B2B eCommerce is a fickle and an ever-changing game, which can be daunting to play if you do not know the rules, however it can be well worth your while to learn quickly. In doing so, you can bring your best game and experience some business wins. This article considers B2B eCommerce trends in the current business climate.
B2B CRO comes into focus
Conversion rate optimisation (CRO), refers to the percentage of visitors to an eCommerce site that make a purchase. Historically, B2C websites experience a 2-3% CRO with B2B websites enjoying a 10% conversion rate. Therefore, it has generally not been considered a significant focus of B2B companies to improve their CRO. However, this is changing as more and more B2B competition enter the market with efficient platforms. Some companies even have exceptional B2C platforms that procurement specialists can use.
How can you increase your CRO to ensure more visitors becomes customers in the coming year? This can include things such as adjusting the design and capability of your eCommerce site to include more data that is specific for their needs, as well as removing any redundant steps in the search and purchasing processes.
The changing buyer profile
The historical Gen X buyer may have enjoyed experiencing the product first hand while connecting with the sales representative in person, however the millennial buyer requires more information and the ability to virtually see and ‘handle’ a product through streamlined, cyber channels. They also expect personalisation and efficiency, and are less understanding of delays. Since it is estimated half of all buyers are now millennials, a company’s sales process must identify and meet all these needs.
A recent Google report estimated that 42% of buyers utilise their mobile phones when making purchases for their business. The global purchasing picture looks completely different to what it did 10 years ago with people accustomed to always being contactable and completing quick business operations from their devices. A company’s website or eCommerce portal must reflect these ideals in the way it operates, such as ensuring your eCommerce portal is mobile-optimised and efficient, as 42% is a fair percentage of customers to appeal to.
Personalisation despite the screen
Despite human interaction inevitably being less with the adoption of B2B eCommerce and a growing screen-interface, customers will still require personalisation and expect a streamlined and customised experience that is tapered just for them and their purchasing needs. As all processes across companies become faster and more efficient, people do not have time to sift through thousands of products on a slow website just to find the ones they need. It is vital to incorporate back-end algorithms that deliver personalised product displays and dynamic pricing. Customers expect to be greeted and referred to by name throughout their transaction as well as being rewarded for long-term relationship value and order volume despite using a website rather than a sales agent. This may be tough to set up, however paying attention to customisation and what the buyer’s requirements are throughout the process will pay off in the long run.
Integration with other systems
B2B eCommerce sites must increasingly ensure their platforms can be integrated with other necessary software systems for the complete optimised user experience. This includes customer management systems and back-end inventory management software, so that the entire process of integrating inventory data and making a purchase is interconnected and efficient. Even better, is if companies can be solution-minded with regards to a customer’s existing businesses systems, endeavouring to slot in and ensure theirs connects seamlessly to create a fully transparent and optimised organ of systems working together. Creating a transparent and efficient inventory procurement process is beneficial for all involved, saving time and errors and enhancing the customer experience.