B2B ecommerce is constantly evolving, so how can you stay on top of this shifting landscape?
After all, the constant upgrades, new iterations, and emerging technology can make wrapping your head around ecommerce a difficult endeavor. That could be why only about 10% of all companies are “firing on all cylinders” when it comes to successfully implementing B2B ecommerce, according to Linda Taddonio.
What follows are three things you can start doing now that will help your business improve its ecommerce strategy and become more versatile overall.
How to Improve Your B2B Ecommerce Strategy
1. Encourage Your Customers to Leave Reviews and Ratings
As we mentioned in a recent article about B2B ecommerce, 90% of those companies considered “Masters” of ecommerce feature user reviews and ratings on their sites, and 80% employ user-generated content. Why is this important? Because consumers are relying more and more on user-generated content like peer reviews. This is true in both the B2C and the B2B space.
In the B2C space, website visitors who consult user ratings and reviews when making purchase decisions are 166% more likely to convert. In the B2B space, 84% of buyers seek input from existing users or peers before purchase (and 57% do so within the first three months of the buying process).
2. Allow Customers to Self-Serve
As we’ve discussed in previous posts, B2B buyers prefer to self-educate versus talk to a sales rep by a factor of three to one. What’s more, 68% of today’s buyers (as opposed to 53% in 2015) prefer to conduct their own research online.
Image via Forrester
- Customers, on average, are 57% of the way through a purchase before they proactively reach out to a sales rep.
- 86% of customers prefer using self-service tools over talking to a sales rep when reordering.
Image via Think with Google
So how can you make it easier for customers to self-serve? By having marketplaces on-site, offering visibility into inventory, enabling site personalization, employing visualization capabilities (like videos, photos, illustrations, 2D & 3D renderings, VR, etc.), and ensuring users can access advanced site search, including filtering and merchandising capabilities.
3. Give Customers the Content They Need
Because the majority of customers prefer to self-serve in this day and age, it’s important that your website houses content that can answer their questions throughout the buying process. Think of your content as the sales rep of days past, there to hop on the phone and answer your customers’ questions at any point during the buyer’s journey.
Ensure your content gives all the necessary information in order for a customer to make a purchase decision. Because when it comes to pulling the trigger, survey respondents noted that product information and demos, at 35% and 31% respectively, were what helped them the most. This corresponds to Forrester’s findings that 100% of B2B ecommerce Masters offer detailed product descriptions.
How CPQ Fits In
CPQ technology, driven by the rise of omnichannel sales and an increase in both the servitization of products and consultative mobile sales teams, is becoming more and more necessary to the modern organization. One of the main reasons for this is because the versatility of CPQ allows customers to self-educate and self-serve, configuring and pricing products for themselves via portals and ecommerce.