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July 13, 2021

Moving Your B2B Business Online: 10 Elements for eCommerce Success

Team leads discussing best practices for moving your B2B business online-1Many B2B businesses are getting into eCommerce since the pandemic shifted everything further toward primarily online experiences. If you're considering moving your B2B business online, congratulations! This is going to open up so many opportunities for your business. 

However, this needs to be done correctly. If you shift your B2B business to eCommerce using best practices and proven methods for success, then you could see huge returns. Here are some ways that moving your B2B business online the right way can benefit your bottom line.

Cut Costs:

  • Move from printed to digital catalogs
  • Eliminate hours of data entry
  • Decrease errors that lower profitability, efficiency, and productivity by up to 10%
  • Use your team's time more efficiently

Increase Revenue:

  • Wasting less time
  • Getting more customers with less time and effort
  • Increasing order size by 10%-20%
  • Utilizing more cost-effective advertising and promotions that reach more people

We're going to detail ten of the most important elements you need for eCommerce success when moving your B2B business online so you can increase your odds of success.

1. A Deep Understanding of Your Audience

In order to take any other step effectively and best serve your B2B customers, you first need to understand who your audience is, what they want, and how to deliver it. Many might think that older business owners and purchasing managers in their 50s and 60s are the primary demographic. 

But today, almost three-fourths of millennials are involved in purchasing decisions. This is a generation raised on ever-evolving technology. That's where they turn for answers when making decisions. In many ways, millennials are wildly different from their baby boomer counterparts.

Data on Millennials:

  • They do a lot of independent research and prefer information from neutral, outside sources.
  • Over half avoid talking to a salesperson until they're mid-purchase decision.
  • Company values and social impact are much more important to them than previous generations.
  • They want a personalized experience from a personable, non-robotic company.

This information can help with every step of the sales process. Reach out to your audience and ask about their pain points and concerns. Then deliver solutions genuinely, with the best interest of your customers and community in mind. Put yourself in their shoes when making any decision.  

2. The Right eCommerce Platform

B2B customer preferences have changed a lot in a short amount of time. Today, 67% of B2B buyers prefer learning about products online and want a fast, easy, and personalized experience. You need to work with an eCommerce platform that has features like easy navigation, fast site speed, tons of usability features, a lot of helpful integrations, and more.

The platform you choose must have all the elements present in eCommerce best practices that make the experience easy for buyers. Remember: convenience, personalization, and ease are key. Keep that in mind when comparing platforms.   

3. S.M.A.R.T. Goals

The best way to create a useful goal is to make it a S.M.A.R.T. goal. Let's break down what that means.

The Best Goals Are Always:

  • Specific: Vague goals are all but useless. Try specific goals with details that you can understand how to attain.
  • Measurable: If your goal is to increase team productivity, you need a way to measure if it's working, like making ten more sales calls each day.
  • Achievable: Ambition is good; we're all for that. However, if your goal is impossible, you're going to create frustration rather than progress.   
  • Realistic: Even if it's possible to achieve, it should be a realistic possibility, not a one-in-a-million shot.
  • Timely: Always set a deadline. Anyone can increase revenue by 50% eventually. For the goal to be meaningful, you need a reasonable timeframe.

4. Data and Analytics

Remember, measurement is important to progress. It's often data analysis that shows where the problems are and where you can improve. It doesn't have to be expensive, either. Google has a ton of free tools for collecting and analyzing data. The right team can also help you set them up for success!

5. An Effective and Comprehensive Digital Marketing Strategy

Digital marketing is crucial to eCommerce. To bring in new customers and increase revenue, you need the right mix of SEO, advertising, social media presence, testimonials for social proof, email marketing, and upselling tactics. Keep your target audience and their needs at the center of everything. 

Providing value first is how business works online. A focus on inbound marketing tends to be the most authentic way to drive traffic and sales. So find a knowledgeable digital marketing team to help you put everything into place.  

6. A Wealth of Detailed and Accurate Product Information

Customers buying online need a higher level of confidence. They can't see or touch your products. So you have to explain them accurately. Give them all the necessary information and then some. No detail is too small. 

Most of all, be honest! Don't try to hide a product's flaws or limitations. That only results in returns and negative reviews. Customer-centric sales mean being upfront. It pays off in the long run.  

7. High-Quality Visuals

Shopping online is a different animal. When you can't hold the product, it's more crucial to see it from every angle and watch it work to make the right decision. Buyers especially love interactive visuals like 3D models or 360-degree views. Videos are also great. Show the product in action. How does it work and move? Show them every vivid detail. Customers need good visuals to feel comfortable making a purchase.  

8. A Seamless Experience

Study after study shows that customers want a quick, easy, seamless experience. They get frustrated with hiccups and roadblocks, and then they move on quickly. They want a customer-centric experience that anticipates and meets their needs, provides quick answers, and only gets better over time. It may sound demanding, but meeting their needs pays off several times over. They'll be much more loyal and spend more. In fact, when companies wow their B2B customers, it can increase metrics like the chance of purchase by up to 50%!

9. Have a Comprehensive and Flexible Shipping Solution

This one may sound less important to a lot of people, but it really isn't! Delivery cost and speed can be a deal-breaker. B2B customers now expect a B2C experience.

They Want Delivery Options Like:

Shipping is a huge factor for B2B buyers. It's also a huge hassle for B2B sellers. Your shipping method depends on product size, weight, pickup and drop-off location, and more. To meet customer needs, you need a shipping solution with a variety of options and features that allows you to use different methods, track packages, view data to improve customer experience, and provide accurate shipping quotes.

10. Omnichannel Support Options

Customer support team member responding to chats and creating helpful resourcesAll your buyers are different. There may be more millennials in B2B purchasing, but Gen X-ers and baby boomers haven't left. You may have heard that millennials don't take phone calls. It's sort of true. Older generations prefer phone conversations while millennials avoid them like the plague. Little differences like that—between generations and individuals—cause the need for omnichannel customer support options.

Omnichannel Customer Support Options for Moving Your B2B Business Online Include:

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Chat
  • Chatbots
  • Social media
  • FAQ sections
  • A knowledge base

People want fast and convenient options for customer service. Some prefer self-service support options, while others want a phone conversation. No matter what channel they prefer, though, nobody likes to repeat the same information to three different support reps. Your support should be fully integrated across all channels so every customer service rep can see their record and know what the issue is.

Moving your B2B business online might seem like too much effort, but every metric shows it more than pays off. Moving your B2B business online the right way provides the best chance of success. If you'd like help with your digital marketing strategy, need a flexible shipping platform to deliver on your customers' shipping expectations, or want advice on anything else, please contact us so we can help guide you through the process of moving your B2B business online.

About Eniture Technology

Eniture Technology specializes in helping e-Commerce merchants grow by providing useful information, digital marketing services, off-the-shelf apps that solve common problems, and custom programming services. Please contact us if you need help growing your online business or implementing the concepts presented in this blog post.

Interested in learning more?  Start with our free guide on how to increase online sales, and subscribe to our blog!

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