6 Ways to Improve B2B eCommerce Sales
There is no shortage of information on marketing strategies for B2C eCommerce websites, but what about B2B businesses? Global B2B eCommerce sales now account for almost four times as much revenue as that of B2C. But there are different challenges in making an online sale to someone representing their business, versus someone browsing a site for personal items.
Let’s look at how to improve eCommerce sales with tips unique to B2B companies.
Six ways to boost B2B eCommerce sales
1. Utilize and improve trust signifier pages
The content that best drives sales isn’t your products or service pages – it’s your credibility pages. Yet some of the most vital pages are commonly overlooked, hidden, or non-existent. B2B customers are researching your track record, so you need to ensure that you have the pages that signify trust to your visitors:
- an About Us page
- case studies or projects
Many businesses don’t see these pages as connected to eCommerce, but they can actually be hugely valuable. They show customers that your business is serious about its obligations and can be trusted. This is absolutely vital to B2B transactions, so it is definitely worth investing time and money into these pages.
2. Add more customer reviews
Customer reviews are undoubtedly one of the most important factors influencing decisions on any eCommerce website. This is certainly true of B2B eCommerce, because businesses feel reassured when they can see that companies similar to theirs have used your service or products.
Reviews are a strong signifier that your business offers products that other companies use with success. Not all the reviews you include need to be positive – honesty reflects well on your business.
Avoid surprising shipping costs
One of the biggest turn-offs for customers making purchases is getting hit at the last minute by a surprising shipping expense. This is especially true when it comes to international shipping, as these fees can be significant, even exceeding the cost of products.
Commercial golf simulator providers Golf Swing Systems found a simple solution to the above issue. On their website, a customer is asked to enter their address at the first stage of checkout – this automatically calculates the shipping, which is promptly displayed to the customer. This helps people to understand their total cost.
Don’t be afraid to follow up
It’s rarely the case that businesses make a sale on the first website visit. A potential client may need to go away and discuss options with colleagues, or speak to managers about the costs involved in purchasing your product or services.
If your site has captured someone’s contact details, such as through them booking a demo or free trial, be persistent. Follow up to remind them of that initial interest, and to enforce the benefits of what you have to offer. This can really help you to turn those early positive signs into full conversions.
B2B eCommerce works just like B2C eCommerce in the sense that your customers are always looking for a great deal and a competitive price. You might not be able to offer coupons or discounts the way consumer brands do, but you can still find ways to provide incentives for customers to buy. You can do this for both new and existing customers.
For new customers, you might provide a free trial, a reduced rate of shipping, or a money-back guarantee. For existing customers, you could offer a loyalty reward, like a discount for repeat purchases, or offer a complimentary service.
Social media is underrated as a B2B marketing tool, especially when it comes to driving eCommerce sales. Social media is obviously useful for B2C businesses, but if used smartly and effectively it can be beneficial for any B2B eCommerce site.
The platform you use is important. B2B marketing activity is rarely effective on sites like Instagram and Pinterest, but LinkedIn has proven to be highly successful for targeting industries and professionals. It can also be surprisingly effective to market B2B through Facebook and Twitter. Take a look at a company like Intel, which runs an almost entirely B2B-focused Twitter account.
Many B2C marketing techniques do work for B2B, but they typically need refining to suit the different markets. Ultimately there is much that you can do to improve B2B online sales, especially if you invest time and effort into your website and digital marketing.
Dakota Murphey has over ten years of experience in eCommerce and business growth. She often contributes to a number of authoritative resources online and enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with other like-minded professionals. Find her on Twitter: @Dakota_Murphey.