Businesses throughout the world have been disrupted by COVID-19. eCommerce buyers who weren’t ahead of the curve have found themselves slipping behind and are going after the digital sales process for the very first time.
Many firms have decided to use self-service digital channels, which shows that B2B buyers prefer to connect with vendors through self-service channels. The widespread paralysis of conventional B2B organisations with respect to their digital transition suggests that it may be difficult to execute a successful digital transformation.
It is vital for businesses to keep their customers in mind at all times. Customers are fast to move wallet share to rivals who have understood the necessity to engage digitally when firms are reluctant to meet them where they are on digital purchase channels.
The B2B industries, going all the way back to the pioneers, have felt that no personalised touch could be substituted by an online experience. In addition to personalised options, self-serve alternatives increase customization.
Buyers will quickly transfer wallet share to opponents who are providing superior eCommerce experiences, if these companies don’t satisfy their consumers’ expectations for digital commerce.
As a first step, let’s clarify some prevalent misunderstandings about B2B eCommerce that have hindered many businesses from providing their customers with what they need.
6 Most common B2B eCommerce myths
Myth #1 B2B eCommerce customers dislike automation and software
That is not correct! Most B2B eCommerce businesses management relies on effective use of intelligent software or plugins such as Catalog Visibility or Quick Order management to more successfully operate their organization and automate various activities (e.g. customer support and order management).
Instead of letting software confine you to your clients, you are liberated from it, and able to accomplish more meaningful things for them. According to our consumers, the most important thing is providing excellent service; thus concentrating on running a service-based firm, not an organization that relies on a lot of intricate higher-level procedures.
The most important task of B2B business managers is to make eCommerce as simple as possible. They should employ software solutions and lead the way when it comes to adopting new technology.
Whether clients will notice whether you utilise software to perform tedious chores will depend on how dull those jobs are. To their eyes, all that you have to offer is your experience, which is extremely focused on connections and relationships. that’s where you should be putting your money–in excellent goods, fantastic copy, and valuable customer value
Chat-and customer care portals let you streamline your customer service throughout the day, regardless of your location.
When it comes to customer support pop-ups and sales chats, be as unobtrusive as possible while still getting the point across. Link customer support pop-ups and sales chats to your site design, and then give customers the option to reduce the number of pop-ups and sales chats that they see if they desire.
As soon as the pleasant chat box appears on the People HR website (they provide HR software), you may easily dismiss or reduce it. Its style harmonises with the rest of the website’s design, and it helps maintain the user experience consistent.
Myth # 2 Digital channels that enable the sale of products leads to commoditization
It is maybe the most common fallacy among B2B vendors, and that is that all B2B customers focus on the price of the item alone. If price-sensitive buyers use advanced search engines, they can evaluate costs among possible providers to choose the best deal.
However, when this approach is used, it’s most successful with two different sorts of customers: customers who have a single-time requirement and customers who are new to transactional relationships and aren’t yet aware of the work that is required to reap the benefits.
Many buyers believe that the best bargain can be found if they “cherry-pick” certain components from many sources. However, in doing so, they neglect the important additional value that an association with a trustworthy and collaborative supplier chain partner may provide.
Rather than targeting transactional, fair-weather consumers who want to compare you to your competitors, focus on attracting loyal customers who appreciate your products and services. While digital platforms may bring customer and seller closer together, the success of this depends on well-executed marketing.
In this situation, buyers will have the ability to view their previous purchase histories, inventory information, and product recommendations in the absence of eCommerce platforms that could deliver them.
As a result, they will have a better idea of how they are using their suppliers and how they can strengthen and expand their partnership with that business.
Myth # 3 B2B eCommerce consumers are complex buyers
When it comes to commercial clients, there are several unique demands, such as properly managing supply chains, maintaining quality control, and fulfilling delivery deadlines. In the world of supply, consumers and suppliers have developed the assumption that every step of the purchase process needs a human touch.
Customers’ diverse requirements are not neglected when they have one-on-one human interactions with chatbots that only have a restricted number of queries.
What tends to happen is that believing in the extraordinary nature of every business deal causes that notion to become true. Buyers are increasingly seeking self-service alternatives in all their purchase interactions.
According to a recent study, 96% of customers are acquiring goods and services digitally, and 37% are ordering more than half of their products without the assistance of a sales representative. Choosing to shop in-store rather than online allows consumers to build a deeper level of loyalty while increasing their overall expenditure.
Companies in the B2B sector should be concerned about retaining their clients by giving digital options—and getting started may be as easy as re-ordering the last transaction via a digital experience.
Giving customers valuable history information, as well as helping them recall and reorder items they might want to purchase again, gives you significant information about your customers. It is probable that after purchasing your items and services, the consumer would seek a simple reorder option.
Myth # 4 Social proof are only for B2C eCommerce
There is little doubt that B2C firms are able to take advantage of social proof, but B2B companies may profit from social selling as well. This is as true of consumers as it is of business and professional customers: They want to believe that they are investing in a product or service that other people have vouched for.
It’s critical to put your attention on building a social network for your brand from the start. Customers prefer to see product reviews, testimonials, and photographs of other pleased customers.
BodyShop has done their best to make sure that as many consumers as possible end up at their website, so that they may post customer reviews. Post-purchase emails are sent out to consumers asking them to express their thoughts.
In order to create a customer community where individuals are invited to contribute their opinions for the benefit of others, everything is about providing a welcoming environment where people may voice their ideas.
In the comparison between B2B vs B2C eCommerce, we often find plenty of differences between the two business models.
However, this tactic can be used by both B2B and B2C firms — request that your customers provide information about their products and services with the broader business community.
Instead than just asking for a review, invite others to also provide one. In addition to those methods, here are some other B2B marketing review tactics you may employ for your organisation.
To get into the Body Shop online gallery, consumers take photographs of their goods and use the hashtag #THEBODYSHOPUSA to submit them.
For B2B, you might come up with a clever hashtag like #FuninTheOffice and encourage other businesspeople to post photographs of their workplaces and companies.
Myth # 5 Dynamic pricing doesn’t hold up well with B2B buyers
Finally, the third often held assumption is that transparency in pricing would anger clients when the offer rate is lower than what they paid yesterday.
A relationship in a traditional business is characterised by how buyers perceive the fairness of the price. They base their view on how much they previously paid for a similar product or service, and this view is predicated on limited information and the lack of the ability to easily obtain pricing information for an alternative item.
With the internet’s rise, these walls have been torn down. Such aggregators and consumer review sites have now revealed a number of previously concealed facts, such as prices and service standards. Buying customers now have far more information at their fingertips, enabling them to make smarter buying decisions across different providers.
Since sellers will now have to take into consideration their buyer’s connection as well as replacement and rival offerings in the marketplace, they will have to have a good grasp of what that buyer’s wants and needs are. In today’s economy, firms are more sensitive to shifting expenses because of the instability of the market.
When more elements are considered, customers are increasingly interested in finding prices that are stable. In other words, the word “fair” has a broader meaning, and people want openness in price calculation.
The pricing strategies that you use to list your products on the web might have an impact on the conversion rates of your customers. A variety of pricing technology solutions enable rules with dependencies to be established.
The notion of dynamic pricing is gaining traction with customers because they view it as more constant, objective, and superior to the fluctuating, biassed techniques of gut-instinct-based pricing.
Myth # 6 Running a B2B eCommerce store is complicated
One of the most common B2B eCommerce misconceptions is that many business owners believe that an online store does not mesh well with the wholesale industry, and that retail outlets are not a good fit for this type of firm.
The truth is that eCommerce encourages customers by offering ease, speed, and accessibility regardless of whether the transaction is business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C).
This misconception is common in the business-to-business sector due to the lengthy sales cycles; purchasing has multiple decision-makers and a protracted timeline. While the retail market is greater, the order amount is bigger as well.
Customized product offers and pricing structures are a part of the business model of B2B eCommerce. Because in the internet wholesale market, one-size-fits-all does not work, there must be several sizes for each type of item.
24-hour accessibility, product and pricing transparency, and other aspects are being implemented in online retail. Both B2B markets have improved because of the incorporation of items and pricing strategies to accommodate each customer’s desires.
Any B2B firm, no matter where it is in its digital transformation path, can gain more and extend client connections by working to lessen friction, increase transparency, and better anticipate customer demands.
Customers’ wants must be taken into consideration, offerings must be tailored to meet them, and they must be kept abreast of relevant information. To aid in the identification of on-going, standard needs, it can assist to decrease in-store frustration.
Using extended value as a selling point allows customers to better understand your business and the types of value you can provide. Enhanced customer experience may also be found through increased consumer involvement through digital experiences. On a fundamental level, companies may use these three principles to enhance the purchase experience and make it even more extraordinary. Doing so makes a company more robust, which can help to prevent crises.