In recent times, there has been a paradigm shift in the way Business to Business (B2B) e-commerce marketing is transforming. Still a rookie in this recent explosion, B2B e-commerce are still mirroring the process and functionality of their well-established cousins – B2C e-commerce. While Amazon.com needs no introduction these days, Alibaba is simultaneously catching up. However, one necessarily isn’t able to differentiate between what these two companies bring to the table.

What we overlook, quite often is that, there is a subtle, yet critical difference between the two. When you are trying to market B2B e-commerce, you focus more on the product and its features, sans or very little emotion. Here, you try to understand the organizational buyers and how they operate within the constrains of the organization. They’re more likely to be concerned with how your products can save them time, effort and money. Here logic works and they will want to know what features you can offer them.

When it comes to B2C e-commerce, you want to focus more on the benefits it can provide them. Here, emotion plays a larger role in purchase decisions. They do not want you to explain benefits, rather spell it out for them. They will want to know how your product can help them personally. Basically the target audience for B2B  is the intermediary buyer who then sells the product to a consumer whereas B2B is targeted directly at the consumer.

Now, there are 3 main ingredients to a B2B site

Pricing: When it comes to B2B commerce factors to rope in include volume, delivery date, inventory and customer business profile among others. With dynamic pricing, you have the luxury of changing your product’s pricing based on several factors. For eg:  If a product inventory is low, the price can be raised , thereby increasing your margin. Dynamic Pricing comes to your rescue when you understand your target audience, your inventory and customer behaviour

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User Experience - In B2B markets, the customer is looking to navigate seamlessly through your site to get to his product at the earliest.  Keep a clutter free, high-definition image layout  to showcase your products. Customize your products and catalogs to suit your customer to keep them loyal. Present only the goods that you have in stock, and promote your most profitable items with greatest visibility, all while maintaining a B2C-like user experience. Data can facilitate contextual services to customize experiences

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Business System Integrations -Most B2B e-commerce sites will integrate to their other business systems, such as ERP, Customer Relationship Management, Warehouse Management to provide an omni-channel experience while increasing productivity and efficiency in the order management and order fulfillment processes.  These external systems may be supporting many parts of the business and will likely be integral to supporting e-commerce operations.. When your sales, marketing, and back-office staff are on the same page with one reliable integrated system, communication is fluid and costly errors are at bay

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There is no denying that the opportunity in front of us is as big as it gets. It is crucial to identify the right people, market to them, and explore ways to expand the relationship. Then there’s the usage data: how the customer uses the products, what their budgets are, who the decision-makers are. This data is the real treasure. This is just the tip of the iceberg. If you’d like to know more about challenges that come with building a B2B business, click here.