B2B Ecommerce is short for Business to Business. It can be used to purchase office supplies, large items with complicated technical specifications, or contracts for professional services.
Even a single purchase can lead to multiple follow-ups, including requests for support, repairs, accessories purchases, and future updates. What’s the difference between B2C eCommerce and e-commerce aimed at the end-user?
B2B customers want to build a long-lasting relationship with their supplier. The best B2B sites provide a lasting relationship, not just a product. A Digital Specialist can help you to improve your B2B marketing.
The behavior of B2B customers
B2B buyers often spend more time comparing different options and using multiple criteria to make their final decision. Buyers are often not considered “individual users”. They are part of a central purchasing group or procurement group.
Even if the buyer was the end-user (e.g., a purchasing manager), it is possible to start from a position in which he has a problem but does not know the best solution. B2B websites must provide a broad range of information. This includes whitepaper explaining key differences in product ranges, case studies that help explain use cases, and white papers. , hidden costs, ROI. Without forgetting to show the customer how the product/service can be integrated into his current environment.
Contact us is the simplest option.
You may find it tempting to add a call-to-action or hide technical information behind registration forms so you can capture visitor details and start direct marketing. The classic product sheet is complete with the “Contact Us” button.
This approach is too simple. According to research, potential customers don’t want to be contacted until enough information has been gathered to enable them to have a rational and informed conversation without being forced into making a quick decision or accepting a sales offer.
Users of sites that have well-documented products tend to prefer them to those with lower prices.
The stages of B2B purchasing
The B2B buying path generally follows a series of steps.
Phase of research
The complexity of B2B requirements means that the customer first needs to know the details of the products. Caterpillar, for example, lists its products according to function so that customers can identify themselves easily without needing to know machine names. They also offer a lot more technical information that is just a few mouse clicks away.
Stage of a relationship
This phase is important before the purchase, as the customer must understand the context of the company. It’s almost like he was “coming out with it!”.
The customer will ask these questions: Does this company have integrity? Would I be happy to spend time with them Are their interests aligned with mine? Are they financially secure? This phase involves many corporate elements: brand positioning, social activities, and site SEO.
Phase of decision
Customers narrow down their choices to a single company by using this method. This could be a complex spreadsheet listing all the benefits and drawbacks of each product and the company. They will need to know the key differences between the products, as well as the actual numbers for each product. Logistics, payment conditions, and guarantees are also important. This stage can have a significant impact on your decision-making.
Phase of purchase
This is where the customer interacts with the supplier, practically to set the options and negotiate the price. Online shopping is possible for some products and services.
The checkout process is the final obstacle in this journey. It must be as smooth and quick as possible. This is where other businesses can see the benefits of all their online relationships. It’s also where they can have a personal conversation. The commercial network must maintain the same tone as the customer’s experience on the site.
Phase of support
If all goes well, the relationship will not end with one supply. Instead, it will continue with support and assistance, purchase of spare parts or consumables, replacement or upgrade, and when the service contract expires or the equipment is no longer in use.
To create a lasting experience, embrace complexity
For potential customers, it can be costly to enter the world of B2-B companies. B2B eCommerce should facilitate this activity by embracing the organizational and technical complexity of our company and explaining it with precision. This will result in a lasting relationship that will be an investment in the customer’s lifetime value.