The same as most internet-related things, the eCommerce space is growing at lightning speed. In particular, B2B or business-to-business eCommerce is flourishing. Businesses need to develop new strategies to be able to keep up with the quick-evolving industry.
Long-term growth planning and competing with online retailers, such as Amazon needs tapping into the B2B buyer mindset and using B2C or business-to-customer relationship-building techniques. Improving your internet brand is not only about eCommerce website development, it also includes the right processes, from a business-to-business perspective to a business-to-client perspective.
In the eCommerce realm, there are so many platforms to choose from. One of the most renowned and is highly sought after is the Shopify platform. Furthermore, the services of a Shopify development company are in big demand, particularly in this time of lockdowns and quarantines due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Online businesses continue finding ways to improve their strategies.
In the B2B eCommerce field, several lessons could be taken from B2C websites. What exactly does B2C have anything to do with business-to-business? The answer is pretty straightforward.
In the process of selling more and satisfying your customer base, it’s time to get rid of your old-school B2B mentality and draw a bit of inspiration from the business-to-customer world. Indeed, there are specific reasons why business-to-business eCommerce websites could and should take lessons from their business-to-customer counterparts.
Important Lessons from Business to Customer Websites
1. More business-to-business buys are occurring online
How B2B buyers want to purchase is evolving. No longer are B2B purchases exclusively happening in boardrooms, over the phone, or on the golf course. B2B buyers, every year are behaving more and more like B2C buyers. There are of course differences between B2B and B2C purchases, including:
- Typically, the price tag in B2B is higher
- The B2B buying cycle is often longer
- More people are usually involved in business-to-business purchases.
Yet, the thing is that B2B buyers are also B2C buyers. Consider the chief marketing officer you’re trying to sell to. That person is the same one who recently purchased a brand-new Golden State Warriors jersey online for his/her teenaged son.
He/she is also the same CMO who weekly opens up his/her Amazon app to restock just about everything the family uses in the house. The thing is—B2B buyers are not just B2B buyers, they’re people as well. And, people already are accustomed to buying online.
2. B2B buyers still are B2C consumers
Nobody working in a corporate office lives 24/7, 365 days a year wearing a suit and tie, breathing and thinking corporate. People are people—and they use a huge array of various channels to learn about the things occurring around them. The rise in the video may have started in the business-to-customer, but it’s rapidly becoming a B2B trend as well.
The growth of LinkedIn stories that originally came from Instagram and Snapchat, is a major example of how consumer-driven experiences that are traditional are driving a business-to-business adoption. Every B2B company should realize this reality.
The majority of business-to-business eCommerce websites make the mistake of ignoring some of the most popular trends that influence B2C and thus miss out.
3. Business-to-Commerce UX is the Buyer’s Expectation
Based on Google, in 2015 nearly half of all business-to-business buyers were millennials, a couple of times more than three years back. And ever since, the number has grown. The key is that: millennials increasingly dominate the B2B buyer group each year.
To sell more in B2B, some things to keep in mind are:
- millennials grow up online
- if it sucks, they’re not afraid to leave your site forever
- they know that a good and bad UX looks like
The first thing to do is to understand the reason why millennial decision-makers leave B2B eCommerce websites to keep them happy. If web visitors are forced to dig information on your products and services, and when they should buy or avail, the news is that they won’t.
Another thing that drives them away is when there’s no available contact information. They leave because of poor website design and navigation if the audio of video auto-plays when the website loads. A live chat app that’s intrusive also drives your visitors away.
4. Time to Make Your Buyer the Top Priority
Since the emergence of B2B eCommerce, businesses have been putting themselves first. Rather than putting themselves in the shoes of their customers to understand what they want the purchasing experience to be like, business-to-business brands are only streamlining their systems. However, the truth is that B2B buyers today don’t care what’s best for your systems.
They want an experience that’s on par with their requirements. If your website’s buying process is lengthy and confusing, they will do everything to look for another option. So what exactly do B2B buyers want? It depends.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all UX that’s guaranteed to work each time for your brand. Shopify and Shopify app development outlined capabilities to keep in mind when designing the UX. The features that matter most to B2B purchasers:
- 62 percent prefer better search functionality
- 56 percent want to look at product reviews and ratings
- 54 percent want action-based personalized recommendations
- 52 percent want promos and special offers
- 41 percent want a mobile-optimized site
The key here?
Everything buyers have become accustomed to in business-to-customer, such as reviews, search, simplicity, recommendations—they want to see as well when shopping for business-to-business products. If you’re pressuring B2B purchasers to change how they think about purchasing online entirely because it’s easy for you, they will move to the next supplier in a flash.
Instead of a me-first mindset when creating your eCommerce system, talk to your consumers. You should find out what they want from you, the things they expect to see on your site, and how they want to purchase. Later, you create a system that delivers all their needs.
5. Amazon has Joined the B2B Space
Amazon is the B2C king, that’s no secret. When Amazon makes a move into business-to-business, this is a robust signal that the B2B buyers’ behavior is changing. In the first twelve months after the rollout of Amazon in 2015, they reported more than a billion sales.
In your brand, if your UX isn’t up to par with the buyer standards, they’ll gladly move on to Amazon Business and search for alternatives.
A Quick Recap
- In the B2B buyer demographic, millennials are dominating the scene
- Amazon leads the way in eCommerce and moving towards B2B
- More and more business-to-business buys happen online
- About time to put buyers first and build them familiar experiences
While competing against Amazon as well as online leaders in growing B2B online sales, you should have a better understanding of the customer journey and engage them in helpful ways. Even with the potentially lucrative rewards, business-to-business electronic commerce need not be complicated. A lot of solutions make the market accessible to every merchant.
As an eCommerce retailer, whatever you do, make certain that your business and platform are ready to face the future with the features. Keep in mind that the business-to-customer experience informs the expectations of customers of business-to-business eCommerce, so don’t let them down.