The ultimate goal of B2B ecommerce is exactly the same as for B2C ecommerce: Sell your products online. That’s not to say that a B2B site is exactly like a B2C site–in fact, B2B ecommerce requires additional considerations.
In addition to selling products online, a B2B ecommerce site should also:
- Allow a site visitor to quickly execute an order that often includes regularly purchased products. This will likely include alternative ways to create an order other than “add to cart.”
- Provide robust search with well-organized results to guide the user’s serach through potentially hundreds of thousands of products. The larger your SKU population, the more important search becomes. Make sure your site employs powerful search.
- Address high volume customer service inquires on a timely basis via Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), access to account and order status, product support literature, informational downloads and the like. These details are likely to be secured behind a log-in portal and are incredibly important to your customers.
- Supply critical industry or product-related information unique to the industry and the customers’ needs. Your B2B ecommerce site provides you with the opportunity to be the source of industry information for your customer base. Providing this information on your ecommerce website increases your customers’ reliance on you for timely information and keeps them coming back to your ecommerce site.
- Generate leads for the B2B business using any public-facing site elements with the understanding that the bulk of the site’s information is secured behind a log-in portal. While a large portion of your site is likely to be secure and unavailable to non-customers, the public-facing pages will attract the attention of search engine crawlers and generate leads for new customers and potential partners. Make the most of all of your pubic facing pages–you’ll reap rewards for your efforts!
As you plan your B2B ecommerce initiative or look to revise a current offering, consider whether your site provides these additional requirements. If not, it is advisable that you add them as soon as possible to maximize the success of your ecommerce site.
Ready to take your B2B business to the next level? View the on-demand webinar, Ecommerce Best Practices for B2B and B2C.