Selling in the b2b ecommerce market is very different to retail b2c selling, so we’ve drawn on our b2b experience to put together a few tips to help you boost sales.
Compared to most consumer gear, b2b products tend to be more complex and technical, which means that sellers have to be very precise about product descriptions and specifications. Buyers need detailed information to make informed decisions, and they’ll look for it elsewhere if they can’t find it on your site. Product pricing is also a lot more involved with b2b and there’s frequently a need to customise prices for individual customers.
In our experience, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors need to ensure they have a robust online catalogue in place that comprehensively details all products and incorporates advanced search capabilities to make the buyer’s job as easy as possible. At the same time, b2b sellers require an ecommerce platform that supports customer-specific pricing along with the ability to personalise other areas of the customer experience such as promotional offers, for example.
In the b2b market selling often involves multi-level decision-making, especially where higher ticket items are involved – from managers and designers to engineers and procurement. And whatever the purchase, buyers consistently need to prove they are delivering best value for their organisation. So the product information you include on your site must have a wide appeal – descriptive enough for the techies and with a clear value proposition for the execs. Short videos and high quality photography and illustration can also help to communicate your offering.
The b2b sales cycle can be long, and with more expensive items the sales process can last months. Often then, for b2b sellers, lead nurturing (or keeping your customer engaged with your company and products during the sales process) is just as important as lead generation. Many of the companies we work with use content on their site to nurture customers and potential customers during the purchase decision process. For example, useful content such as whitepapers, market research, opinion pieces and webinars are made available in exchange for contact details, (which can then be used for email marketing activities).
In b2b there’s a limited pool of potential buyers for your products, so customer conversion rates start to become really important. Again, this is where efficiency and message personalisation have key roles to play – like using tailored landing pages to ensure that prospects are seeing information that’s relevant to their needs.
Remember too that your company – its reputation and trustworthiness – is just as important as the quality and price of the products you sell. Potential new customers want to see information on your business that makes them feel confident about dealing with you. They want to know that you’re not going to let them down and that you’ll deliver on your promises. This is where a good ‘About us’ and ‘Case study’ sections, complete with senior executive biographies, an intelligent corporate proposition and a selection of customer testimonials can make all the difference.