Are you a manufacturer, distributor, or supplier who is looking for ways to attract new buyers during the pandemic? Do you want to tap into the growing world of millennial B2B buyers? Wouldn’t it be great if you could strengthen your client relationships in today’s competitive B2B landscape?
If you’ve nodded your head in agreement to any of the above questions, it’s high time for you to jump on the B2B e-commerce bandwagon.
Transitioning your B2B business into an e-commerce storefront is crucial for reaching out to target buyers in today’s pandemic-stricken world. Also, it’ll help you forge strong relationships with existing clients, even if your sales reps can’t visit them in person.
The best part is that the pandemic has made modern B2B buyers comfortable with the idea of making expensive purchases online. They’re no longer apprehensive about buying costly office equipment, hardware, and furniture from e-commerce businesses. It isn’t surprising that the global B2B e-commerce market will be worth $20.9 trillion by 2027.
Challenges of B2B E-Commerce
First things first – launching a B2B e-commerce storefront isn’t the same as taking a brick and mortar retail store online. Strong customer relationships and regular human interactions are the pillars of B2B conversions and sales.
Also, the B2B buyer’s journey is complex and time-consuming. It involves multiple stakeholders and decision-makers as well. If you want your B2B e-commerce business to succeed, you must strike a balance between digital and human touchpoints to deliver an outstanding customer experience.
Moreover, most B2B organizations thrive on repeat purchases from loyal customers. So, it’s necessary to use your e-commerce storefront to retain customers and personalize your product offerings based on their changing needs. It’s becoming increasingly important with the growing number of B2B organizations taking the plunge into e-commerce.
Top B2B E-Commerce Strategies for Success
In the following sections, we’ll discuss a few powerful tactics to help you stand out in the competitive B2B e-commerce landscape. Let’s get started.
1. Prioritize Order Fulfillment
B2B e-commerce isn’t just about creating an eye-catching website and mobile app. You need to ensure that your sales reps follow through with the order and assist clients at every step. You need to provide buyers with a seamless experience with top-notch services, such as overnight shipping and white glove delivery.
That increases the need to find an experienced and reputable freight forwarding company. They’ll save you from the hassle of coordinating among different shipping companies and insurance providers.
For instance, they’ll identify the best route for safely delivering your products on time, and coordinate with different transportation providers. A good freight forwarder will also provide you with different freight options, including sea, air, and land transportation.
They can even help you with customs clearance, in case you’re shipping products to a foreign country. You can visit https://www.malogistics.com/ for more information on the services provided by such companies.
It’s just as important to find a reliable last-mile delivery provider to further enhance the customer experience. Look for companies that provide personalized solutions, such as room of choice and inside deliveries, as well as dunnage removal and reverse logistics.
Apart from providing clients with regular order updates, you should let them track the status in real-time. Also, provide an easy way to return defective products and claim refunds. Depending on the type of product, you might have to offer assembly and installation services as well.
Ensuring safe and timely delivery of orders will go a long way to bolster your reputation as a trustworthy B2B organization in your niche. Also, it’ll maximize customer satisfaction and loyalty, thus amplifying repeat business.
2. Focus on Self-Service Functionalities
Here’s the thing – a large fraction of today’s B2B buyers comprises millennials who’ve grown up with the internet and smartphones at their disposal. They’re self-reliant and tech-savvy, and prefer to conduct their own research before making purchase decisions for their business.
In fact, 41% of B2B buyers agree that self-service functionality will make it easier for them to make online purchases. If you want to cater to the needs of these self-sufficient buyers, you must equip your e-commerce storefront with robust self-service features.
Start by improving the search functionality on your website/app to let users easily find specific products. Also, make it easy for them to access order history and use past purchases as a template for placing new orders. Additionally, provide useful content that’s tailored for different stages of the buying process.
3. Leverage Data and Analytics
The biggest advantage of having an online store is that you get access to a goldmine of data about buyers’ needs, purchasing behavior, pain points, and interactions. Using a robust analytics tool will help you interpret this data and skyrocket revenue by customizing product recommendations, website/app features, and content.
Transitioning into e-commerce is no longer an alternative for B2B companies. It’s becoming the norm. If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, build an online storefront with sophisticated self-service features. Also, curate an excellent customer experience by improving shipping, order fulfillment, and customer support.