In the past 15 years, many B2B businesses jumped on the eCommerce bandwagon to increase their market share by fulfilling today’s B2B buyers demand : giving a convenient platform to them to shop online.
B2B consumers’ buying expectations and behaviours are drastically evolving. Around 64% consumers purchase online as they believe it’s more convenient to shop online than it is to purchase from a sales representative.
Whereas, 93% of customers complete their purchase online when they have decided what to purchase.
If you’re a B2B merchant it’s essential to offer a consistent online experience that drives conversions, meets consumers expectations, and improves your brand’s credibility.
That seems quite an easy-peasy task, isn’t it? Well, not really. There’s a catch here.
To do so, there are a few eCommerce mistakes that you as a B2B seller must avoid to prevent your business from losing sales.
In this post, we’ll be exploring those top 05 mistakes that might be sabotaging your B2B sales. Sounds great right?
So without any further ado, let’s dig in!
Five eCommerce mistakes every B2B seller must avoid
Mistake #1 Assuming B2B buyers don’t prefer to shop online
Yes we know there are still some B2B buyers who prefer face-to-face interactions, but most of the B2B buyers today now prefer to purchase online. This is true for all forms of B2B customers, but particularly for millennials who totally depend upon the internet.
Millennials want to be able to purchase products from companies online, just like they do in their personal lives, now that they are joining managerial roles with buying power and perform half of all B2B researches.
72% of B2B consumers prefer the ease of online shopping. They cherish getting self-service access to orders and accounts, being able to monitor the whole purchasing process, and having access to details 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Though complex orders still necessitate some interaction with experienced sales representatives, most B2B consumers choose eCommerce channels to research, shop, reorder, and get assistance. When more consumers change their buying behaviors online, B2B eCommerce becomes vital for boosting sales, ROI, and customer loyalty.
Texas America Safety Company began selling occupational safety equipment in the West Texas oil field more than 20 years ago. For several years, they used delivery vans to meet as many customers as possible and sold products straight from their delivery vans. They launched their first B2B eCommerce store in 1996 and realised the advantages of selling online.
Gary Brownless, the Vice President of Texas American Safety Company stated,
“Adding our products online and effectively marketing our website was able to dramatically increase our sales. We now have a thriving business thanks to the internet.”
Mistake #2 Not offering a B2C-like shopping experience
Customers have been trained by Amazon and other B2C retailers to expect their online shopping experiences to be quick, convenient, and easy from beginning till the end.
The same customer who buys on Amazon after work and on weekends orders from a B2B company’s eCommerce store during the workday and expects a similar shopping experience.
From customised product reviews and exclusive discounts to a simple ordering process and fast order fulfillment, businesses must give B2B buyers the same treatment they give to B2C customers.
B2C customers have become accustomed to shopping on easy-to-navigate and beautifully designed eCommerce sites, and they now demand the same level of service from their B2B suppliers’ websites.
They want comprehensive product details, high-resolution and multiple product images, multiple payment options, advanced search tools, live chat, personalized promotions and other common B2C eCommerce tools and features.
For over 25 years, Clarion Protection Systems has designed and manufactured product safety signage and labels for the B2B industry. When they found their old website wasn’t serving their consumers’ needs—it had complex navigation, lacked calls to action, and had a bad overall user experience—they switched to another eCommerce platform to improve the overall user experience.
Mistake #3 Not understanding the significance of mobile B2B eCommerce
One of the biggest mistakes businesses often make in this industry is avoiding the mobile channel. 61% of B2B customers use smartphones for research purposes, and 60% believe mobile plays a major role in purchases.
From analysing products and seeking pricing quotations to making purchases and calling customer support, B2B shoppers use mobile devices during the purchasing process and beyond.
In addition to creating a mobile-optimized eCommerce website, leading B2B companies develop mobile applications that offer a more accessible and faster way to engage consumers.
Apart from being an out-class differentiator, mobile applications support everyone who is involved in this whole journey – from channel partner to customers to internal teams to field sales. They can be easily integrated with your existing ERP system to offer everything including bar code scanning, customer-specific pricing, product information, and ordering capabilities.
Since 1999, Atlanta Light Bulbs have been selling online. As they adopted eCommerce very early, it gave them an edge over their competitors for two decades. Unfortunately, their competitors began gaining more market share after the launch of their eCommerce stores.
To get back into the competition, the company cleverly responded by expanding their digital offerings and launched their company’s first mobile application. Today they are making trillions.
Take a look at what Doug Root, the CEO of Atlanta Light Bulbs has to say about it.
“Our customers love our mobile app! We’re able to give it to our commercial customers, too, set them up, put their favorite products in their phone, and then say, “Here, bam! All you’ve got to do is order on your phone and you’re ready to go.”
Mistake #4 Neglecting SEO
When you know that 89% of B2B customers use the internet during the B2B research process and that 73% of traffic to B2B company websites comes from a search engine, avoiding SEO is one of the biggest blunders you’ll ever make. It is important to appear in non-branded searches for keywords and phrases that B2B shoppers use at the beginning of their consumer journey.
Begin by developing a keyword strategy based on an understanding of the search words that B2B consumers search on Google, and then apply SEO best practises to improve metadata and on-page content including product pages.
With the right SEO practices, you can increase your authority,organic search visibility, and on-site engagement , so that improve sales conversion of your B2B store.
Avery Dennison offers companies reusable packaging, printing, labelling and attaching solutions. Previously, the company’s key selling tactic was to give consumers hard copies of their product catalog, but that changed when they successfully launched their eCommerce store.
Even though the catalogue is still distributed, Avery Dennison draws and converts more buyers online as they build a fully-optimized eCommerce website and content that appeals to users and search engines both.
Mistake #5 Not integrating your B2B eCommerce site with other existing systems
eCommerce platform incorporation is a top technology requirement according to 57% of B2B executives. Failing to integrate your online store with existing systems including, PIM, CRM, and ERP is a big mistake that will significantly reduce the efficiency of your business.
If you own an eCommerce store that does not integrate with your other critical existing systems, you will have to sync all the information manually like customers, inventory, pricing, and orders.
This strategy guarantees that you can lose time, money, and energy manually conducting procedures rather than selling and servicing your customers.
You must choose a B2B eCommerce platform that perfectly suits your business plus integrates easily with your existing systems to increase profits and efficiency.
Freund Container & Supply has been supplying companies with packaging, containers, and industrial supplies for over 80 years. They knew very well how imperative it is to integrate their new eCommerce website with their existing back-end systems.
By integrating their ERP with their eCommerce store, Freund were able to improve and streamline their whole business.
Chris Hiller, the General Manager of Freund Container & Supply stated in one of his interviews,
“We can pass cart details over to our ERP, and if a customer calls our customer service line and references their PO number, we can locate the record right away… Being able to push things from our ERP into our BigCommerce store allows us to help customers see things like their credit limits, balances, and past due balances. It’s empowering to our customers to have that data.”
Don’t let these eCommerce mistakes sabotage your B2B business. Evaluate thoroughly and choose an eCommerce platform that offers all of the necessary features and functionality that B2B businesses like yours need to be competitive and successful.
From flexible payment options and enabling custom ordering to integrations and SEO, the right eCommerce solution must offer everything you require to increase sales conversion, boost ROI and improve consumer loyalty.
See how the industry’s best B2B eCommerce solution for enterprises will help you to offer an outstanding shopping experience while increasing your ROI.