Being able to run a successful business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce can give you a feeling you are on top of the world! Like anything related to the internet, B2B eCommerce is also flourishing at a rapid pace.
Each year, the market size of the global B2B eCommerce is expanding by 18% which is expected to create a market of $25 trillion by the end of 2028.Businesswire
However, there is no shortage of challenges in this market. Whether you are a startup or a running business, you have to compete amidst countless B2B giants. Without guidance, your progress may halt midway.
If you’re looking for reliable ideas to grow your B2B eCommerce, this article is for you. Also, you will learn the differences between B2B-B2C and common mistakes people make in this industry. Let’s get started!
What Are the Major Differences Between B2B And B2C eCommerce
B2B companies sell products and services to other businesses for reselling. In B2C, products are directly sold to the end-users for consumption. Below is a quick overview of the differences between them.
|Buying decision||Relies much on facts and information.||Priorities are more on needs and emotions.|
|Decision-makers||Groups of people are involved in decision-making.||Single or fewer people take up the buying decision.|
|Buying session||B2B buyers usually take a long time to complete an order.||B2C buyers take comparatively less time in buying sessions.|
|Buying volume||Orders in bulk quantity.||Orders in small quantities.|
|Shipping and delivery||Complicated as it may cover a long distance and multiple locations.||Less complicated as it doesn’t have to cover a long distance for always.|
|Quotation and negotiation||Offers quotations and personalized negotiations.||Doesn’t offer further negotiation over the displayed price.|
11 Best B2B eCommerce Strategies
The scope of B2B eCommerce is growing fast by leaps and bounds. Alongside, the number of new competitors is also increasing in this space. So, if you want to do the best in B2B eCommerce, you must follow the below strategies.
Add Detailed Product Information to Your Website
In eCommerce, your website is the foundational marketing tool. Before going for other promotional approaches, make sure your website has enough content to boost conversion.
Instead of writing generic blogs, take time to input unique product descriptions, include high-quality graphics (photos and videos), educate users on how to use these products, and finally encourage them to buy from you.
Facilitate Customized Pricing And Quotation
Customized pricing is a great way to win the bottom line of B2B eCommerce. It is the strategy by which business organizations offer multiple quotations to the customers based on different factors. B2B buyers choose the one that meets their profit margin.
You may set a base price for each product on the website. But if you allow customized pricing and negotiation, it will help get more potential customers.
Make Onsite Searches Easier
Most B2B buyers don’t love scrolling through hundreds of items to find their desired products. Having a clear interface and fast onsite search option can improve the customers’ shopping experience.
94% of respondents say easy navigation is the most important feature of any website.Clutch
So, include the search bar and different filtering options on your web pages. These will enable customers to search their items using product names, price, SKU location, and other attributes.
Encourage Ratings And Reviews
Ratings and reviews work as social proof. It influences the potential customers whether to purchase a product or not. Customers love to purchase those products that have more positive reviews. So, you cannot afford to lose a review when there is a scope.
Encourage buyers to leave a review each time they purchase a product. Plus, rightly optimize web pages so that buyers can view them easily whenever they come to your website.
Allow Payments in Installments
B2B buyers love to place large purchase consignments on special occasions, i.e. New Year, mega sports events, etc. But due to the high volume of transactions at that time, most merchants fall short of enough money to place large orders.
Better if you split the total cost and let them pay it in multiple instalments. It could be over a period of weeks or months. It can help you scale up your business potential and maximize sales quantity.
Allow Split Shipping in Multiple Destinations
Most B2B businesses have multiple outlets in different locations. Once a buyer thinks of making a bulk order, they plan to split it into multiple quantities and ship them to different destinations.
So, if you are a B2B seller, make sure you can split the bulk orders and ship to multiple locations as your buyers want.
Focus on Customer Experience
Excellent customer experiences can boost brand loyalty among users. How will you do that? Make your website mobile-friendly, curate it with compelling product pages, simplify the checkout process, and provide quick customer support.
You should publish powerful content and tutorial videos to educate buyers about your new products. Also, you can add FAQs and offer online chatting to answer any query in real-time.
Allow Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a perfect solution for any eCommerce business. It is one of the most flexible ways to gain potential B2B leads to your website within a low investment.
Affiliate marketing is accounting for 16% of online orders globally.Review42
Even giants like Amazon, Walmart, Alibaba, and many others depend greatly on affiliate marketing. Like them, you must have an affiliate skim to grow your brand recognition in the market.
Create a Buyer Focused FAQ
B2B buyers do a lot of research before purchasing any product. They tend to ask too many questions to the suppliers regarding product specifications and others. Better you create an in-depth buyer-focused FAQ section.
It should answer all the common questions usually come from the customers. You must update it over time whenever you find a set of questions.
Run Email Blast And Follow-up Emails
$1 spent on email marketing can yield you a $44 ROI. But you can enjoy such a return only when you learn how to use Email Blast and follow-up email properly. Email blasts can help you send the same message to a large number of audiences at once.
Email blasting is an effective way to pass on any important information to all the users in a very short time. Whereas follow-up emails help you build personalized relationships with your customers.
Utilize Social Media Marketing
Omobono found in a survey- 79% of marketing specialists rate social media as the most powerful marketing channel. Moreover, 38% of them added that if they had any extra budget, they would spend it on social media.
Social media can help you track customers and competitors. Also, you can listen to what’s going on in the industry. Leverage the power of popular social media platforms to grow your business and improve brand awareness.
Your website is the foremost marketing tool for any B2B eCommerce. You cannot progress anyway, relying only on social media, affiliation, and else keeping your website disorganized.
So, once your website has a good interface, perfect design, and highly optimized product pages, you can move with the other approaches.
Common Mistakes You Should Avoid in B2B eCommerce Marketing Strategies
Making mistakes is nothing new in B2B eCommerce. Because buyers expect to have the same buying experiences as the B2C customers. But their needs and buying personas are completely different. It poses serious challenges to this industry.
Let’s cover the common mistakes you might be making in B2B eCommerce marketing.
Not Having a Detailed Plan
Yet many people think launching a B2B eCommerce is as simple as B2C. But right after they get into it, things become difficult. Because they didn’t start with a solid business plan. What should a solid business plan include?
- Choose a viable niche
- Identify target audiences
- Analyze competitors’ strategies
- Grow supply chain management
- Set marketing goals
- Have enough budget for marketing
Indeed, it’s impossible to do everything at once. Break down these activities using a Gantt chart. Start with the most critical parts that you need to complete first.
Not Having Enough Content for Resellers
Most B2B buyers are resellers. A large part of them has online stores. They love to buy from suppliers who provide them with clear descriptions, product photographs, accurate measurements, and more.
Buyers can quickly decorate their website, catalogue, and product pages using them. Check out Alibaba, Walmart, or eBay. You will get to know how your content management should be.
Not Investing in Security
Hackers and fraudsters don’t show mercy in attacking a website once they find it useful to them. They have countless ways to do it. For examples, spam comments, malware attacks, DDoS attacks, spam emails, brute force attacks, and more.
You must not take spending on web security as a cost but as an investment. You must enable an SSL certificate, antispam plugin, antivirus, and HTTPS security for minimum security.
Lack of Multiple Payment Options
The lack of multiple payment options is another key reason for high cart abandonment. If your website doesn’t support customers’ preferred payment options, they will move right away. This is why popular marketplaces offer dozens of payment options.
Not Optimized for Mobile Users
There is a misconception among many B2B sellers that buyers don’t search for products on mobile. But according to Amazon Business, 61% of B2B buyers use their smartphones to research the products they want to buy.
Think With Google says, 90% of B2B buyers love to buy from the same vendor offering a superior mobile experience. If your website can’t give a good experience to mobile phone users, your potential is really at risk.
Not Offering Customized Negotiation
Customized negotiation usually works well in face-to-face interaction. Today, the advent of communication technologies has made it easy to arrange long-distance meetings through Zoom, Skype, Google Hangout, and else.
If you visit Alibaba chatbox, you will see there is a video calling option. And all these aim to simplify the B2B negotiation process. Today’s B2B buyers are more tend to purchase from those websites that allow them to request quotes and negotiate.
Bonus: Expose the B2B eCommerce Myths
Still, there are many myths and misconceptions around B2B eCommerce. Let’s refute some most common of them in this section.
It Takes Months to Set Up a B2B eCommerce Website
Long ago, brands and businesses had to hire programmers to design and develop customized software to run B2B websites. At present, it is neither difficult nor time-consuming to set up a B2B eCommerce website.
There are countless solutions to do that. Dokan is currently the number one multivendor plugin in Google. You can create your B2B website in a very short time using this solution.
Not All Products Can be Sold Online
It is impossible to judge the quality of every product online.A common argument in the online community
This is a reason why many B2B traders don’t feel interested in joining the eCommerce world. But popular marketplaces like Alibaba have made a way out. It offers to ship sample items of a certain quantity so that merchants can judge their quality.
Also, they offer 360-degree photos, videos, and precise measurements. Following this strategy, you can solve this problem and sell any product in the digital environment.
B2B Buyers Are Reluctant to Transact Online
B2B merchants don’t love to trade and transact online because of security issues.A belief in the Online Community
This was true once. Because not all B2B websites could ensure top-notch cyber security. There weren’t enough payment gateways. Customers used to face lots of troubles in B2B trading.
Most of these limitations have already been solved today. The number of eCommerce B2B buyers is constantly increasing every year. If you have good products, it’s high time you join this industry.
It Costs More to Develop a B2B eCommerce Website
Today, many SaaS and open source solutions create dynamic B2B eCommerce websites. You can develop your B2B website on a highly affordable budget using any of them.
All you have to do is find the right platform that offers all the necessary integrations. But if you want to develop your website using customized coding, things will be quite expensive.
Same Site Cannot Be Used Both for B2B And B2C
Using the hybrid eCommerce solution, you can authorize your website to manage both B2B and B2C from one single online portal. It has all the essential features to cover different sets of target audiences and run eCommerce activities without any hustle.
Are You Ready to Start Your B2B eCommerce Today?
If you are a manufacturer, wholesaler, or distributor and want to grow your brand on a large-scale, B2B eCommerce could be the best solution. Knowing the benefits of B2B eCommerce strategies is just half of your homework done.
Now, it’s up to you to execute the strategies one by one. Before you finally launch your website, we suggest you spare a bit more time to continue market research, know your competitors, identify buyer persona, and others.
However, if you are looking for a suitable solution to launch your eCommerce right away, click this article on how to build your marketplace with Dokan.