B2B e-Commerce market is on the rise these days. Due to innovation in digital marketing and e-commerce, more companies are looking for B2B business solutions so that they can easily interact and trade with big businesses. B2B e-commerce allows companies to reach businesses around the globe in no time. Cloud-based e-Commerce makes inventory and order processing a smooth task. Businesses can not only find new customers but also retain clients for longer prospects.
But, that is all the bright side!
Another side of the coin is that not many B2B e-Commerce businesses are able to survive and they fail quickly. What could be the reasons? In this article, I am sharing 4 points of failure in B2B e-Commerce. Start noticing these red flags from the beginning so that you can leverage all the benefits that this industry has to offer.
1. You do not have a well-designed website
Many businesses think that well-designed, organised and structured websites are for individual customers and not for businesses. This is why they do not pay much attention to creating an eye-catching website for B2B e-commerce. However, this is a bad practice and can easily lead to the failure of your business. Here are a few ways how you can ensure a well-designed website:
- Just like B2C customers, B2B customers are looking for websites that can be navigated easily. So make sure your website has optimised navigation
- B2B customers expect a clear, concise and smooth checkout process
- Branding and reputation are equally important in B2B businesses just like B2C businesses
- B2B websites must include CTA’s (a lot of them!) because without them it might be difficult to attract the customers
- An estimated pricing calculator will spruce the website up and will make buying much easier for B2B customers
If your website is nothing like this, it is time to revamp it and turn your steering towards success.
2. You are not building a social media presence
We all know that people nowadays devote more time and energy to social media. They not only use it to communicate with their friends and family but also to give their opinions on topics and say how they are feeling. So if you think that being a B2B e-Commerce business, you do not need a social media presence, you must think twice! Here’s how social media can prevent your B2B e-Commerce from failure:
- You can use social media as a marketing tool and release important information to your customers
- You can use social media as a sales tool and find potential buyers and new leads
- You can use social media as a feedback and support system where you can seek feedback from your customers and also provide them with customer support whenever required
- You can use features like storytelling to engage with your audience and build a reputation for your brand
By not using social media properly, your B2B e-Commerce business is missing out on many things.
3. Not providing sufficient product data to customers
B2B e-Commerce is all about product information. You must provide your customers with all the necessary information about a product so that they can make a purchase. Only the product name and price will not be enough as other competitors will be providing the same. If you want your B2B e-Commerce to succeed, you have to think beyond the syndicated content provided by manufacturers. Here are a few ways by which you can set yourself apart:
- Add a variety of product images such as 360-degree interactive images, specification tables and specification calculators
- Include information such as installation guides, warranty information, and additional safety information for your customers
- Provide clear and detailed product descriptions and promote transparency
- Include product videos, tutorials or demonstrations to engage customers with your products
Do not assume that your customer already knows about a product. Even if they do know, reading all the information on your website can help them make a clear choice.
4. Not giving much importance to user experience
Many B2B business owners have this notion that they do not need to please the customer or provide a great user experience. This could be a reason for the downfall of their B2B e-Commerce business. You must be able to convince customers that you are providing them with a high-quality product and doing business with you will bring them long-term benefits. Your product will not only benefit them but also their customers. Here are a few ways to make it possible:
- Use the power of storytelling to engage your audience (it could be a short video, a testimonial or infographic)
- Add a live chat option on your website enabling customers to get quick answers to their queries
- Allow your customers to talk to any of your account managers who can provide them with personalised guidance while they buy a product
- Optimise site navigation, search, check out, listing pages and shopping cart to meet the latest standards of buyers
Treat your clients as people, not businesses. When decision-makers buy something for their business, they think like people buying things for themselves. They have the same expectations and questions in their minds.
Did you notice any of these red flags in your B2B e-Commerce business? If yes, then it is time to make things right and run your e-Commerce business the correct way! Just remember that your website must be well-designed, organised and optimised for customers. Include a variety of CTA’s on your website. Work on building a social media presence because that is the best way to stay connected with your customers and find new leads.
Make sure that you are providing enough information about your products on your website that sets you apart from your competitors. Lastly, treat your customers as people and not just any other business. Take care of their expectations and provide them with a seamless user experience. Follow these tips and in no time, your B2B e-Commerce business will experience great success!