The digital commerce landscape shows no signs of slowing down, with projections of sales dollars continuing to grow. Forrester estimates that B2B ecommerce will reach $1.2 trillion and account for 13.1% of all B2B sales in the US by 2021. However, if your business is not properly equipped, these sales projections will slip away and go to your competition, or not convert at all. Despite the tremendous predictions for B2B, many businesses have not adapted to the changing landscape quite as quickly as others. If you find yourself amongst the companies still looking to enter, or optimize ecommerce, fear not – focusing on providing the best customer experience will help get you started. We’ll break down some of the most important customer expectations and website details below.
Offering an ecommerce site for your business is a great way to increase your digital presence. A best-in-class website should be at the top of your business strategy, and if your site is antiquated, or if you have not set it up for ecommerce, it is time to build (or rebuild) your site. Today’s consumers are used to the ease of browsing online and purchasing virtually whatever they want, whenever they want it. By not tapping into that purchasing behavior you could be losing sales. 90% of B2B buyers start their hunt with a Google search for the products they need, rather than heading straight to a particular seller (3D Cart). Based on this behavior, you stand a greater chance of getting your products or services in front of prospects by having a site and optimizing your SEO.
Once you have these visitors on your website, you now must ensure your site is both easy to navigate and your desired call to action is clear. Make sure each product detail page is just that— detailed. Product images should be of the highest quality and include a 360 spin set if applicable. You should also include specs, pricing and a robust product description. Keep a log of your most common questions from clients/prospects and build out a FAQ page. 57% of the buying process is done prior to engaging with sales, while 76% of customers say the most important factor in a website’s design is “the website makes it easy for me to find what I want” (ecommerceandb2b.com). Aid in that research stage by providing plenty of information, compelling that prospect to make the next step and give your sales rep a call or purchase on the spot.
To further nudge prospects in the research stage, product reviews are a great asset to leverage. There are plenty of great companies that help collect and post reviews, and some ecommerce platforms have that functionality built-in for out of the box use. Genuine feedback from consumers similar to prospects provides relevant information, and can be instrumental in swaying opinions and put your business in the forefront.
Organize your products into clear categories in your main menu navigation, include a search toolbar (and ensure it has been configured in the backend to deliver relevant results), and be sure to display your contact information and FAQs in a prominent way – all of these steps will play into making your site easy to navigate and for your prospects to find exactly what they need.
Today’s consumers are extremely savvy, especially when shopping for their business. In a publication put out by ecommerceandb2b.com, they state that 80% of companies implementing B2B ecommerce believe that their customer expectations have changed due to B2C practices. Benchmarking against popular ecommerce B2C sites can help influence your website design process. By including our suggestions from above within your design documentation, you can expect to launch a top-tier website that will continue to delight and serve your target market.