Breaking into B2B: Considerations for B2C Online Merchants

B2B buyers are increasingly moving from pen-and-paper purchasing to eCommerce, and many traditionally B2C online merchants are looking to enter the lucrative B2B market. With the shift in buying behaviors – many B2C sites can easily alter their fulfillment strategies for B2B buying, especially in the fashion and textile industry.. Attracting the business-to-business buyers that are already buying online, and enticing the ones that aren’t to start buying online comes down to one thing: ease of use. Here’s several proven ways to engage B2B buyers on your eCommerce site.

Personalization

Seamless service is what will attract first time buyers to your site, and keep them as loyal customers. Implementing an easy way re-purchase previous orders, access a log of past orders and an easy to navigate design will all increase conversion. Features like upsells, product suggestions and the ability to purchase previous orders will add to the business buyer Average Order Volume. Implementing robust product descriptions and video explainers can help increase trust for first-time users and buyers that may be wary of buying a new product without seeing it. 

Another aspect of personalization is thought leadership and relevant content. Business buyers want more than just a vendor – 69% said that being a subject matter expert in the field was important to making a buying decision, according to Demand Gen B2B Buyer Report. Implementing a blog, white papers, and company information can all increase the trustworthiness of your brand in the eyes of these lucrative buyers.

Business Buying Features

Making online B2B buying as seamless as a B2C transaction is the ultimate goal of any site that sells to both markets. Having a way for the buyer and their team to evaluate and request quotes and group pricing, and order directly from that approved quote online, is critical to helping pen-and-paper buyers get comfortable with eCommerce.  Having levels of permissions and subaccounts for one company is also a vital component – the B2B Buyer report states that business buyers are receiving more input from their teams and coworkers than ever. Ensuring these teams have an easy way to compare quotes and give the right order cap, purchasing and site activity permissions that they need will keep them loyal. 

Easy access to group pricing and bulk discounts, customizable search and navigation tools, and ease of access to signing up for accounts also ranked high on the list of priorities of business buyers.

Customer Service

The report also states that 98% of B2B buyers surveyed ultimately went with the vendor they chose because of the timely response to inquiries. Business buyers are in a time crunch – requesting quotes and getting questions answered from vendors can become a major inefficiency, and the “early bird gets the worm” in the B2B buying scenario. Making sure knowledgeable staff is available to answer questions potential clients may have immediately will decrease the likelihood of these customers buying elsewhere.

Karah Finan