Making mistakes with your ecommerce site can be costly and may do long-term damage to your organization’s B2B ecommerce success. To make your site launch as smooth as possible, consider the following seven B2B ecommerce mistakes and how you can avoid them.
- Not enough content. People go to the Internet to find information on the products they wish to purchase–for both business and personal use. To find that information, web visitors rely on search engines to index the most relevant and usefl content available on the Web and then to direct them to that information. Ecommerce sites without enough relevant content run the risk of being completely ignored by the search engine crawlers. Need help identifying what types of content you should include on your ecommerce site or where to find them? Check out the article, 6 Types of Content for B2B Ecommerce and Where to Get Them.
- No public-facing web pages. Many B2B organizations forget to include public-facing pages on their website. While this ensures that all of the organization’s data is secure from competitors, it also means that the search engine crawlers can’t “see” your site, which results in your site not being indexed. Not sure that your B2B ecommerce site should include public-facing pages? Read the article, Why Your B2B Ecommerce Site Needs Public-Facing Pages.
- Forgetting–or simply ignoring–search engine optimization. If you want to be successful in driving new traffic to your B2B ecommercve site or hope to expand your customer base and increase sales, make sure that you do not fall prey to the belief that your ecommerce site doesn’t require search engine optimization (SEO). Any site with public-facing web pages that wants to be found by new customers needs to follow best practices for search engine optimization. To learn more about SEO for ecommerce, read the article, 4 Ways to Improve Your Ecommerce Site’s Search Engine Results.
- Taking a “set it and forget it” mentality. Ecommerce launch projects are often intense and time-consuming. This leads many organizations to take on a mentality of being finished with ecommerce once othe site goes live. Unfortunately, the site launch is not the end of an ecommerce project. Rather, post go-live, that ecommerce site requires as much time and energy as it did to get it ready for the public. Taking a “set it and forget it” mentality is a recipe for disaster, while creating a regular schedule of time to evaluate content and update the site ensures that your site is always up-to-date with new, relevant content.
- Choosing the wrong ecommerce vendor. Nothing will sink your ecommerce ship faster than choosing the wrong B2B ecommerce vendor partner. While prices is always a consideration, your ultimate selection should not be made on price alone. Doing so ensures that you will end up with an extremely basic ecommerce solution–and even if you can make the basic solution work for awhile, chances are high that you will end up replatforming sooner rather than later and this means a higher total cost of ownership over time. You might also be tempted to simply go with the ecommerce module that your ERP vendor makes available. While this will likely work in the short term, an ERP vendor’s ecommerce module is unlikely to provide the robust features you need for long-term ecommerce success. Need more information? Check out 3 Questions to Consider When Choosing a B2B Ecommerce Platform.
- Failing to implement a customer on-boarding strategy. Building an ecommerce site and then flipping the switch to “on” isn’t enough to drive traffic and sales to your B2B ecommerce site. In fact, if you wait for your customers to find your new site, you could be waiting for a really long time. “Build it and they will come” doesn’t work in the world of ecommerce and as such, you must implement a customer on-boarding strategy to successfully transition your customers to ecommerce from other ordering methods. Through a comprehensive and personalized approach to on-boarding, you can assure your customers know about your site and feel confident enough to use it. Need help better understanding what it takes to run an on-boarding strategy? Read the article, Improving B2B Ecommerce Adoption.
- Ignoring the competition. The B2B world seems incredibly prone to believing that their current customers will continue to be their loyal customers and that the competition–local or across the country–pose no threat. Not only is this mindset dangerous to your organization’s immediate success, ignoring the competition can seriously affect your organization’s long-term health. Have you heard about AmazonSupply? If so, what is your organization doing to secure your market position alongside the new B2B Amazon website? If you haven’t heard of AmazonSupply, or you are looking for suggestions on how your company can compete, I encourage you to read the article, Pay Attention or AmazonSupply Will Crush Your B2B Business.
To learn more about how you can leverage your B2B ecommerce site and improve its overall success, download the white paper, B2B Ecommerce Success – Seven Questions to Consider When Beginning an Ecommerce Initiative.