Statistics show that 89% of the B2B buyers purchase online, so it is essential to have an online presence. But running a B2B eCommerce business can be a challenge without the right tools. To stay competitive, you must build a comprehensive eCommerce store, for which you need to choose a comprehensive platform. These platforms have to be custom-made in order to provide users with a solution that suits their needs.
Let’s look at some factors that will help you choose the right eCommerce platform to grow your B2B online business.
1. Minimal programming
Technology is changing fast. Keeping your business up-to-date in terms of technology is essential. Many businesses are using open source platforms, which are free and easily accessible. However, in the long run, they will cost a fortune to maintain and run since you’re dependent on developers to make even small tweaks on your eCommerce store.
With a SaaS (Software as a Service) eCommerce platform, the need for technical knowledge is removed. It becomes effortless to design and build the store, make any small changes, or add any feature extensions.
The global mobile internet traffic is approximated to 48.91% in 2019. This means half of your customers are using smartphones to learn more about products or buy online. This makes mobile-first a crucial factor for your online success.
Fortunately, eCommerce website builders tend to offer mobile-friendly solutions that are designed for faster checkouts and easier transactions. You also have the option to build your own eCommerce mobile app to create a seamless shopping experience for your customers.
Integrations and extensions
Sometimes your online store might require a specific set of features. Integrations help avoid long development hours and connect your online store with tools that are optimized with the right features to serve your customers better.
2. Competitive and comparative pricing
The price of a product is what the customer looks at. Guaranteed low prices are the biggest marketing tactics to ensure repeat customers.
Geographical pricing solution
Customers are most comfortable when prices are in their local currency. If you sell in multiple geographic regions, find an eCommerce solution that showcases the appropriate currency to engage better with your regional customers.
Many solutions offer dynamic pricing which groups your customers into various categories and allows you to display different pricing based on ROI from that particular customer. Price plays an important role because most of your business comes from repeat customers. An organized price book helps retain these loyal customers.
Imagine a scenario where you have a customer who orders almost 200 units of a particular product against a customer who wants to buy just 2 units. You can easily give the first customer a much better price because the order quantity is more. The price book helps provide the best rates to customers.
Price List feature
Merchants can set different prices for the same product for different users. This feature allows for better profits.
Loyalty discounts for repeat businesses
Statistics show that 30% of customers prefer to return to eCommerce websites from where they have already bought before.
By offering discount coupons or membership pricing options, you can increase repeat sales and business. Your B2B eCommerce platform should let you create coupon codes easily and share them with customers.
Targeted personalization and customization
A persona showcases various characteristics of your customers. By understanding who your customers are, you can use your eCommerce solution to personalize your website design and marketing messages to maximize conversions.
Personalized shopping experience
Customers are used to convenience. By giving a re-order option and showcasing favorite products, you can enable them to make faster purchase decisions.
With AI technology, it’s easy to identify shopping patterns of customers and display personalized product recommendations. This helps to upsell products and increase the overall cart value.
3. Ecommerce operations
Running a business requires so many technicalities. From managing the inventory to books, the work involved is seriously time-consuming.
Creating conversion-friendly product pages
Online stores have a slight disadvantage because customers cannot touch and feel the product. They can only rely on product images and descriptions. The ability to add custom fields becomes necessary for listing various specifications and features to offer a comprehensive product page.
The product page should also display verified reviews to help customers long-tail search-friendly keywords that they use to describe the product better. These reviews are indexed by search engines trying to help you improve your organic visibility.
Categorizing products based on various factors
Cataloging is the main feature of any online eCommerce business. Proper categorization is essential to offer users easy navigation and help them find products easier.
You can list the same product under multiple categories, but ensure they’re relevant and something the customer expects when they navigate to the particular category.
Comparing different products
Customers prefer to compare the functions and features of different products before making a purchase. Finding a platform that allows comparison between products will be an advantage.
Real-time order management
People shop online primarily because they can shop at any time. Showing the actual availability of products is important to send out orders on time. Otherwise, mismanagement can lead to delivery dates being affected or orders being canceled.
Proper inventory management
Inventories are essential for running a business. Without a live inventory, it will be difficult to maintain multiple storefronts. It will cause mismanagement and out of stock products being sold to customers. This will cause issues with timely delivery and customer satisfaction will be hit worst.
Product Reviews based on user experiences
People tend to research online before buying a product. A study shows 74% of customers consult reviews before making purchase decisions.
Easy accounting tools
Built-in accounting tools will allow you to maintain your books easier. Invoice and bill generation will also work more efficiently. These systems can often be integrated into the same platform as your eCommerce website.
4. Customer satisfaction and experience
Easy, user-friendly navigation and hassle-free returns go a long way to enhancing customer satisfaction. This is important because surveys have proven that 64% of customers prefer customer satisfaction over the price of the product. The warm shopping experience will help improve your business’s reputation.
Easy return policy
67% of customers check the return policies before purchasing a product, avoiding stringent ones. Customers also prefer free shipping on returns. This explains why online shopping has a higher return rate of 30% while brick and mortar shops only have 8%. Finding a solution that allows you to set up easy returns is imperative.
Support communities and discussion forums
People tend to trust businesses where contacting employees is easy. Users also look for discussion forums where they can help each other or post queries for experts or support teams to reply with clarifications.
Support teams should be available to address urgent needs or doubts through these forums. Transparency about the support team’s availability is essential. Chatbots can automate replies while the support team is away.
Educational blogs and tutorial videos
Educational blogs can help customers who’d like to gain a thorough knowledge on a topic. Enlighten customers by providing educational videos and tutorials. Having platforms that support videos and blog creation would be ideal.
Compliance with GDPR and privacy policies
Protecting the privacy of clients and customers is important. No matter where your eCommerce website is based out of, it should be GDPR-compliant. This helps build trust among customers.
5. International payment gateways
Payments are one of the most essential parts of an eCommerce website. A reliable payment method helps assure customers. With a reliable method in place, buyers and sellers don’t have to worry about returns and refunds.
The third-party involved will take care of all the payments only after a satisfactory deal has been completed. You can use escrow agencies to help you in the process.
Multiple payment options
Giving customers the option to select from many payment options helps boost sales. Credit cards, debit cards, cash on delivery, wallets, and EMI options are some of the featured payment methods. They allow users to reconsider the purchase even when short on money.
Including international banks
Banks have to be hosted to be integrated into a website. These banks will redirect customers to their website to complete payments. Once completed, they will be redirected back to the merchant site. Having banks with an international presence helps set up an international business.
Integration with PayPal and other wallets
International business calls for international payment methods. PayPal allows for the transfer of funds in different currencies. A study has proved that there is a 70% higher checkout rate with PayPal transactions than with non-PayPal transactions. These wallets allow for funds to be transferred directly into your bank accounts.
6. Built-in marketing strategies
No business succeeds without a proper marketing strategy. Having tools to help you implement and plan marketing strategies is important. These tools will help you gain leads and stick to your marketing plans.
Email marketing helps prevent cart abandonment. Integrating your eCommerce website with an email marketing service will help automate the process. You can also use email marketing to offer special discounts upon signup, as well as to send coupon codes and newsletters.
Built-in SEO improvement plugins
Many solutions offer built-in SEO support while creating products in an online store. This built-in SEO adviser will suggest where to add tags and links. In this manner, the overall SEO of a page can be managed and improved with minimum effort.
Look for a solution that can integrate different marketplaces to allow feed management. These allow small sellers to sell on big platforms like Amazon. The intuitive platform allows for the synchronization of data to manage a coherent stock across all platforms along with bringing together social media and affiliation platforms.
Analytic tools for real-time conversion rates
Analytic tools like Google Analytics are available to evaluate the movement of customers across your website. Developing actionable insights based on the input from analytics helps in prompt decision-making.
Google Analytics can give information about customer behavior and how much time they spend at each level of the shopping experience. This information can be used to find where there is a leak in your eCommerce website where you might be losing customers.
Here is everything you need to know if you decide you want to start an eCommerce website. If you use these tips while looking for an eCommerce solution, let us know in the comments on how things have turned out for your new business.
To know how to set up your ecommerce store, read our blog ‘Build an ecommerce store in 6 steps‘.
If you’re new to B2B e-commerce, it’s important to have a plan when selecting the best platform for your business.
Hi Joseph, I want to setup a B2B store for my existing and new customers. I do not have much of the technical knowledge. Can you suggest me a good team to work with on this project? Most of the companies I have met with are not technically strong but are way too expensive. Please guide me. Thanks!
Do use our trial and see if it suits your requirements. Try us: https://www.zoho.com/commerce