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What do I need to know about my B2B eCommerce platform?

At the start of 2020, B2B eCommerce made up a $12 trillion global marketplace, – six times greater than B2C, and that’s an opportunity to make your mark and create an eCommerce platform that has the potential to generate serious revenue for your business.

The recent business landscape has been a tricky one to navigate with huge peaks and troughs, but whatever you’re faced with as a business your online purchasers still want to be valued and understood. To achieve this your technology needs to deliver and present them with the products and services they need.

A bad search experience results in losing customers. A 2017 Forbes article cited that 30% of online visitors use the search boxes to find what they want, but that some sites have up to an 80% user bounce rate due to bad search terms. That’s a lot of lost revenue unlikely to return anytime soon. 

So what are the main things to consider with your platform to enable your customers to purchase from you simply and seamlessly?

Everyone is a consumer and they approach any B2B purchase the same as they would a B2C one. They know that they have a much more complex transaction when it comes to purchasing, but they want the experience to match, or at least come close to, their favourite B2C sites. They have become used to a good experience and most importantly finding what they need in good time.

Expectations are rising when it comes to B2B eCommerce. A report from Accenture suggests 73% of B2B executives believe that customer expectations for personalized experiences and end-to-end solutions are significantly higher than just a few years ago.

User experience is as important as your product or service – we all remember how we are made to feel when purchasing. Where we feel valued and the experience easy and personalized, we will return.

Creating loyalty within your customer base is more important than ever. The world has changed and online has taken prominence. Poor technology coupled with poor data ends with no sale now or in the future and you don’t want to be left answering difficult questions from within your organization about “Why is our site not cutting it?”

Go for the quick wins – there’s no need to go back to square one or reinvent the wheel, you can partner with best of breed software providers where a small amount of improvements will bring about big changes. For example, a data enrichment specialist could help bring instant improvement to create increased customer loyalty and then deliver ROI immediately.

Data is your biggest challenge. The best software solution is no substitute for quality data, and like anything in life, you only get out what you put in. Get your product data right at the front-end and your conversion rates will increase. If your customers can’t find what they’re looking for on your site quickly, they will go elsewhere with no guilty conscience.

The more in-depth and accurate the product data, the faster the search and the more likely the user will make the purchase.

Everyone likes a bit of personal service. Just because you do less business over the phone or in person doesn’t mean you can’t get to know your customers and personalize your services, products or prices. Your online offering should be able to cope with repeat orders and be able to navigate more complex site searches involving partial part numbers or product explanations. Online customization will go a long way when developing the same lasting customer relationships.

It’s a complex supply chain in B2B and an eCommerce site has to recognise this while reducing any hassle for the buyer. This can only work if the right data has been added at the front-end of the process, providing real-time updates. If a B2B product doesn’t arrive on time, the subsequent knock-on costs in your supply chain or project schedules can be damaging.

Don’t forget the digital generation. Corporate buyers are increasingly from the millennial generation who have only ever transacted online. In a B2B environment they will move suppliers in an instant and never look back if their online experience lets them down. 

If you would like to delve deeper into what we believe are the key considerations you should be focusing your efforts on when managing a successful B2B eCommerce platform check out our insights here (Long article)

#Intelligent Search

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