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I’ve just finished reading an article about B2C ecommerce, not only did it remind me of how good we’ve got it in B2B, it’s also a useful indicator of how we can support our B2C customers, retailers and distributors even better.

The article was based on a collection of the top helpful hints from top B2C ecommerce sites: “12 Lessons ecommerce businesses learned this Christmas”*. Of course its American, but the lessons are the same whichever side of the Atlantic you are on.
So, here are a few of the most relevant tips, and how I’d translate them into B2B-useful-tips.

“Plan your promotions early – like September – or even earlier.”
. How this translates to B2B: Be ready to support your retailers and distributors in August/September for Christmas promotions, and start talking with them early to see what they are doing. Plan your own promotions for B2B sales in July/August, so that you can

“Ensure your store is properly stocked – don’t pay extra for re-stocking late”
. How often do you remind your B2C customers of their last-day order deadlines? Not surprisingly they don’t like paying the extra for late shipping, so can you do them a favour (and sell more) by promoting last-minute delivery dates. (This was B2C tip number 2, so you can see how important it was to them.)

“Make sure your site can handle the additional holiday traffic – test your site for surges and traffic spikes”
. Well B2B is less likely to get holiday spikes – but it’s still important to be robust and available for orders 24/7. Have you tested your Ecommerce site lately?

“Think mobile – on cyber Monday mobile exceeded desktop sales, taking 57.2% of sales”
. B2B follows B2C – how’s your mobile presence? There’s a significant shift to mobile, with 2015 up more than 30% on mobile sales compared to 2014

“Remember that consumers are looking for deals.”
. Of course they are – aren’t we all? Thinking through the sorts of deals you can help your B2C customers with – and providing these deals earlier – can generate pre-season sales and commitment for you.

“Provide exceptional online customer service.”
. B2C have learned the power of social media and of exceptional service online. It’s the same with B2B. OK, you may have less seasonality, but bear in mind that YOUR B2B customers may well need support over the Christmas holiday season, so consider how to support them online. Brand responsiveness is a key tool in building reputation. Finally, a useful footnote: Online B2C was up 20% at the back end of 2015 compared to 2014. Translates to: B2B ecommerce is following B2C trends. Get ready for more business online.

*here’s a link in case you are interested in reading more: http://www.cio.com/article/3026185/e-commerce/12-lessons-ecommerce-businesses-learned-this-holiday-season.html
– See more at: http://www.aspidistra.com/Blog/How-B2C-lessons-can-translate-to-B2B-and-boost-sales#sthash.DXZMXZVZ.dpuf

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