Whether you’ve been operating online for years or making the leap, there’s never been a better time to turn to eCommerce. By 2025, the UK B2B eCommerce market will be worth $301 billion, and 65% of B2B companies across industries will be fully transacting online in 2022, according to McKinsey & Company. A separate report has found that almost half of B2B buying across the United Kingdom and the United States now occurs online, so if you’re yet to establish your brand online, you could be missing out on significant revenue streams.
The most concerning statistic is that, according to Wunderman Thompson, more than half of B2B buyers are frustrated with the online shopping experience, citing outdated websites, poor payment terms, and awkward UX. Want to ensure your business stands out from the crowd and offers a B2B eCommerce experience that delivers both customer satisfaction and increases sales? You need to incorporate some of these top features into your website…
Order tracking capabilities
Although order tracking is nice to have for consumers, it’s vital for businesses that rely on your stock to deliver their own products and services. When developing an eCommerce website in the B2B sector, make order tracking a priority. Rather than sending emails and sending your customers down a rabbit hole interacting with third-party shipping companies and their websites, develop your own fluid order tracking system. More than half (59.3%) of businesses say real-time customer order tracking has a positive impact on brand loyalty, and allowing customers to monitor the status of their orders can also cut the number of enquiries.
Whether you’re building an eCommerce website or app, make sure your corporate customers can track their order status and send them reminders via email or push notification. New technology on Apple’s iOS 16 even allows brands to integrate their order tracking into the Apple Wallet, and there are other third-party integrations you could consider.
Dynamic pricing models
Market- and analytics-based pricing can help your business increase sales and margins. A report from McKinsey suggests that dynamic pricing can increase profit margins by as much as 8%. Use digital technologies and platforms to rethink your pricing strategies and adopt dynamic pricing where possible. Not only does it allow you to seek higher profits and sales, but it can help you adjust to the competition to ensure your website remains the favourite on Google Shopping and other price aggregation platforms at a time firms are cutting back.
Dynamic pricing also allows your brand to remain flexible and aids inventory management – you can discount overstocked items to reduce numbers and respond to in-demand product categories, increasing sales. There are some disadvantages to be aware of: dynamic pricing can lead to customer dissatisfaction when exploited and won’t work in every B2B sector.
Business-focused payment terms
Your corporate customers don’t work the same way as B2C customers, so your checkout page and payment terms must reflect this. Indeed, you’re unlikely to use Klarna on a B2B eCommerce site, but you might need to implement policies like PayPal Credit to allow your customers to spread the cost of their bulk purchases. Whilst it might be tempting to let your B2B customers enjoy the same lines of credit you offer offline, you should be wary of fraudulent activity and only offer credit to trusted clients. There are a number of buy now pay later schemes emerging in the B2B world, allowing brands to spread the cost, but you should review and experiment with each of these to ensure they properly work for B2B transactions.
Mobile-friendly user interface
Although you’d be right in thinking that most B2B eCommerce activity takes place on the PC, your eCommerce website must be properly optimised for mobile. Whether you build a dedicated mobile app for your eCommerce brand or adapt an existing website, spend time reviewing each process to ensure it works the way you’d expect. How easy is it to search for products, use your live chat functionality, or place a bulk order as a new customer? Keep it simple and work with your web development team to optimise, test, and transform your UI.
According to Handshake, 78% of B2B companies believe B2B M-commerce is a future industry driver, and 80% of B2B buyers use mobile at work. And the big one: 52% of mobile shoppers will shop elsewhere after a bad experience. If your mobile ordering experience doesn’t meet expectations, you could lose customers before your eCommerce site takes off.
Option to buy in bulk
Whether you sell screws or sandals, you must allow customers to buy from you in bulk. To remain competitive, it’s also worth offering bulk discounts – such as 5% off when you buy 50 units and 10% off when you buy 500. Bulk discounts not only incentivise new customers to give you a try, but they can increase your average order value, especially if you’re clear on pricing and the potential savings users could make. Being bold with discounts and adding a “Are you sure you don’t want our bulk discount savings?” reminder on checkout pages could push buyers to increase their orders and ultimately help you shift more stock with little work.
On buying in bulk, it’s also good to be clear on inventory levels. Adding a real-time inventory feature to your eCommerce store means buyers will know exactly what they can order, and some may monitor stock levels and rush orders to avoid missing out. Real-time inventory also ensures you don’t sell products you don’t have in stock which can lead to delays and negative customer reviews. In a recent study from Statista, almost half of customers said in-stock availability of desired items was the most important attribute when shopping online.
Looking for support building or optimising your B2B eCommerce website? Reach out to the team at Zudu on 01382 690080 to find out more and arrange a consultation.