Attend a B2B conference or scroll through LinkedIn these days and you will hear everyone discussing about how buyers expect an Amazon-like experience on a B2B web shop. But what does that mean exactly?
Here is your checklist:
- Offer a personalized shopping experience
- Embrace mobile commerce
- Attractive product information
- Inventory information
- Put the B2B customer first in the purchase process
- Offer self-services
To encourage repeat purchasing it is important to win B2B buyers through trust, reliability and loyalty. Superior customer experience is now central to every interaction that is expected of an e-commerce website.
A B2B web shop needs to be personalized
B2B buyers want to be able to find the products they need effortlessly and efficiently. So an intuitive navigation and a search function on the site are essential. A B2B web shop which offers products based on the customer who is logged in (think of personalized catalogs, price lists or tax and currency configurations) will drive conversion.
Buyers expects a mobile-friendly B2B web shop
A study conducted by Google and the Boston Consulting Group shows that a positive mobile experience increases repurchase rate and builds customer loyalty. More than 90% of B2B buyers reporting a superior mobile experience say they are likely to buy again from the same vendor. For those experiencing a poor mobile UX this number is merely 50%. A Progressive Web App (PWA) for example offers mobile-friendly front-ends for multiple touchpoints.
Product information is crucial for a growth in B2B revenue
Appealing product information is key for a high conversion. The ideal B2B web shop will not only feature products with perfect product pictures! Your system should also support 360° views with zoom functionality, high definition product videos, product reviews and recommendations.
Purchasers need inventory information to increase their efficiency
For B2B buyers, the information of how much of a product is in stock is of highest priority. This helps them to better forecast their own business and plan their purchase cycles. But inventory handling can be more:
- The availability at a preferred warehouse
- A list of locations with adjoining stock information
- Substitute products if certain product models are sold out or discontinued.
A convenient purchase process for B2B customer loyalty
Bulk and repeated orders are very common in B2B transactions. B2B buyers love it when the web shop remembers their previous orders and contact details. A modern B2B website integrates CRM, ERP and Inventory Management systems to gather customer data, and update prices and inventory in real-time.
For convenience, B2B buyers expect several payment methods such as credit cards, wire transfers and invoicing. A seamless multichannel experience such as click and collect is perfect to increase the loyalty of B2B buyers.
B2B customers need self-services for more efficiency
B2B buyers need the ability to manage their accounts 24x7×365. Immediate access to order history, payment due dates and all the more aspects is critical. Also, with full access to their accounts, they can self-service this information without having to rely on their account manager. A commerce solution should support these B2B self-services with the availability of different user roles. At Intershop, a super user for example can edit and manage budgets, contracts, and add, edit, delete other users within the organization. A buyer role may have more restricted permissions, hence giving the B2B customer greater control over the buying & account management activities for their organization.
Beat Amazon with a B2B customer portal
Today's connected consumers expect a seamless shopping experience and flawless service across every channel and touchpoint. What Amazon misses out, a B2B customer portal can provide: advanced calculation options for prices and taxes, shopping cart features designed to streamline B2B processes offline and online, and extensive configuration options for shipping and payment.
With a B2B web shop that follows these best practices, manufacturers and wholesalers can beat Amazon quite easily.