Making the move to b2b ecommerce can be challenging, especially if you need to adapt organisational structures, processes and staff attitudes to new ways of working. Get it right though, and the rewards can be substantial – from increased sales, higher margins and lower costs, to greater customer satisfaction and higher levels of repeat business. Transitioning to the world of b2b ecommerce needn’t be that complex – here are a few tips to help you smooth out your journey.
Create a b2b proposition for the digital age
Refining your traditional offline customer proposition for online selling is key. You need to understand why customers buy from you – for example, your product range, price or quality of customer service – and then create a proposition that articulates this in the digital environment.
Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve
Establish the objectives for your online business early on. What are your revenue and margin targets? Where will your customers come from and what are your product priorities? Think about how you want online to fit with other channels and your goals for the sales mix. Then create a plan for achieving your vision – and continually evaluate and refine it to ensure it continues to deliver.
Get a firm grip on your customer’s journey
Understanding the customer journey across all online and offline sales channels helps to optimise the customer experience at every touch point. This is especially true in the context of changing expectations, where customers are increasingly choosing online, self-service engagement.
Make the right technology choices
Selecting the right b2b ecommerce platform and the right partner to integrate your solution with your existing business systems is critical. You need to develop a clear technology roadmap that aligns with your channel strategy and business goals and ensure you choose a best-of-breed ecommerce platform that has the capabilities to streamline processes, drive efficiencies and deliver an outstanding customer experience.
Drive customers to your site – and keep them there
Consider the role of search engine optimisation, content marketing and personalised landing pages in the acquisition of your new customers, as well as smart on/offline marketing hacks. Design your site so that it’s easy to navigate and your customers can find the products they need. With the right ecommerce platform, you can keep it simple and make it personal and engaging for your customers – so they’re more likely to buy from you.
Encourage repeat purchase and loyalty
Make the job of your b2b buyers as easy as possible and they’ll keep coming back to your site to buy. Ensure your ecommerce solution is able to offer them services like automatic reordering, real-time stock display, customer-specific pricing and on-account purchasing.