. To join this successful 75%, use content to become a visible expert in your specialized field. Not only will blogging and other dynamic content differentiate you, but it will also educate your customers and position you and your company as leading thinkers in the industry. These interactions can help drive traffic to your site and build trust with your audience.
Sharing current trends, tips, and industry-related news or current promotions will keep your customers engaged and educated about your product. The more you engage with your audience, the more you become a thought leader in your field and a source they know and can rely on.
More Than Just A B2B Website Revamp
Improving your B2B eCommerce website to meet the needs of today's customers goes beyond just a simple update to your existing eCommerce site. Customers today are looking for more than just products. They are looking for easy ways to buy (which means multiple buying channels), answers to their questions, personalized experiences, and a knowledgeable company that can help them move their own business forward. If implemented correctly, these 7 techniques will improve your website experience in a way that will meet and exceed your B2B customers’ expectations.