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By priyankap sharma | 06 Jul 2015

In the last decade, B2B commerce industry has witnessed huge traction in user base and sales, and still continues to do so today. This has become possible due to the benefits and impressive user experience provided by the current B2B ecommerce platforms. Rather than negotiating with a seller about a product’s wholesale rates in person, buyers prefer to do their own research, consider facts, and make an informed purchasing decision online.

Major Trends That Are Adding Value To Ecommerce Industry

Some significant trends can be attributed towards shaping this new platform, besides the one we discussed above. These trends outlined in an Enterprise Magento report (available here) are making a huge impact in the way businesses interact with the customer. Here are the top three trends crucial for the continued success of this segment:

  • Infrastructure - Now, developing a website and managing a business online is easier for B2B businesses as compared to a decade back. It has become possible only because of great backend support.
  • Mobility - With an annual B2B sale of 3 to 5% through mobile and tablet devices, around 69% of ecommerce companies have decided to focus on mobile friendly marketing techniques. This corroborates the importance of mobile first experience as demanded by the customer.
  • Procurement Process - Considering the time saving online procurement process, now about 57% of B2B buyers purchase their products online. This year will witness an increase of 37% in this pattern.

Mistakes that prevent better B2B eCommerce performance

Despite available infrastructure and cost effective methods, many B2B businesses fall short of utilizing the channel to the max. Below are some of the significant reasons that cause this shortcoming: 

  • Choosing Inappropriate Deployment Model - Selecting wrong deployment model (from amongst on-demand, on-site or hosted) that doesn’t align with the growth and scalability requirement of the business results in loss of clients for the concerned B2B companies.
  • Marketplace Sites For Selling Products - These sites don’t provide a distinct identity to a B2B business as they are mainly suited for B2C segment.
  • Incompatibility with Existing Systems - When company’s internal systems fail to integrate with the above mentioned less complex selling platforms, it leaves no room for facilitating a smooth user experience through a seamless technology environment. 
  • Ignoring Scalability - Even the most informed companies make the mistake of ignoring the scalability prospects and basing their development decisions only on current capacity. 

If your B2B eCommerce resonates with any of the above challenges, then its time to take a tough look at resolving them. Fortunately they do not require major tweaking; adherence to the below steps can take care of these challenges effectively. 

Five Effective Ways To Improve B2B eCommerce Buying Experience

To make significant improvement as a B2B seller, you should consider best features of the B2C eCommerce platforms that are equally applicable in B2B scenario. By doing so, you will ensure that your buyers enjoy consumer-like buying experiences.

  • Personalized Suggestions - Just like B2C, a highly customized product recommendation interface delights would-be purchasers. Similarly, B2B brands can segment clients based on past behavior, current preferences and provide bespoke content tailored to their needs
  • Search Capabilities - To excel in ecommerce, B2B sellers should provide detailed search criteria like product specifications, price, SKU numbers, location, and availability of the product. Such robust and user friendly search capabilities play a crucial role in sales conversion process.
  • Ease of buying - B2B platforms need to cope with the huge catalogue content and provide meaningful and relevant information for an enhanced purchasing experience. So a single click purchase that offers hardware and applicable software together can save a lot of time and help user experience rise to an altogether new level.
  • Cultivate Leads from discovery to sales - Considering the longer process involved in a B2B purchase, the seller should always stay in touch with buyer and help foster a strong bond to motivate an eventual sale. Whether it’s answering a query at right time or providing education through specific product catalogues, these steps build traction in moving the customer closer to the end of the sales funnel.

Is Your Platform Equipped?

B2B eCommerce will soon reach $1 trillion landmark and considering its tremendous potential, it makes perfect business sense to explore feature rich and future ready platforms such as Magento with technology acumen of a trusted provider such as CIGNEX. Together we ensure the below compelling advantages that propel your business ahead of your competitors:

  • Carve out a distinct appeal and identity online with simple user friendly solutions
  • Offer wider self-servicing options that in turn show massive reduction in sales, marketing and CRM costs
  • Massive revenue potential through enhanced cross-sell and up-sell opportunities

As a Magento Silver partner and developer, we have the right set of expertise and experience to help clients reap the benefits of Open Source based feature-rich enterprise-grade eCommerce applications. With our competencies, you can easily accomplish the bottom line of this article – A simplified, visually appealing and highly customized online shopping experience as demanded by business procurement influencers.