What do the best performing B2B eCommerce websites have in common? Here are some of the key factors that can give you a competitive edge.
Buyers need to be able to find exactly what they’re after as soon as they enter your site. So navigation should be smart, intuitive and responsive, pages need to load quickly and smoothly, important messages must be clear and prominent, product information has to be easily accessible, and the site should be design-optimised to display seamlessly across all kinds of device.
Take time to consider what information you should provide on your site to assist with the purchasing decision. On many occasions, more than one person will be involved in the buying process, especially for higher ticket items. So you need to ensure that all bases are covered and the depth, detail and technical aspects required by all parties are available to support simplified decision-making.
These days, the customer experience is a major differentiator for top b2b ecommerce companies. Rich functionality, high quality images and video, a carefully guided buying process and sharing tools create an engaging and immersive experience that supports sales and loyalty. And as the relationship with each customer develops, the ability to personalise the buying experience through individual pricing, special offers and targeted promotions can greatly enhance your service.
Make sure you maintain your site and keep it current – good housekeeping helps to improve the customer experience and backs up the image of a business that cares about its place in the market. For example, periodically test old links to make sure they still work, keep your blog updated with regular new posts, and don’t leave old or time-sensitive material displayed if it’s no longer relevant.
Rather than push for a quick sale, concentrate on building robust, long-term relationships with your customers. Remember, customers always have a choice and your competitors are only a click away. So try to position your business as a leader and innovator in your space – for example, share your knowledge using interesting and thought provoking blogs and opinion pieces, and use case studies to demonstrate how your approach works in practice.
Continually driving traffic to your site is at the heart of business growth. Key to this process is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), or identifying the main search terms used by customers to find the products they’re looking for, and then optimising your website’s content for these terms. Likewise, using social media as a platform for posting insightful and relevant content can be a highly effective way to engage with new and existing customers.
Seamlessly integrating your ecommerce site with business and accounting systems like Sage and Pegasus is probably the single most important thing you can do to make your business stand out and operate more efficiently. Integration automates the ordering process, updates stock levels in real-time and enables personalisation of the customer experience. Without effective integration, companies miss out on a lot of the functionality that makes moving to ecommerce so attractive in the first place.