Proactive is the Name of the Game in B2B E Commerce

“Hello, my name is Rachel and I have an extremely short attention span.”

It’s true–I do. At least I admit it, right? This morning a brief stop on made it clear EXACTLY how short my attention span is and then expertly demonstrated how an ecommerce website can effectively reign in those of us with multi-tasking syndrome and secure the sale despite being challenged on all sides by multiple other stimuli.

I’ve decided to do the unthinkable and run a 5k with my sister on Thanksgiving Day. Please note that my sister is the conssumate athlete and I typically only run when chased. By someone really, REALLY scary. Anyway, I’m starting my training regime tonight after work and got to thinking that most of my workout clothing doesn’t have any pockets to speak of that will hold my iPhone (and the required music to help me forget that I am, in fact, choosing to run) and my keys. Over the weekend I bought a new pair of my favorite sneakers and remembered seeing armbands and running “pockets” that would hold my phone and other necessities perfectly.

I immediately did what I normally do in this sitiuation: I went online to search for a running armband or pocket. My online search landed me on looking at a running pocket that seemed like it might fit my needs. Then, my short attention span kicked in and I was off and running to another site looking at another option. Three or four windows later, I was winding up my search and closing browser windows as I went. The last window that I happened upon was the one that got me to reengage with the site and ultimately, encouraged me to buy.

Here’s what caught my eye and made me stop and think, “Huh. Zappos actually wants my sale.”

Proactive is the Name of the Game in B2B E Commerce Close Up

There in the middle of the screen was a pop-up box that offered me additional information as well as multiple ways to reengage with the site. While these “calls to action” did not directly ask me to buy the product, this highly informative pop-up got me to slow down long enough to reconsider my purchase. What’s more, the pop-up reached out to me in a variety of ways, virtually ensuring that one of those ways would appeal to me. If I needed to talk to a person right away, I could opt for a live chat session or a toll-free call to the company. If I didn’t feel like talking to someone, I could send an email or try the self-service route with the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page. And if, by some off chance, I was looking to return a purchase, the last link directs me straight to the returns page.

The B2B Ecommerce Take Away

While this engaging phenomenon took place on an ecommerce store that is squarely in the business-to-consumer (B2C) space, business-to-business (B2B) organizations should take the lead with their customers and do two things:

1) Offer a variety of ways–including telephone, email, and live chat–for customers to reach out and engage with their organization,

2) Consider employing a pop-up window similar to the one used by to reengage with customers who appear to have gotten distracted or whose session has timed out.

To learn more about how to create an engaging B2B ecommerce experience for your customers, download the white paper, Sell More With Stunning Design – Increasing Conversions and Decreasing Cart Abandonment.