If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times.
Ask a B2B organization what functionalities they want in their new ecommerce site and they are bound to start listing off features and functionalities that culminates with the statement, “…you know—like Amazon.com.”
Now, Amazon.com is by far the leader in seamless ecommerce functionality and providing an exceptional customer experience. And as the industry benchmark, they are definitely a shopping experience to emulate. But it’s important to keep in mind that your B2B ecommerce site is not Amazon.com. And that’s okay.
No really, it’s okay and here’s why:
- You don’t have Amazon.com’s e-commerce budget. At least I doubt you do and that’s okay. Just keep in mind that you can’t buy the total “Amazon experience” without a similar budget—so choosing the most appropriate functionality and budgeting for it is essential to ecommerce success.
- Amazon doesn’t make any of the stuff that it sells. Why does this matter? Because Amazon focuses solely on its core business competency which leads me to…
- Amazon’s core competency is its ecommerce platform and online shopping experience. Think about it…Amazon sells stuff. Other people’s stuff. They don’t have bricks-and-mortar stores and they developed their own proprietary platform to sell other people’s stuff. I’m guessing that your core competency isn’t developing a proprietary ecommerce platform to sell other people’s stuff on. Remember your organization’s core competency and focus on that. Then make sure that your ecommerce site reflects that competency.
- Your customers don’t expect you to be Amazon.com. While your customers demand an exceptional online shopping experience, they don’t expect you to be Amazon. Choose the most compelling functionality for your business model and employ it to engage your customers and convince them to convert.
The key take away for this post is you don’t have to be Amazon.com to be successful in B2B ecommerce. Feel free to use them to get ideas of what you want to do with your site, but choose the features and functionality that makes the most sense for your business and for your budget first.
To learn more about how to maximize the success of your B2B ecommerce initiative, download the white paper B2B Ecommerce Success – Seven Questions to Consider When Beginning an Ecommerce Initiative.