As we all know, B2B ecommerce is outstripping B2C at the moment. It’s delivering double the revenues of B2C and on track to be worth £5.3 trillion by 2020.
Despite the opportunity, many B2B companies still don’t have an intuitive ecommerce site that satisfies customer needs, with many more not selling online at all. If you’re shooting for a large slice of that revenue, the last thing you want to do is provide a poor experience and drive your customers towards your competitors, but sometimes it isn’t easy to spot the missed opportunities.
And that’s where we come in. We’re helping our clients make the most of the opportunity, ensuring they stay ahead of their competitors time and again. And we can do the same for you.
As a starting point, take a look at your website and go through these quick checkpoints below to see where the easy fixes could be.
Do You Have A Customer-Focused Description Of Your Company?
It can be easy to assume your audience knows your business and industry as well as you do.
As a result, many websites make it difficult for a visitor to find exactly what the company does. The message can get lost in jargon, acronyms and vague marketing speak. This can turn off buyers and have them exit your website before they’ve even started to explore.
Don’t assume that visitors will know your industry and your offering. Provide a summary to distinguish your offering from competitors, but also reveal how you can help them by addressing their needs, demonstrating benefits and getting the right emotional response.
Take a look at your home page with fresh eyes and see whether you can understand what your company is offering.
Do You Cater For Early Stage Buyers?
Many prospects who visit your website won’t be at a point where they are ready to buy. They may not be comfortable with filling out a contact form or aren’t quite ready to call your sales team. Many won’t even want to trade their details for a report or white paper.
You may have all these tools on your site already and that’s great. These lead magnets are vitally important, but you also need to build trust with potential customers when they’re at a very early stage. Provide information that shows you understand their industry and their problems, without them having to give anything in return at first. These snippets of information that you give them need to solve problems, but you can also use them to plant more questions and lead them to data capture forms for them to download more information in the future.
Once your visitors are ready to download or get in touch, they will. That’s as long as you provide them with the tools to get to that stage in the first place.
Does Your Ecommerce Solution Do You Justice?
Is your ecommerce solution too basic for your large product inventory? Does the complexity of your products require rich product content, imagery and datasheets? Are your customers able to leave reviews of your products? Or perhaps you don’t have an ecommerce solution at the moment.
Whether you’re selling rubber gloves or complex electronic measuring equipment, a growing portion of your customer base will prefer to buy online.
The challenges of B2B product complexity can so easily create customer confusion. As well as providing technical specifications, product benefits and value comparisons, it’s likely you’ll need to offer the option of buying on account, manage a variety of pricing structures and offer a range of shipping options. All of this needs to be provided in a format that is accessible and intuitive for your customers.
If implemented and maintained correctly, your ecommerce solution will boost your sales dramatically, reduce costs, tie your existing customers into your product offerings for the long-term and attract more new business away from your competition.
Are You Using Dynamic Personalisation?
Dynamic personalisation allows you to serve up website content that changes based on each visitor’s requirements. For example, you may want to show a customer a different homepage to what you’d show an existing lead, which would also be different to what you’d show a first-time visitor. Dynamic personalisation means you can deliver the right content to the right people, at the right time.
This is even more important in the B2B arena, where large product inventories and different target audiences are commonplace.
A changing, personalised website experience not only promotes a great user experience, but can create more conversions by transforming your site from a source of static information and a hard sell into a two-way conversation with your audiences. It allows you to deliver timely, relevant content, build trust, and personalise your calls to action.
Although dynamic personalisation can seem like a daunting challenge, the underlying technology is relatively easy to implement and can make a huge difference to the revenues your website delivers.
Does Your Website Have Speed Issues?
Although your B2B ecommerce website is probably large it also needs to load fast. It’s well known that content loading issues cause visitors to bounce off your website, but user impatience is increasing and people are now far less forgiving of a bad online experience. In particular:
- 50% of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less.
- 40% of people will abandon a web page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
- 79% of online shoppers who have had trouble with a website loading said they wouldn’t return to the site again.
Loading times are a major factor to page abandonment, but before you can do anything about your loading time, you need to find out how your website stacks up at the moment.
You can identify the bottlenecks in your website and pinpoint best practices using Pingdom’s website speed checker tool or similar. Page speed can be impacted by many things, though the most common ones are:
- Lack of image compression
- No browser caching
- Too many redirects
- Slow database queries
- Slow routing
- No CDN (content delivery network)
Not only will your user experience be affected by slow page loading times, but Google will also reduce your visibility in its search results. This creates a downward spiral of less page visitors and higher bounce rates.
Putting It All Together
These are just a few of the many ways that we can help you improve the online experience for your customers. As B2B ecommerce continues to accelerate, you need to be thinking about the overall experience that you can provide to your audiences. Let us know how you get on and what works well for you and your industry, we’d love to hear from you.
Was this post of use to you? If you need any pointers along the way just get in touch, we’re here to help.