Having clear goals in mind for your B2B ecommerce site will help you evaluate the success of your site and will guide you toward appropriate changes and enhancements to the site itself as well as to the site’s content and promotional campaigns. The trick lies in figuring out what to focus on and measure based on your organization’s vision for your ecommerce site.
You can choose to focus on external or internal goals or both. External goals often focus on growth—increased sales and higher transaction averages. Internal goals are more likely to show reductions—elimination of manual data entry and reduced cost per order—but may also show gains such as increased number of orders processed and shipped per day.
Whether you chose to focus on internal or external goals will be driven largely by your organization’s goals and the role that an ecommerce site plays in achieving those goals. For example, if your organization is focused on growing your B2B customer base, you might choose to measure how many new customers you get as a result of your ecommerce and online marketing efforts. Likewise, if you are trying to reduce non-revenue generating activities, you might track how many customers are going to your site for self-serve information rather than calling your customer service group.
Here’s a list of potential goals for your site, broken down by external and internal focus.
External Goals = Growth
- Increased sales. This refers to top line sales growth via the ecommerce channel.
- Increased number of transactions. More orders are coming in via ecommerce.
- Higher transaction averages. The average total per order on your site is growing.
- Improved site adoption. More customers are using the site to place orders.
- Increased number of customers/partners/distributors. Your customer base is growing due to search engine optimization of your public-facing pages and increased brand awareness in the market.
Internal Goals = Operational Efficiencies = Reduction of Non-Revenue Generating Activities
- Reduced cost per order. Average cost of processing an order decreases over time as more orders are brought in via ecommerce.
- Elimination of duplicate manual entry. Shipping and customer staff no longer have to type and retype a customer’s order data, instead relying on the information entered by the customer into the ecommerce system for order processing.
- Faster order-to-revenue cycle. The speed at which an order is entered and completely processed is decreased to allow more orders to be processed each day.
- Decreased number of “where’s my order” calls to customer service group. Customers move from calling customer service to accessing order status information on the ecommerce site.
- Increased traffic to site for self-service customer issues. Web analytics demonstrate customers accessing frequently asked questions, support documents, product information, etc. on your site rather than calling sales or customer service.
- Consistent communication with customers. Order confirmation and order shipped emails are sent out automatically to the customer by your ecommerce system rather than relying on sales or customer service.
Identifying goals for your B2B ecommerce at the outset of the project will allow you to evaluate the success of the site and make any necessary changes to maximize the success of your B2B ecommerce site.
To learn more about how to maximize the success of your B2B ecommerce site, download the white paper, B2B Ecommerce Success – Seven Questions to Consider When Beginning an Ecommerce Initiative.