4 Ways to Improve B2B E Commerce Using Consumer Online Behavior

If you have an active B2B ecommerce initiative, chances are good that you are always looking for ways to improve your site’s performance. You can significantly improve your site by looking to how online shoppers behave while online.

The top 4 online shopper behaviors to consider:

  1. Researching about products (42%)
  2. Reading expert & user reviews (21%)
  3. Price comparison sites (16%)
  4. Searching discount coupons (14%)

While these consumer behaviors may not seem readily applicable to B2B ecommerce, they are and implementing them will ensure that your site is even more appealing to your customers–even if you are selling microchips or tractor parts.

Online Behavior: Researching about products. As the top consumer online behavior, this tells us one thing very clearly: online consumers want information. Your B2B customers are no different. Make sure that your ecommerce site is THE RESOURCE for the products you sell, and ideally, for your market. (This is the time to make sure that whatever your competition is providing as far as resources go, yours are better.) Providing rich and dynamic content will educate your potential customers, drive up your rank in search engine results and will limit the need for visitors to leave your site to get more information. Consider:

  • How-to videos
  • Product demonstration videos
  • Technical specifications
  • Blueprints, technical manuals, and data sheets
  • User forums
  • FAQs

Online Behavior: Reading expert and user reviews.  Not only do your customers want information from you, they also want information from people who already use your products as well as from third-party experts. Cue the user reviews. If you don’t already have user reviews available on your site, consider implementing them. Provide links to third-party expert reviews of products you sell from the product page or better yet, provide a excerpt of the review and link the excerpt so that customers can get a feel for the review without having to leave your site.

Online Behavior: Price comparison sites. People shop online to find the best price and price comparison sites can be very handy for this. While your site should not promote your competition in any way, even if your price is better, you can dodge the price comparison site trap by guaranteeing your pricing through a low price or price match guarantee.

Online Behavior: Searching discount coupons. B2C ecommerce shoppers are always looking for the best possible deal and often, a quick little bit of online research will yield a coupon code for money off or for free shipping. While it’s unlikely that you will offer a coupon code per se, consider offering free shipping on orders over a certain dollar amount or on large purchases. Give them the best deal on your site and your customers won’t need to leave to see what is being offered elsewhere.

Understanding consumer behavior is critical to ecommerce success, whether in the B2C or B2B worlds, because all buyers (B2B or B2C) are ultimately consumers. Ensure that your site addresses each of the above behaviors and your sales will grow as a result.