How to Incorporate eCommerce Sales into Your B2B Operation

Categories

B2B companies will reach $12 trillion in total revenue by 2020; in 2012, the number was only $5.5 trillion. That’s a steep increase.

There are many factors that are causing this, but one of the main reasons is because of online opportunities. Online B2B marketing is definitely a big contributor to the hike in overall revenue.

If you run a B2B operation, it would be a silly mistake not to take advantage of online marketing. But there are still a great number of B2B businesses that are reluctant to jump into online marketing.

Today, we’re going to talk about how you can leverage eCommerce if you run a B2B operation.

Design a Great Customer Experience

great-user-experience

This example of great user experience is from a project we recently completed for MainEntree.com.

The buying process for a B2B transaction is starkly different than B2C. In B2C sales, customers will need great product copy, good site design, positive reviews before they will feel comfortable making a purchase. B2B, on the other hand, is far more complex. Depending on your business, you may need to provide information on freight options, inventory status, and order history before they make a purchase. Your customer shouldn’t have to go out of his way to find this information, nor should he be forced to call a sales rep to complete an order.

80% of B2B companies that are integrating eCommerce believe that customer expectations have changed due to B2C customers. So, everything that you would do for a B2C transaction will have to be applied in B2B marketing for eCommerce, while also fulfilling the various requirements for B2B sales.

Again, this means that you’ll have to follow a hybrid model if you want to see any success.

A Dynamic Checkout Process

rfq-example The B2C checkout process is fairly simple, as payments are often exclusively made with a credit card. B2B transactions are far more complex. Prices are often not fixed, meaning that you have to provide a request for quote (RFQ) system. An RFQ system will have the buyer fill out a form that will detail their exact needs, and the sales team will need to send a response.

While some clients will pay-in-full with a credit card, some will want to make payments on the order. Payments can be made through a scheduled invoice.

Depending on your product, your shipping options will need to be complex. B2B products can be heavier than the average B2C product, which means that shipping costs will be higher. Along with a quote for the product, a shipping quote may be attached to the transaction.

The ideal B2B checkout process can be described in one word: flexible.

In B2C, businesses generally want to go as quickly as possible. You want the customer to “buy now”. In B2B, this often is not possible. In B2B, the sales process is often slow-burning, with customer-to-seller interactions (sales and support calls) extending the process. Your checkout process needs to be able to fit all of the unique needs of your customer base, or else you will be missing out on a lot of sales.

Customer Registration Is Near-Mandatory

In B2C marketing for e-commerce, guest checkouts (where the customer doesn’t have to register to complete the checkout) has its merits. In B2B, it’s almost always a better decision to make customers register on your site before a transaction is completed. B2B customers are definitely long term, and it will make more sense to give them their own account logins to view their order history and review transaction details, while also giving them the option to reorder quickly.

Informational Content Is Your Best Weapon

We’ve already addressed the fact that B2B sales are fairly complex. Because of this, you will need educational content to guide your customers through the buying process.

You will need:

  • Clear videos that can explain complex concepts (about your product, your industry, etc.) in simplified terms. These videos can consist of how-to tutorials, webinars, and demos.
  • Blog posts, whitepapers, and ebooks that go into deep detail about the effectiveness of your products.
  • Important data or specs that your customers will need to know before they make a final decision.

Conclusion

B2B companies shouldn’t be reluctant to dive into e-commerce. Online sales allow businesses to extend their reach, multiply their revenue, and become a more solidified presence in their market.

Are you ready to discuss your next web project with the leader in website development and digital marketing? If so, contact Zen Agency today! We are a group of WordPress and WooCommerce experts.

WooCommerce-Experts

Want more digital strategy advice and insights?

Sign up for our newsletter.
!
!
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Joseph Riviello

Joseph L. Riviello is the CEO and Founder of Zen Agency. Joe's agency builds websites and web applications that attract, engage, and convert. Joe has over 30 years of experience in entrepreneurship and he is an expert digital marketing strategist who specializes in conversion-centric e-commerce experiences and cutting-edge solutions that maximize growth and profit. Check out Joe featured on: Business.com, Redbooth.com, Kabbage.com, MaterialDesignBlog.com

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

More Posts By Joseph Riviello

E-Commerce Experts Thoughts on New Instagram Checkout Feature

By Joseph Riviello

Facebook is at it again, innovating the social media landscape … this time with its uber-popular platform, Instagram. In a March 19th press release, the company unveiled the new Instagram Checkout feature, an e-commerce extension of the app. Since it’s currently in beta with only 25 companies, not much is known about it, and businesses…

Why You Need a WooCommerce Store

By Joseph Riviello

According to a study published by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Department of Commerce, total e-commerce sales in the United States were estimated at $513.6 billion in 2018, a 14.2% increase from 2017. This data has been on an upward trend since 2009. Future projections globally cement e-commerce as the primary shopping method. Now, more than…

4 Tactics Marketing Automation Companies Use to Improve ROI

By Joseph Riviello

The most exciting part of doing business in this day in age is how much technology is available. This elevates the potential of what you can do with your marketing since it opens up a world of opportunities. While technology won’t be the magic button that will fix all of your problems, it helps accelerate…

The 3 Tenets of Lead Generation: How You Can Produce Sales On-Demand

By Joseph Riviello

Sales are the lifeblood of any business. Without a steady stream of sales, you don’t have revenue. And without revenue, you don’t have a thriving business. In today’s post, we’re going to look at the three tenets of lead generation, and how you can use them to exponentially grow your business. Tenet 1: You Must…

Zen Agency is Now a Sharpspring Silver Partner!

By Joseph Riviello

Zen Agency has earned the Sharpspring Silver Partner Certification from Sharpspring, a leading marketing automation platform. Why Does Marketing Automation Matter? The marketing automation tools provided by Zen Agency as a Sharpspring Silver Partner allows you to deliver the right message to the right leads. Track your content, who is seeing it, and craft an…

How to Create a Successful Law Firm Marketing Funnel

By Joseph Riviello

If you were to go back 20 years, you would see that law firm marketing was starkly different than it is today. You would see more billboards, late-night infomercials, neighborhood flyers, and newspaper ads. These days, we have websites, SEO, pay-per-click ads, and social media marketing. The options available to lawyers today give them countless…

What Is Content Marketing? How You Can Get Started Today

By Joseph Riviello

Almost every successful website has one thing in common: Great content. You can have an extremely beautiful website with all the bells and whistles, but if you don’t have content, your web presence is woefully incomplete. You must learn how to start content marketing the proper way. There are no shortcuts: You need good content.…

5 Steps for Creating a Successful Marketing Strategy

By Joseph Riviello

Many businesses jump straight into marketing without a plan. This is a big mistake. Going into battle without a strategy will leave you with a poorly spent marketing budget and lackluster results. Often enough, the difference between companies who dominate the marketplace and companies who fail to get off the ground is simple: A clear,…

The 5 Step Cheat-Sheet for Using Youtube for Your Local Business

By Joseph Riviello

If I were to ask you, “what’s the #1 search engine?”, you would automatically say, “Google”, and you’d be right. But what if I were to ask you to state the #2 search engine? Some would say Bing or Yahoo, but the truth is that Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world.…

Why Call Tracking Is Critical for Local Businesses

By Joseph Riviello

Let’s say you’re a business that’s running different online and marketing channels like SEO, PPC, email marketing and direct mail. You notice a remarkable uptick in sales, but you’re not precisely sure where they are coming from, as you’re using a variety of different marketing methods. If many of your leads contact you via the…