In layman’s terms, the mission of B2B E-commerce is “used to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of a company’s sales efforts.” The B2B E-commerce marketplace accounts for roughly $1.08 trillion in 2019. The days of spending brick and mortar locations for retail, food, and services has had an extreme makeover. The once-thriving go-to commerce has transformed into a bring-it-to-me B2B E-commerce.
Billions of daily financial transactions online from retail to food delivery, banking services, and vacation accommodations occur every second. Even therapy and medical appointments are available in the ether. Interestingly, most retail orders come from sources that don’t own any inventory. The population at large delivers the food we consume. When you “hail a taxi,” your food delivery person is probably also moonlighting as a taxi driver. Booking your accommodation for your next vacation will likely be with one of 2 billion global homeowners. See a pattern forming?
The response to E-commerce behaviors – how consumers order goods and services is driven by the ever-increasing demands of B2B interactions. Behind the scenes, the scaffolding supporting E-commerce are the big companies and small businesses relying on reliable and seamless technology. Constant innovation and integration provide a personalized experience to increase customer retention.
To stay competitive, and support products and services, companies and third-party platforms are at the competitive forefront of delivering exciting content, intuitive search technology, and a navigable website. At the same time, they are responsible for staying true to their core values or mission statement. And to do so requires a commitment to stay relevant in these very unpredictable, competitive, and ever-changing times. Here’s how your business can respond.
Effective ways to enhance the B2B customer experience include targeted omnichannel personalizations. Think outside the box. Use your social media platforms to drive interest in your website or mobile app.
Personalized marketing strategies can include a limited-edition bundle of products or services, and limited-time offers that incentivize to increase points or discounts to purchases as part of the company’s loyalty rewards program. When your company manages multiple channels for data collection and storage, you’re best positioned to learn valuable information about your customers.
Personalized communications add a touch of warmth and a sense of belonging to a community. While customer’s responses help gain insight into what trends are working and which existing content needs repurposing. Almost 75% of all B2B customers expect a deep understanding of their needs related to their personalized experiences.
Continually improving upon the B2B customer experience includes creating emails, real-time live chats, and direct message (DM) responses through your social media outlets. By individually highlighting a customer’s search criteria to help direct them to a specific product, or provide a solution. By remaining open to your customer’s ever-changing requests allows your associates and customer support teams to communicate with transparency. Build trust by personalizing through your omnichannel communication network, and facilitate vital iterations to the company’s web design and usability.
Empower your audience by integrating interactive tools to make choices relevant to their lifestyle needs or business acumen. For example, add diagnostic quizzes to your homepage to help businesses solve work challenges or find the best social media outlet to drive customer retention. Until it’s safe to welcome your audience for a meet and greet, consider switching from in-person events to live or pre-recorded, branded online shows. A recent study from Animoto discovered that to learn more about a product, four times as many customers would rather watch a video than read an article.
Website Design and Usability
Imagine if 88% of your online shopping audience said website usability is the key factor determining whether or not to be a repeat customer. 48% of those shoppers don’t purchase the first usability roadblock. These fundamentally crucial statistics are a wake-up call to any company wanting to reap the rewards of an enhanced customer experience in B2B e-commerce. So, where to begin?
- Homepage Call to Action (CTA) – The importance of first impressions is a lesson learned in youth. The transmission of how you act and display confidence is received within seconds of meeting someone. So is your homepage. It’s your customer’s first impression. Your CTA must introduce WHO your company is, WHAT product or services your company offers, and confidently and positively welcome the customer to easily navigate and discover your brand.
- Visually Appealing Reading Material – Are you proud of your content? Everything your customers are reading should be clear, concise, and engaging. Don’t spend all your time focusing on one grand innovative marketing ploy. Take a little time and gather up your resources. Bring in some people you feel have the best understanding of your brand.
- Set clear expectations and parameters – Experiment with small abstract ideas, and test them out for a limited period. Then gather and use that data to launch more extensive campaigns and create new web designs. Beautiful, readable designs hold two-thirds of all online consumer’s attention.
- Mobile Mirrors Desktop – The first time a customer visits your company’s site – albeit mobile or desktop – the decision to order B2B services typically isn’t compulsory. Smartphones allow customers to browse and conduct research before returning to the desktop site to follow up with questions or purchases.
With mobile usage increasing by 10%, and 55% of all B2B inquiries occurring on a mobile device, and 40% of consumers only searching on a mobile device, your company’s mobile design and usability should look as appealing and work as efficiently and effectively as your company’s desktop site.
Think Beyond the Product
The Enhancement to your customer experience in B2B E-commerce shouldn’t be messy or complicated. Remember, at the heart of your B2B customer experience, is the drive to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your company’s sales efforts. To do so you must think beyond the product or service. Communicate with transparency. Be mindful of your website and mobile design usability. Experiment, and think abstractly. Consider interactive tools. When highly-engaged customers, incentivized by call-to-actions, can navigate your website more efficiently, they are more likely to remain loyal. Personalization, in relation to the customer experience in B2B E-commerce, exponentially increases customer retention and improves your brand’s customer experiences.