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Attend a B2B conference or scroll through LinkedIn these days and you will hear everyone discussing about how B2B buyers expect an Amazon-like experience on a B2B e-commerce website. As B2B buyers expect more digital commerce, many e-commerce businesses are turning to the Cloud for the best solution. In relation to this, in 2017, there were 24 million e-commerce websites all over the internet. However, only 650,000 of them were making more than USD$1,000 annually. Opting for the Cloud doesn't guarantee success unless you understand what your B2B buyers expect from your e-commerce website. Here are 6 essential pointers for you to get started.

Attractive, user-friendly and optimized for every touchpoint

B2B buyers want to be able to find the products they need effortlessly and efficiently. So an intuitive navigation structure and search function on the site is imperative. An e-commerce site with a search function that filters and generates more specific results based on region and product ranking will drive conversion.

Additionally, based on a survey conducted by Demand Gen Report (DGR) on B2B buyers, results concluded that 82% of surveyors accessed content using a smartphone. Many B2B buyers are using their mobiles more often to conduct business and the numbers are growing fast. To attract and retain B2B buyers, e-commerce websites’ features must be fully optimized for all smart devices.

Visible product and inventory information

For a more interactive experience, the ideal e-commerce website will feature products with 360° views with zoom functionality, high definition product videos, product reviews and recommendations.

For B2B buyers, inventory visibility is more about having shorter and clearer lead times to replenish stock. This helps them to better forecast their own business and plan their purchase cycles. More sophisticated inventory handling can further drive purchases through exposing inventory by providing warehouse availability, location, as well as up-sell opportunities around substitute products in the event where certain product models are sold out or discontinued.

A convenient purchase process

Bulk and repeated orders are very common in B2B transactions. B2B buyers love it when the e-commerce site remembers their previous orders and contact details. A front-running site integrates CRM, ERP and Inventory Management systems to gather customer data, and update prices and inventory in real-time. With these tools, they integrate into the website to produce a more engaging customer experience.

For convenience, B2B buyers expect multiple payment methods such as credit cards, wire transfers and pay on account. A seamless multichannel experience such as click and collect is the dream of many B2B buyers. To facilitate this process, engage an e-commerce solutions provider to introduce the tailored software that enables the B2B buyer to find accurate product information, check stock availability in their preferred store, make purchases, choose a payment method and select flexible delivery or pick-up-in-store, regardless of the device used.

Easy access to account information

B2B buyers also manage a business which means they have to address their customer needs promptly. This means, B2B buyers need the ability to manage their accounts 24 × 7 × 365 in the form of on demand access to order history, payment due dates and current balances, etc., Moreover, with full access to their accounts, they can self-service this information without having to rely on their account manager.

There is a growing need for B2B buyers in larger organizations to manage the user profiles of their account. A super user role can have greater access to account information (eg. budget tracking, contracts, order history of the entire group) as well as the ability to manage users within their account (add, edit, delete). A buyer role may have more restricted permissions, hence giving the B2B customer greater control over the buying & account management activities for their organization. This frees up B2B customers' time to focus on more strategic buying decisions vs. administrative overhead.

Personalized service

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. This can be achieved through customer segmentation and site customization.

B2B buyers also expect the B2B site to understand their business and anticipate their needs through presenting relevant information. This will be achieved through activities such as personalized e-mails and targeted promotions that will drive sales and increase customer satisfaction. Curated catalogs, products and pricing is also a way that e-commerce businesses can better target their B2B customers and incentivize them through specialized product & pricing offers unique to the customer.

Smooth and transparent transactions

Today's connected consumers expect a seamless shopping experience and flawless service across every channel and touchpoint. A B2B customer will expect the standard package of multiple display and calculation options for prices and taxes, advanced shopping cart features, and extensive configuration options for shipping and payment.

An Order Management System combines ordering processes from multiple channels, each with different options for order processing, returns management and customer service. Furthermore, an integrated Order Management function ensures maximum transparency at every stage of the customer journey.

Whether you require a traditional retail checkout or a more complex B2B commerce system, Intershop Commerce Suite delivers smooth and customer-friendly transactions. Are you ready to learn more? Click here to find out about Intershop's Order Management abilities: