While it is definitely true that there is a thin line of difference between B2C and B2B e-commerce customer experiences, what separates the two is essentially the motivation of the buyer. In the case of B2B, people are mostly visiting your store because more often than not, it’s their job. Therefore, 70% of your site activity should be focused on easing your customer’s process of finding information on your site, because, more often than not, your customer knows exactly what he wants and is just trying to find a way to get there. So, what are some practices that the best of the B2B e-commerce world getting right?

    • Customer Segmentation – The best of names in the B2B e-commerce understand their market and approach it with customer segmentation and targeting. Take for example medline.com, who offer personalization or segmentation of users segregated based on the nature of business. What this does is identifies the needs of customers and meets customers’ needs and allocates resources such a way that profit is maximized. With tighter segmentation, B2B e-commerce can better satisfy customers and produce more revenue in shorter amounts of time, at lower cost. This results in higher response rates, better engagements, shorter conversion cycles, and overall better return on marketing investment

      Medline CS

  • Proactive UX – When it comes to B2B businesses, they are always on the look out for the best fit. At the same time, the user would like to know where exactly they are on your site at any point of time. This can be achieved with well thought of navigation using breadcrumbs, page-headers, highlighted menu options and confirmation pages. A good example for navigation and search is grainger.com who predominately use the F-shaped pattern. This provides easy navigation to the product areas that are typically part of a new visitor’s initial search. Having the search option on top navigation with features such as autofill is another great practice integrated by them. The share product feature is another delight where Grainger provides a one-click button service to let buyers send a copy of the product page to anyone else in the organization. In short, if you can ensure the shortest way your buyer can get to the product description page and then to the check out page seamlessly without effort, consider your job half done

    grainger

  • Order Notes: While the ability to make notes on a product does not necessarily apply to a B2C, it’s important to have this feature enabled for B2B. B2B orders are a conversation, not just an invoice. Customers need to be able to make notes and ask questions about their order. A customer of medline.com has the option of asking questions about his product and receives responses from store executives, which assists him in times of dilemma and enables quick purchases

    medline

  • Robust Technical Support: If you want to build customer loyalty, it’s a good idea to streamline back office processes on mobile. What this does is give the customer the liberty to track budgets and costs and place their order at their own convenience anytime, anywhere. As a B2B marketer, you can customize your content by providing relevant offers to your customers. Your mobile tool is also a great way to ensure an omnichannel experience, shipping and order fulfillment. An omnichannel experience ensures that customers aren’t making orders that cannot be fulfilled you suppliers are well aware of warehouse inventory stock. A good example is Mcmaster.com, which not just has product centric displays with detailed specification, but also provides an efficient tracking process, tiered pricing and SKU based ordering to provide robust technical support to their customers

    mcmaster

  • Efficiency Support: Product comparison, quick buy options, bulk orders, warranty are important features to your B2B store that can catalyze purchase decisions. Take for example Quill.com which provides its users a usable site, and paying attention to details like fast re-order where you can order quickly through part numbers; chat or call an executive and searching by catalogue number. Auto-complete on-site search is another way to make the site easy to use

    Quill

 

 

While these points are only some aspects the best in the B2B industry are getting right, with times evolving, there is always room for more. If you have a B2B enterprise and would like us to help you out with it, feel free to ping me and I will be happy to help you out with your challenges.