eCommerce essentially describes commerce that is conducted virtually, where its very core is mobility, accessibility and convenience. Studies have shown that B2B eCommerce sales are ever-increasing. How can manufacturers embrace this new purchasing trend to optimise sales and increase profits?
Get to know your buyer
The B2B buyer has changed in recent years. They now expect streamlined and efficient purchasing experience where all information is readily available at the click of a button, and delivery is only days away. It is vital that manufacturers understand their buyers’ expectations so that they may meet them and guarantee satisfaction and ongoing custom.
Due to accessibility, efficiency and a streamlined experience being of paramount importance, ensuring your website, product specifications and inventory availability are transparent, up-to-date and accessible from a mobile device is vital. Invest in this area of your business and watch your customer-base grow.
With the new eCommerce digital age, there are a multitude of useful apps, programs and management systems designed to help with sales data, product information management, inventory management and everything in between. However, if each of these systems stood alone as a single entity, they would be a nightmare to control, not to mention the amount of time required to duplicate data needed for each one. Ensure your manufacturing or inventory management systems always operate in real-time and can integrate seamlessly with the other platforms.
Just as with the B2C buying process, product and service reviews are extremely important for B2B customers. Professional buyers research all products available to them, there will be a lot of choice and not much separating the available choices in terms of superiority. So, how do they make a decision? They must rely more and more on product and service reviews. It is not simply about having a fantastic product but buyers are also interested in the whole purchasing process – is it efficient and reliable? Good product and service reviews are invaluable therefore encourage customer feedback and make a note of taking any criticism on board so you can strive for consistent improvement in what you deliver.
Just as with B2C eCommerce, personalisation is essential to the B2B eCommerce arena. It affords a feeling of connectivity with personal greetings as well as efficiency through easily accessible and tapered product information and storage of order histories or wish-lists. The idea is that a buyer does not have to spend time and effort remembering their past order histories, re-checking their emails for shipping information or keeping scrawled ordering lists for when they next go to place an order. All of this information can be housed in the one site, making it readily available and up-to-date for whenever it is required. Personalisation also gives a sense of value of both your customer’s precious time but also them as people. The effect of this? Long-standing loyalty and increased interactions which is the aim of the game.
Manufacturers have a tough job on their hands as they seek to adapt their ways for the new wave of eCommerce surging through business the world over. No longer can you simply concentrate on manufacturing the same great product without paying attention to how you market it, who will buy it and the quality of the buying experience. All these things are vital to ensuring increased order value and frequency. Of course, achieving these objectives can be extremely tricky without the support of stellar, integrated digital systems.