The wholesale eCommerce industry is in its infancy, but the market is already worth trillions of dollars. As the scope of B2B eCommerce expands, this means B2B sales will grow with it. However, will B2B eCommerce sales follow the lead of B2C?
Though it might share some similarities to B2C, the customer relationships within B2B are quite different. With B2B, customer relationships are often enduring relationships that last long-term and can cover a complex array of business. With B2C, the exchange is generally not as long-lasting. When building momentum for B2B sales it’s important to look at the customer experience and how it can impact your sales.
Why is customer experience necessary for B2B sales?
The customer experience is the foundation of making and improving your B2B sales. If customers are satisfied with their purchase, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be returning again. Rather, in order to make sales, B2B companies need to outperform other companies, by improving the customer journey or swiftly delivering products. However, the better a company is at evoking emotive feelings, such as pride or accomplishment, from their customers, the stronger the connection between customer and company.
If companies fail to deliver an excellent customer experience, then the customer is four times as likely to leave another B2B company. This means that poor customer experience threatens your reputation and customers will likely share their feelings through negative word-of-mouth. If you can take your customer experience from mediocre to exceptional, you could experience a 30 to 50 percent improvement in KPIs. This means a customer might be 50 percent more likely to renew an order or purchase another one of your inventory stock items.
Make the purchasing process simple
The catalogue of inventory stock from a B2B seller can be overwhelming at the best of times. Prices, quantities, specifications, import rules, and shipping times are only a few of the components that go into the B2B mix. One of the best things a company can do to ensure positive customer experience is to make the purchasing process simple.
Undoubtedly, sales teams have limitations. If you are unable to attend to the needs of every single question from every single customer about the prospective purchases, perhaps it’s time to look towards chatbots. If you want to enhance your customer response time and make inventory stock purchasing more efficient, implement a chatbot on your eCommerce platform.
The digital world can make many parts of B2B shopping and purchasing process more streamlined. However, B2B sales should think twice before making their sales force purely digital as an integral part of B2B sales comes from building and maintaining relationships with customers. These relationships lack depth when it’s just through digital means. It’s totally fine to adapt to and embrace eCommerce platforms, but keep some face-to-face time in the mix. Your sales team is a powerful tool and can only complement your eCommerce set-up. A sales force can help win new customers and can provide invaluable product advice that is hard to relay online.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.