B2B ecommerce transactions has shown considerable growth, and it is a sector that continues to be in demand. Currently, it is outperforming the B2C and figures indicate that this trend will continue well into the future.
However, B2B is a sector that thrives on building relationships and with ecommerce it is not possible to offer quite the same customer experience to your online customers, however, you can implement some simple steps to make buying more personalized and streamlined, which could help boost your online sales and help you compete with your rivals.
Use these tips to make the online experience easier for customers and to attract your share of online B2B sales.
Make Ordering Easy
The biggest message to the payments sector from the past year was that speed is of the essence. The payments industry is considering what it can do to boost transaction times, and start ups are offering consumers quicker ways to pay for goods that fit in with their lifestyle. And the busy B2B buyer wants to see increased efficiency too.
You can do this by:
- Offering as fewer steps as possible for checking out.
- Making shipping charges clear from the start. Shoppers often abandon a cart when they realize the shipping costs are more than they expected.
- Setting out your payment options and offer a variety of ways to pay. Your customer doesn’t want to get to checkout only to realize you don’t accept their preferred payment method.
- Not making customers register just to buy something.
Include Calls to Action
A call to action is defined as:
“Words that urge the reader, listener, or viewer of a sales promotion message to take an immediate action”.
Does your website contain a clear, compelling call to action (CTA) that makes it clear what you want your visit to do next? And how likely is your CTA to convert the visitor into a paying customer?
You can improve the effectiveness of a call to action by learning as much about your audience as possible, by gaining a good understanding of the psychology that goes into crafting an effective CTA and optimizing the position of your CTA to get the best results.
Enhance Product Descriptions
Don’t use descriptions direct from the manufacturers or you could be penalized by Google for duplicate content. Instead, use your own words and include the dimensions and specifications and the technicalities necessary to sell a B2B product and then optimize the content with keyword rich descriptions to drive traffic. You can also use video content and imaging to fully demonstrate the product.
Make good use of question and answer sections on your website. Q and A’s can be used to effectively answer the most common questions about products, which saves both your company and potential client money. Also:
- Detail the benefits as well as the features, in clear, easy to read bullet points for easy scanning.
- Make use of data sheets for more detailed descriptions.
- Use filters and advanced search engines so visitors can drill down to the results and find what they want with ease.
Importance of the “About” Page
Client relationships are one of the most important elements of a successful B2B business, and a successful relationship begins with building trust and confidence in your company and product. You can start to do this by crafting a strong ‘about’ page.
Before a client is ready to buy from your company, they want to find out more about your business and background. What is your background? What expertise do your employees have? What results have your products delivered?
However, remember your about page shouldn’t just be all about your company: it should also explain how it can help your client, so be careful to get the balance right, and use multimedia to engage visitors too.
Capture Leads with Content Marketing
For many brands, content marketing has become one of the go-to means of building an eager audience and capturing leads. 91 percent of B2B companies say they use content marketing to promote their business and it is predicted that 2017 will be another hot year for content marketing in the B2B sector.
However, there are many wasted opportunities in content marketing too, as according to the 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report published by the Content Marketing Institute, 70 percent of B2B marketers don’t consider their efforts to have been effective, and many don’t have a content marketing strategy in place.
However, when used well, content marketing can deliver dramatic results and is more cost effective than traditional forms of advertising.
Make Your Website User-Friendly
As mentioned in the introduction, it is more difficult to win customers over online, but there are ways to make the whole experience more customer friendly:
- Feature images of your sales team along with their bios can see who they will be working with and learn about their expertise; this will help to boost their credibility while also increasing customer confidence.
- Make the website easy to navigate with a clean interface. Avoid intrusive pop ups, notifications and videos.
- Make it easy for potential customers to contact you. Don’t depend on contact forms as they can seem impersonal.
- Where you can, give direct contact details for sales people so the B2B buyer can speak directly to them if they want to.
- Don’t try and sell to your customers: educate them and try and fill the gaps in their knowledge that they won’t have learned somewhere else, and highlight the features and benefits.
As the demand for B2B ecommerce grows, companies need to do all they can to build consumer confidence and stand out from their competitors.
By demonstrating expertise, educating instead of pitching, providing a superior customer experience, as well as using content marketing and optimizing content to create leads and increase sales, making checkout easy and providing various options to pay, you can increase your chances of outperforming your rivals and be ready to attract your share of the thriving B2B ecommerce marketplace.