5 ways to perfect your B2B eCommerce strategy for better results
B2B eCommerce success today has evolved, with far more emphasis on relationships than on automation and transactions. A successful B2B eCommerce strategy needs to reflect this need for a more relationship-centric approach, increasing the emphasis on more complex transactions and investing in relationships with long-term clients, and minimising the resources and effort that are expended on lower value tasks. If you’re looking to perfect your B2B eCommerce strategy for better results then there are some simple ways to do it.
1. Focus on providing more information to strengthen relationships
B2C customers often tend to have access to more information than B2B customers, from information about products to personal order history. B2B eCommerce has an opportunity to add value by incorporating a focus on providing more information when making decisions about strategy. The emphasis should be on using information to personalise and differentiate the experience that B2B customers have with your brand.
2. Streamline and simplify data gathering
Data is important to informing eCommerce decisions but shouldn’t add multiple additional layers of complexity to a process. Providing data should always be simple from the point of view of the customer. So, for example, if you’re offering gated content in return for information, limiting the information required to a short form – as opposed to demanding a large volume of information from one customer – will achieve more interest and keep things simple for customers.
3. Focus on interactions, as opposed to transactions
B2B eCommerce tends to involve more stages and people than B2C, which is often far less involved. Although every eCommerce strategy looks to drive the business towards more transactional success it’s also important to integrate a focus on the interactions that will get you there. B2B transactions often require interactions with multiple parties before the transactional element actually happens. These stages are much more valuable than many brands appreciate – in fact, enabling interactions can be more valuable than enabling straightforward transactions. It may be these interactions that ensure the right product, with the right specifications is chosen, that a customer is happy with service and that the relationship has the right foundations to become long-term.
4. Integrating automation
B2B transactions require a higher degree of personal involvement than B2C and so, necessarily, cannot be fully automated. However, there are some tasks involved in the process – those that are repetitive and menial – that can be automated, to great effect. Integrating automation into eCommerce strategy with a view to enhancing the customer experience can be very beneficial. This could be by providing basic information via a website to inform later sales conversations or automating certain tasks to free up sales people to have more time for customers.
5. Put evolution at the heart of your strategy
Technology is driving eCommerce of all kinds at a fast pace and it’s important that your strategy evolves to keep up. How could you harness new developments, or alternative perspectives to engage your market in new ways? This could be, for example, offering customers the opportunity to make entry level purchases – such as a contract extension – online, as opposed to calling to speak to someone, to make life simpler and more convenient for everyone involved.
Ecommerce strategy is central to success for both B2B and B2C businesses – we are specialists in eCommerce strategy and able to provide support and guidance when it comes to defining and optimising yours.