10 Essential Features For B2B eCommerce
by Sam Dunning
If your company provides Business To Business (B2B) solutions, it is crucial that your eCommerce website has exactly the right features that your audience require.
The B2B sales cycle is often fairly complex and lengthy when compared to Business To Consumer (B2C) sales. Therefore, providing a beautiful User Interface (UI) alongside a Solid User Experience (UX) is of paramount importance.
Does your B2B eCommerce website have these ten important features?
1/ A search tool
Having a search tool is important for B2B and B2C eCommerce sites. Most eCommerce websites will have a basic search tool in place as standard. Having an advanced search tool allows users to define exactly what they are looking for and improve their experience on your website. Adding an autocomplete feature within the search can also allow users to search for the types of items/services they are looking for even quicker!
2/ Simple website navigation
Your website navigation should be geared towards allowing visitors to find the product or service they are looking for with minimal clicks and in the quickest amount of time. As well as main menu navigation, you may want a drop-down menu e.g. if you are a clothing retailer offering Men and Women’s clothing, under the ‘Men’ menu tab you could add a drop-down with all of the types of clothing you offer e.g. Shirts, Jackets, Trousers, ties etc.
Product listing pages can then have filter options such as: Pricing (lowest to highest), Ratings, Colours, The list goes on, however, the key is to provide navigation that will allow your target audience to find items/services and checkout as quickly and hassle free as possible.
3/ Customer Registration
For B2B eCommerce registration is usually required. Allowing users to sign up quickly with the minimum amount of required fields (name, email, company address etc.) is important. Once customers login this will typically give them access to the full products and services range, unique prices, the agreed terms and the ability to make payments on and off-line.
Once a customer is registered on your website, you then have their details stored for future marketing use and up-sell opportunities.
4/ Option for quick ordering
Some B2B customers will know exactly what they want to order from your online store and have the item numbers or SKUs ready to make the purchase. Instruct your Web Development Company to add a quick order form, this will allow your customers to swiftly enter item numbers and quantity needed without the need to browse the website.
5/ Option to request a quote
For some websites, the products may be too complex or detailed to show pricing information via the website. For these types of products, you may want to consider having an ‘Add to Quote Basket’ option. This will allow the customer to easily request a quotation from you for all of the products they are interested in.
6/ Customer pricing options
In many cases, B2B companies will have different prices and rates for different customers. There are lots of ways to structure this on a B2B eCommerce website, including:
- Specific prices for SKUs
- Rates for groups of customers
- Discounts for groups of customers
These are just a few examples of how pricing can be set for different customers. If you have rates for specific customers stored on CSV files, for example, it would be worth ensuring your Web Development agency develops your CMS (Content Management System), to allow for CSV uploads with set pricing for certain customer groups.
7/ A mobile responsive design
This should now be a no-brainer, however, it is amazing to see the amount of businesses that still do not have a mobile responsive website. Google now ranks mobile friendly websites higher in its search results and according to Econsultancy, 48% of UK millennials said that a poor mobile experience would make it less likely for them to use a business’s other products (54% globally).
If your eCommerce website does not work smoothly across mobile tablet and desktop it is imperative you act now.
8/ Allow for multiple users within one account
Many businesses will have several employees accessing the same business account on a B2B eCommerce website to place orders. Having a solid system in place to clearly differentiate each user within an organization and clearly organize the orders placed by each user is important.
9/ Sales Team Friendly
Some customers may want assistance with placing orders. Make it simple and easy for your sales reps to be able to login to a customer’s account on their behalf and place the order for them. Sales reps will then, once logged into the customer’s account, have a chance to review recent orders and have the ability to build a relationship and up-sell to the customer.
10/ Email marketing
This is a great way to engage with both your existing B2B customers and those who have signed up to your mailing list. Using software such as Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor you can send out promotions, recommendations based upon recent orders, discounts and much more to bring in new and repeat business.
Looking to update your existing site or design a new B2B eCommerce website? Contact us today for a free consultation and proposal!