B2C experience has evolved considerably than what it used to be in the past. But, it has a sibling which is not getting the attention that it deserves. We’re talking about B2B commerce which has a shopping experience that shines less in comparison with B2C buying experiences. There is plenty of room for improvement there.
Forrester estimates that B2B eCommerce will reach $1.2 trillion and account for 13.1% of all B2B sales in the US by 2021.
In our experience of working with B2B retailers, they have asserted the need for a B2C-like buying experience for B2B buyers too. After all, they are spending manifold in purchases than many B2C buyers put together. However, there are several complicated aspects that has to be refined to deliver a B2C-like experience for your B2B buyers. Here are some of them.
Hassle-free navigation & an effortless search experience
Time is of the essence for B2B users. Procurement managers or supervisors in a shop floor need to get going with dozens of purchase orders in the shortest time possible. They do not have time to be wasted with fancy animations, unnecessary pop-ups and menus that add no value to the buying process. For B2B buyers, the entire navigation and search experience needs to be straight to the point to help them process orders in large volume.
Menu navigation needs to be carefully designed taking into consideration readability, visual cues for the product, number of clicks required to get to the last level of category, etc. When a user initiates a search, the entire screen can transform into a search page that displays relevant & faster results for every keystroke. Fixing these 2 very important aspects in your ecommerce website can elevate the B2B buying experience to a whole new level.
Make it easy to put together a purchase list
B2B buyers normally have a long list of items to be purchased. They have to read through several product catalogs and technical specifications before deciding on the right product to buy.
To make that buying journey smooth and less taxing, make it easy to put together a purchase list. Providing options to upload SKU list, autocomplete of product details combined with multiple filters can help their buying experience.
Consistent experience across devices
In B2B, as much as in B2C, buyers often discover products in one device and end up buying it on another device. An omni-device buying experience is equally critical for B2B as much as it is for B2C. However, delivering a delightful omni-device experience for B2B users is challenging due to the sheer complexity and volume of information around products and related resources like data tables, diagrams,pdf’s, etc. That challenge can be overcome by prioritizing the information to be displayed consistently across devices, using design elements that are intuitive, striking a balance between displaying too less vs too much info, and many such intricate detailing till a finer design version is created.
Incorporate cross-sell and upsell recommendations
Most B2B buyers combine all components, spare parts, related products that are needed to showcase a complete product suite to their customers. Incorporating cross-selling and upselling product recommendations based on past and real-time buying behaviors will simplify the buying journey for B2B buyers.
Such cross-selling and upselling recommendations will help increase the average order value, as well as help the buyer quickly find compatible products. It is similar to ‘complete the look’ feature in B2C fashion stores which makes impulsive buyers to spend more.
Bringing the best of B2C buying experiences can be a game-changer for B2B eCommerce sites. At every stage of the B2B buying journey, there is some B2C aspect that can be used as an inspiration to create an engaging buying experience, some of which we have covered above and there are many more.
Want to champion the art of delivering an effective B2B buying experience? Talk to our experts for a free consultation.