There is a world of difference between a B2B and B2C scenario. The most important differentiator between them is time they spend. B2B customers do not spend a lot of time browsing catalogues. Often B2B customers who shop for products online are typically the time poor and resistant to marketing kind. This makes B2B customers difficult to reach and engage, unlike B2C customers.
The key to a B2B customer engagement lies in making their search as easy as possible. This is achieved by providing them convenient buying options with detailed descriptions of products and it features. This is the primary reason for B2B businesses to move online and stores such as ‘Grainger’ and ‘Amazon Business’ over-deliver quite easily.
There are some definitive action points that can help achieve B2B e-commerce success. Below are some of them.
Powerful search functionality
70% of customers spend time on the internet trying to find the products they want, and this applies for B2B customers too. Having a powerful search functionality is vital for a growing B2B business. Features such as auto correct functionality and placement of the search toolbar in a tactical position goes a long way.
There are questions that customers have in mind and you as a B2B business should be able to address. This is the key to B2B business success. Grainger sets the bar in terms of intuitive search functionality.
Giving customer simple and intuitive options
A B2B customer needs easy and intuitive options that would make their buying experience easy. Simple features like add to cart, add to quote, option to add promotional quotes, viewing and downloading of specs sheet, print and sending to a colleague, getting availability of the inventory and pricing easily is expected of an ideal B2B store.
Grainger does a great job in making the checkout process simple and intuitive by giving them advanced options like auto reorder for a frequency of their choosing. These things are expected of a great B2B e-commerce store.
Consistent and product rich information
Consistency of information is imperative for B2B customers, no matter which team member they contact during their interactions. For example, if a price projected on the B2B site and price mentioned by a sales representative are different, this can damage the customer perception.
Product data, descriptions, pricing attributes and specifications that are consistent across all channels help customers make easy buying decisions. Since a B2B customer is not shopping for some gift or personal use, they are sensitive to excessive browsing and searching.
How Grainger/Amazon business is making B2B business easy?
For businesses aspiring to take their B2B operations to the next level, it is important to begin with basics. Some questions on the operations are impact B2B customer experience, below are some of them.
Do you have the right product?
B2B is a domain where consumers need products that are vital for their own businesses. You as a business should be in a position to give them the exact right product they are looking for. Right from the product specifications to the material and the uses are to be made available. Also, a powerful recommendations functionality like the next best alternatives for the product the consumer is searching for can really help.
What is your price?
Being transparent on the price is very important for a B2B operation. While B2C ecommerce players address this well, most B2B players struggle at this. An estimate of the product price is an added requirement in the B2B ecommerce.
When can you deliver it to them?
The popularity of this feature in B2C is forcing B2B players to provide the same experience as well. Give your customers the expected date of when you can deliver the order. For express shipping, give your customers a transparent delivery date. This can add to customer satisfaction.
These are the intricacies Amazon business and Grainger address effectively and you as a B2B operation should start addressing too.
Where can B2B businesses start with Magento 2?
Magento 2 edition has very powerful B2B functionalities which would be a great advantage for B2B operations looking for scalability. True to Magento core tenet, it continues to provide unified experience to e-commerce customers even on the B2B platform. B2B customers today want seamless self-service and convenient options to strike a deal.
Magento 2 has just the right options to help B2B businesses deliver. Below are some of them
The custom pricing feature of Magento 2 is a great addition to its B2B functionality. Magento 2 allows businesses to create many specific pricing lists and assign them to specific companies. Also, it allows default public pricing which is accessible to non-logged users.
Magento 2 even allows products or categories to be limited in visibility based on specific pricing apart from setting up pricing based on percentage discount and custom values.
In a B2B scenario, credit limits depends on the customer’s credibility, previous order and purchase history. Magento 2 has the function of account model per company where all the payment and purchase history of transactions are stored.
During the checkout process, the customer can choose the ‘Payment on account’ as the payment option, which automatically decreases the limit provided to the customer account. To avail an optimized credit limit functionality, integration with the ERP is necessary.
B2B business heavily depends on negotiation. To handle this, a state of the art quotation engine is included in Magento. This quotation engine helps customers to add products to their carts and then converting them to a quote instead of placing an order. Magento admin can then examine and answer by setting up a price and adding comments. Negotiation cycle is scaled down, which results in quick closure of a sale on the new Magento 2.
Easy order placement
Repeat order placement is a norm in a B2B environment. Magento simplifies the function of frequent purchasing by enabling them to order quickly via SKU, by importing excel files of the list of product references and related quantities or to re order based on their previous order history.
Magento even allows requests for negotiated quotations to be converted into an order from the admins end with the help of customized extensions.
Managing multiple contacts and accounts
For a successful B2B business with many customer accounts, it is vital to have visibility over them. Allowing different permission levels within each customer account is a requisite in a B2B environment.
Magento 2 allows of setting up of multiple admin users each having a unique set of access and permissions. Some may have access to preparing orders and others will have the permission to approve and place orders.
Consider a situation where a store manager may place an order to replenish the stock, but the financial control and approval is given to another person before the order is placed. This flexibility is provided by Magento 2.
Scope for rapid integration
Any B2B business requires interfacing with information systems like logistics, CRM, ERP and PIM for scalability. Magento 2 offers APIs, which makes rapid integration of connector applications like ERP and CRM very easy.
This is a very important feature as the valuable data which is present in these backend systems can be turned into actionable insights which is used for B2B operations.
The power of Magento B2B functionality is increasingly gaining popularity. Igepa Group, Europe’s B2B leader in the stationary sector has migrated nine of its websites to Magento within 6 months.
How i95Dev help you?
i95Dev is a certified Magento developer based out of United States of America. We have developed Magento stores for clients both B2B and B2C and provided Magento customizations suiting their business requirements.
If you are a B2B business looking for a scalable and perfect e-commerce platform that would take you to the next level, just drop us a mail at email@example.com or contact us at www.i95dev.com/contact/.