Business to Business ecommerce is a rising trend. More businesses are moving more of their spend through digital means. Services like Fundbox, Quickbooks Online, Cloud ERPs and Online Bank Bill Payment are training organizations to digitize their business. With that trend retail and non-retail organizations are trying to figure out how to better service their customers online.
Business to Business Ecommerce is Different – B2B
B2B Ecommerce isn’t direct to consumer ecommerce. Consumers desire convenience and are willing to give up service to achieve it. Business customers want the convenience, but not at the cost of the high touch relationship and the ability to speak directly to a vendor. So what are the features and customizations that can be executed in a Business to Business (B2B) environment that deliver on convenience but still remain high touch.
Forms for B2B Websites should not follow standard consumer marketing practices. Shorter and quicker do not mean better conversion. Forms should be in context, capture valuable information and create automation as much as possible. Ensuring your forms are properly integrated with your CRM are critical as well.
Robust Account Sections For Customer Self Help
Self service for customers is critical for a solid B2B experience. Ensuring customers can easily see and track orders, re-order from previous orders, and manage payment methods are critical. The more engaged a user is with the account section of the site you build, the higher the Average Customer Lifetime Value for that client.
Utility For Easy of Ordering
Making it easy for your customers to understand how to use your website is critical. Great user experience assumes that the obvious is not obvious and finds way to simplify buyer paths within a site.
WHAT ELSE MATTERS IN B2B – Business to Business Ecommerce
Reporting and Analytics Framework
This is the LARGEST area of improvement we see with business to business ecommerce retailers. Most B2B retailers do not have the proper tracking and integrations to understand the cost per sale and the revenue associated with that sale for offline sales that occur through a phone call or contact form submission. Setting up this infrastructure to create these reports is not the easiest task, but it’s not impossible. There are several services, depending on your CRM that already accomplish this, but the costs are typically $300-$500 per month. Over three years you’ve paid $15,000-$17,000 for this ongoing service. If you put a marketer and a developer in the same room this is a task that they should be able to figure out. It takes some integration, a well setup instance of Google Analytics and the right CRM and you’re there. I see many retailers skimp on the expense of setting this up, but it’s crazy to me that someone can run a business and not know their cost per sale and which marketing efforts are producing the most revenue.
This really extends to an entire inbound and sales strategy, but at a minimum it’s critical that your CRM be integrated with your ecommerce website well. The integration points we recommend are…
- New leads passed from website to CRM
- New Orders passed from website to CRM
- Notes from CRM in order synched back to website
- Ability to generate quotes in CRM and sync back to account on ecommerce site
- Ability to pass email that is opted in, into CRM and then to email marketing provider
- Ability to see web browser behavior for leads and orders
these are the baselines I’d like to see all of our customers have, additionally to proper analytics tracking for cost per sale analysis.
If you’d like to explore your Business to Business ecommerce project with Accelerate, we’d love to chat with you and also talk about how Magento 2.0 Enterprise can set you up for success.