One of the greatest challenges of any e-commerce site, but especially for B2B organizations, is how to promote the site once it’s live. For some organizations, the challenge lies in not knowing that they should promote their site–they have the, “If we build it, they will come” mentality. Others know that they should promote their e-commerce site, but have no idea on how to begin. This article will review three ways that B2B organizations can promote their e-commerce sites to ensure that they are successful.
Public facing product catalog
The number one thing that B2B organizations can do to promote the success of their B2B e-commerce site is to implement an SEO-optimized public facing catalog. For most B2B organizations, only customers can view their product assortment and pricing. In the world of online business, this is a problem. Here’s why: search engine results. Secure website pages cannot be crawled by search engine crawlers which means those pages are not indexed. Pages that aren’t indexed will not appear in the results when a potential customer searches for the products you sell. Without a public-facing catalog, or at the very least, a series of public facing web pages, search engines won’t find you–and neither will customers looking for your products. This leaves your promotions strategy lacking in organic search engine results capabilities.
Search marketing strategies
Another way to promote your B2B e-commerce site is through search marketing strategies. Also known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, search marketing is a paid strategy where you create ads to entice the online searcher and then compete for the best positions on the search engine results pages by bidding on a cost per click. Search marketing is the perfect compliment to your organic (read: free) search engine optimization practices on your site’s public facing pages. The downside to search marketing is that it costs money and. without a highly strategy plan in place, it can quickly rack up a sizeable bill with little lead generation to show for it.
On-boarding program for current customers
Implementing a strategic on-boarding program for your current customers will help you mitigate attrition and loss of sales when you launch a new B2B e-commerce site. Forrester Research estimates that you can expect onsite conversion rates to decrease by 39% after replatforming an exisiting website. To mitigate this loss, it is essential that you connect with each of your key customers to let them know about the change and to walk them through their first order online. This will ensure that they can ask questions during the process and you will get feedback on how your site works for them.
Whether this is your first attempt at B2B e-commerce or you are replatforming an exisiting site on a new e-commerce platform, effective promotions will drive online sales and reduce attrition.