A sustainable and profitable e-commerce strategy focuses on delivering excellent customer experiences in today’s digital-first marketplace. But most B2B e-commerce websites at the moment fall short of the standards created by the B2C shopping experience that B2B customers have come to expect.

Author Radiana Pit | Copperberg

Photo: Freepik

We have previously covered the importance of CX in e-commerce and how the expectations of the post-pandemic customer have been shaped by digital transformation. Their experience on a seller’s website is essential in guiding them down the sales funnel and securing their long-term commitment to the brand. 

So, how does one go about creating a frictionless web experience for their B2B customers? That and more will be explored at E-Connect 2023 with Copperberg and its distinguished guests. The interactive event is dedicated to helping manufacturers optimize their e-commerce strategies and become more customer-centric. But until we get there, here are some valuable tips to help you create a positively memorable experience for your website visitors. 

1. Create robust on-site search functionality

B2C customers are used to using the search bar on their vendor’s website to find the products they are looking for. But the same would not work for B2B customers. Considering the data-rich and information-packed product categories available on B2B sites, search filters need to be on par and capable of handling the varied criteria of each product. 

More intelligent and targeted on-site search queries will help B2B customers to find exactly what they are looking for rather than a bunch of irrelevant options that miss the mark. It may not seem like much, but for 60% of B2B customers, having enhanced search functionality at their fingertips is important, so online vendors should make it a priority.

2. Design with self-service in mind

More and more B2B buyers prefer ordering digitally from a self-service option. Not merely that, but they are also willing to spend $1,000,000 or more using digital self-service and remote human interactions for a new product or service. What’s more, as many as 70% of B2B buyers now prefer to interact with a business via their website and not their sales reps. 

It is much easier and more convenient for B2B customers to be able to access all the information they seek without having to reach out to a sales rep via phone to request more details. And transactions are expedited if they are given the option to request quotes, place orders, and make payments online. 

Giving customers the option to make direct purchases via the website is a surefire way to reduce all potential friction to a minimum, boost satisfaction, and take sales to the next level.

3. Get personal

Vendors’ websites collect a treasure of customer data that can reveal much about a buyer’s behavior, history, patterns, and more. Using this data, B2B sellers can create personalized interactions at various touchpoints, customized dashboards, and deals and pricing tailored to the customer’s unique needs. 

Personalization has been a huge trend for years in the industry, but it still eludes many B2B vendors today. Adding a personal touch to digital sales is an excellent way to make customers feel unique and as if they share a meaningful connection to the brand. That feeling will enable them to stick with the brand for longer and sign long-term contracts to make it official.

4. Expedite the checkout process

B2B decision-making can be quite time-consuming. Due to the nature and volume of the order as well as the number of stakeholders involved, B2B buyers take their time in deciding which vendor is best for them. The easier a vendor makes it for them to make that decision, the more profitable.

Despite enriching their website with product information to help buyers sail smoothly through the product research phase, some B2B vendors forget to optimize the checkout problems.

The more clicks and actions a buyer must perform to complete the order, the less likely they are to do it before they churn. The average cart abandonment rate across all industries is 69.57%, which indicates a major problem at checkout for most vendors. 

And so adding quick order forms, multiple payment options, and keeping checkout steps to a minimum will help reduce the cart abandonment rate and instead increase sales and conversions.

5. Increase web traffic with SEO

To drive conversions, B2B vendors can expand their customer base, although the cost of acquiring new customers is rather high compared to the cost of maintaining existing customer relationships. However, search engine optimization (SEO) is essential in a digital-first environment where part of the competition is who ranks higher in search results. 

Approximately 47% of B2B buyers conduct their research online, looking for information and providers, which often settle for the first options provided by the search results. Not being able to find a vendor due to poor SEO practices would be a missed opportunity for both them and the vendor.

Despite all the digital transformation that took place within the industry in recent years, many firms are still struggling to understand the value of digital marketing and SEO. But on the world wide web, the two are natural business requirements and they will surely gain more importance in the manufacturing industry as time goes by.

Need more?

The tips offered above are always relevant in streamlining frictionless CX to B2B buyers. They are no longer nice-to-do but must-dos in order to deliver customers the experiences they expect in the digital-first era. And while they might seem like small web tweaks here and there, they do make a huge difference in the B2B shopping experience. 

We are ready to discuss the B2B customer experience and more at E-Connect 2023 with our distinguished guests. The interactive event will help manufacturers optimize and execute their e-commerce strategies effectively while putting the customer at the heart of the business.

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