B2B ecommerce requires a specialized strategy to get you good results. If you don’t understand your audience and how to get to them, even having the best solution in the market will not help.
Online sales are already a big part of people’s lives, and that also affects the B2B realm. However, a traditional approach will not be enough to reach potential clients and offer them high value corporate solutions.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about B2B ecommerce and how to get great results in this market. Read on!
What is B2B ecommerce?
The term B2B ecommerce refers to working with online sales directed to the B2B segment.
The B2B segment usually consists of other businesses that are in the market for specific products and solutions. Therefore, selling to this target audience requires proper strategies that consider their particularities and needs.
When working with B2B ecommerce, you need to adapt your experience to the corporate world. This means considering all the steps these businesses need to go through before agreeing to make a purchase.
However, this also means that there are great opportunities to achieve great results with a quality strategy. By adapting your approach, you can make it easier for potential clients to buy from you and become repeat customers.
Lastly, the online environment has several different kinds of ecommerce platforms and channels that also work well with B2B. Then, it is important to learn more about them and adapt them to your needs.
What is different about working with B2B ecommerce?
Since B2B ecommerce has key differences from other kinds of sales, it is important to consider them before drafting your strategies. This will help you see possible approaches that might help you reach valuable opportunities within your market.
Below, you can see the most important differences about working with B2B ecommerce and how you can take advantage of them.
The most obvious difference when it comes to B2B ecommerce is that you are selling to other businesses. Therefore, you need to abandon most tactics that pertain to B2C selling.
However, it is necessary to remember that you are still selling to people. In this case, they are key stakeholders within businesses you wish to reach, so understanding their needs and motivations is critical to your success.
Getting a sale within a B2B ecommerce might be a slower process than you are expecting. After all, those purchases tend to involve long periods of careful consideration, multiple internal approval processes and, finally, the possibility of negotiations.
Because of all that, your sales timing will be different than if it were within the B2C segment. It is important to consider that when setting your expectations and planning your strategy’s schedule.
Just like you are selling to a different kind of audience, you should also consider that B2B ecommerce involves the use of different communication channels. Selling online will require a deep understanding of the preferred platforms for your business’ potential clients.
Because of that, it is necessary to learn about your target audience’s decision-making process to present your solutions in the best context. Such channels also need to include both online and offline realms.
B2B products and solutions tend to be different as well. In most cases, they are tailored to the corporate world and its multitude of professionals. In addition, those offerings are usually high-value, so any mistakes in selling them cause a high impact on your earnings.
On the other hand, B2B products and solutions can attract plenty of repeat customers. Most businesses might prefer to work with the same partners when a trusting relationship is successfully built.
It might seem that opportunities for sales are harder to obtain when dealing with B2B ecommerce. That is mostly because such purchases usually require consulting with multiple departments and decision makers before making a purchase.
Additionally, finding potential customers can be harder because it requires understanding very specific needs within the right market. That is why you need the best marketing and sales strategy to reach the right people.
What are the main types of B2B ecommerce?
Before drafting your B2B ecommerce strategy, it is important to consider where your business fits within the B2B segment. After all, there are more than one possible dynamic and, depending on which one fits with your company, your entire approach has to change.
Below, you can see the most important types of B2B ecommerce and their key differences. Check them out!
In this case, your business acts as a supplier for other companies with sales models that adapt to this segment’s needs. This means meeting the demand available in the market depending on what services or solutions potential clients require.
When your company is successful in selling as a supplier, a stronger partnership might form and last for plenty of time. This requires offering a quality service while innovating in favor of your client’s needs.
In a buyer-oriented B2B segment, there are fewer sellers for many buyers. Therefore, your business’ strategy revolves around implementing the best strategies to reach a big audience that fits with your target customer’s profile.
It is common for B2B businesses to work within their own marketplaces in these situations. That is a good way to access a wide audience without having to spend too much on marketing and sales campaigns.
This kind of B2B segment involves a third-party that acts as an intermediary between your business and your clients. They are responsible for listing your products and services while you have to follow specific guidelines to keep that relationship.
While buyer-based B2B involves building your own marketplace, intermediary-based B2B has businesses use third-party systems to have their products discovered by potential customers. That is the case of Amazon Business, TradeKey, Alibaba, AliExpress and others.
The 10 things your website needs to be successful with B2B ecommerce
As you probably already know, your website is a powerful tool to reach potential customers in the B2B market. However, it will only generate quality results if it has the right elements to attract the right audience and convert them. You might also not be aware of some problems that are keeping you away from good results.
Are you ready to rethink your strategy? Below, you can see a list with the 10 most important things your website needs to excel at B2B ecommerce. Read on!
1. Work with a quality ecommerce platform
If your B2B ecommerce is hosted on a bad platform, your customers will have a hard time making purchases, which will negatively affect your sales. Just as any other store has to do, you must choose the best ecommerce platform that provides the best possible experience.
There are multiple ecommerce platforms available online, so the decision-making process might be intimidating. The best way to navigate around this is to consider your customer’s needs and what is different about your business.
By doing that, you are able to pick the platform that better fits within your solution’s specific characteristics. This also means you are able to take advantage of features that are tailored to your market.
2. Make searching within your site easier
Since B2B solutions are high specialized, you should make it easier for potential customers to get to them after they reach your ecommerce site. This means having a quality search function as well as a well-organized layout.
Your search engine should suggest what your potential client needs within a good margin of tolerance for similar keywords. Additionally, organize your sections in a way that people can get to what they need in an easier and faster way.
Always put yourself on the shoes of your audience. Consider how easy or hard it is to get to what they need and make the proper adjustments until the path forward becomes the most intuitive. In these situations, consider working with focus groups and test audiences.
3. Allow for easier communication
How easy or hard is it to talk to someone when accessing your website as a client? Since B2B ecommerce involves high specialized products and solutions, it is common for potential customers to have questions that need answers. Do you offer good communication channels within your site?
Right away, it is important to consider the value of a chat system. This is a great way to get visitors in quick touch with your sales team. In addition, you can make use of chatbots to perform a preliminary interaction before forwarding the potential client to a salesperson.
You should always consider the particularities of your market and you audience’s preferred communications methods. Then, make sure to offer such channels as possibilities to them and train your team to use them.
4. Implement a smart web design
How well designed your website is determines your success in any segment, especially in B2B ecommerce. This does not mean having a pretty layout with flashy logos. Instead, the entire experience needs to be tailored to your potential clients’ needs and expectations.
Consider how easy it is to make a purchase for your solution at your website. How many steps does a visitor need to take before they access what they need? If there are too many, you might tire them out and lose sales.
Instead, tailor the experience to their characteristics. Design your website in a way that it adapts to what these people are used to and require in terms of purchasing a corporate solution.
5. Create useful and shareable content
Content marketing is still a key element in attracting potential clients and keep them coming back to your site. This also applies to B2B ecommerce, since it is a great way to show how much of an authority you are in the business.
Start a blog at your domain and begin publishing specialized content pieces. They should focus on solving the most common questions and complaints your potential clients might have. This will build trust between them and your company.
When it comes a time when they are in the market for a solution such as yours, they will remember how much you have helped them in the past. Then, there are big chances they will prioritize your solution over your competitors.
6. Get inspiration from B2C marketing
Just because B2B ecommerce has several key differences in relation to B2C, it does not mean you should completely disregard it. Instead, you should take inspiration from B2C marketing strategies when thinking about your B2B strategy in ecommerce.
After all, you are still selling to consumers. The only difference is that they are within a system that involves more decision-makers and a slower timetable. By having a customer-oriented approach, you are able to set yourself apart from the competition.
For example, personal communications go a long way to make potential clients feel valued. Make sure to talk to them regularly and use real names when doing so. Investing in promotions and coupon codes might also make a difference in your results.
7. Improve your SEO ranking for strategic keywords
If your potential clients cannot find your product when searching Google, then you have a big problem in need of a solution. After all, B2B ecommerce relies on very specific searches that involve the kind of product or solution you are selling.
That is why you need to optimize your pages to the right keywords. Consider what you are selling and what words your audience would use to get to it. Adapt your content to fit with that terminology and track your organic search results to see your progress.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is also important when following that earlier tip about content marketing. By making sure your blog posts are easier to find on Google through the right keywords, you can attract a bigger audience to discover your B2B ecommerce.
8. Have a secure checkout system
Security is a big deal when it comes to online purchases. This is even more important when considering high value transactions, which is usually the case within the B2B market. Therefore, your site needs to have a secure checkout system.
Aside from being reliable and fast, your secure checkout system should always be up-to-date to prevent malicious actions. This will also further improve your customer’s trust in your business.
Additionally, you should make sure you offer a good variety of payment methods. Depending on what audience you are aiming for, this might make a difference when getting a sale. This is particularly important when making international sales, as each country has specific preferences.
9. Track user behavior and learn from it
By now, you probably already know about the value of learning more about your audience to tailor their experiences to improve your results. A great way to do this is to use technology: tracking systems can help you learn from visitor behavior to reach higher sales.
For instance, there are platforms that help you see the most commonly clicked areas of your website. By looking at that data, you should modify your layout to lead more people to where you want them to go.
Other kinds of systems allow you to see where most of your clients are coming from. Tracking these links might reveal your most effective sales channels and positively affect your strategies going forward.
10. Integrate data with your CRM software
As a B2B ecommerce, you should take a more personal approach when interacting with your leads. That is why you should not only work with a CRM software, but also deeply integrate it with your website.
By doing that, you are able to add information about clients based on their behavior when visiting your site. Such data is very valuable when making direct approaches or simply adapting your communications to their characteristics.
Lastly, such integration will help you keep your CRM as a valuable key to learning more about your clients. You can take that data and adapt further elements of your strategy to reach the best audience for your goals.
What are the best marketing tips for B2B ecommerce?
Marketing is all about reaching your audience with the best approach to achieve the results you want. When it comes to B2B ecommerce, making the right decisions will make it easier to choose the best channels, messages and offers to truly appeal to your potential clients.
Below, you can see the best marketing tips for B2B ecommerce. Check them out!
Learn who your audience is
When working with B2B ecommerce, you have to deeply understand what drives your potential customer to purchase a solution such as yours. This is one of the most important steps to build any marketing strategy.
The best way to do this is to build a comprehensible profile that depicts your target audience, which is called a persona. Actually, you can have multiple personas for your business that reflect different sections of your target audience.
Make sure to consider their needs, desires, motivations and major difficulties. Your role as a solution provider is to adapt to those characteristics and offer what they need at the right time.
Understand your solution’s value
In order to sell a highly specialized solution, you must deeply understand it. This means now only knowing how it works, but especially what problems is solves in your potential client’s daily work life.
A proper marketing approach for B2B ecommerce has to account for the particular value of the solution that is being sold. Consider what you know about your audience’s motivations and use the right arguments to convince them to learn more about your product.
This is necessary since your marketing messages need to get down to the practical details of how your solution works. If you don’t do that, your potential customers will not trust you to offer the right answer to what they need.
Communicate with the best channels
Proper B2B ecommerce marketing requires the use of the best communication channels to reach potential clients. In this case, we are talking about the broad consideration of what constitutes a channel. After all, it involves anything from email marketing to cold calling.
There is no go-to best option in terms of marketing channel for any segment. After all, the appropriate decision will depend on the particularities of your business and the audience you wish to reach.
Consider which are the most effective ways that lead to sales within the market you are aiming for. Use market research and your own data to understand the best paths forward. Additionally, have the right flexibility to adapt based on your sales results.
Have a closer approach
Since B2B sales are of higher-value and require more steps to complete, it is important to have a more hands-on approach to sales. This means getting closer to your potential clients and interacting with them directly instead of relying only on automated systems.
Such interactions are not limited to answering questions and suggesting products. This also involves understanding what they need and tailoring your communication to each of them. This means avoiding the tempting tactic of reusing messages.
This does not mean you have to completely abandon automated efforts. For example, Technology has evolved enough to offer the possibility of tailoring a website’s experience based on the visitor’s browsing history. Therefore, you can adapt your approach before directly interacting with them.
Learn from your results
You should never let your strategy sit unmodified as time goes by. Instead, make sure you adapt your marketing efforts based on what you learn from your results. They are the key to achieving your goals and improving your approach.
For example, let’s consider you noticed that a certain channel drove many more leads than the rest. Maybe it is worthwhile to invest further into it to expand your potential audience. Additionally, this might represent an opportunity to rethink about the under-performing channel’s investments.
Do you see how there is so much to learn by tracking your results? Therefore, make sure to keep an eye on your B2B ecommerce metrics, especially the ones that allow you to understand whether you are on the right path.
How can LATAM GATEWAY help with B2B ecommerce?
As you have learned thus far, having a secure checkout system is essential to be a trustworthy option to potential customers as a B2B ecommerce. It is also important to offer useful features and payment methods to this audience as a way to set yourself apart from the competition.
LATAM GATEWAY is a powerful checkout system that offers instant and local processing for Latin American countries. This is the best way to expand your B2B approach to a new marketing and adapting completely to its characteristics.
With 15 years of experience, LATAM GATEWAY is an expert in game monetization and ecommerce solutions for businesses in various fields. This is the best way to improve your customer’s experience on your website and improve your results.
Offering a wide variety of payment methods is the best way to increase your sales. Customers from different countries have specific preferences when it comes to paying for goods, especially when it comes to the B2B segment.
LATAM GATEWAY gives your business the possibility to sell using credit card, deposits, bank transfer, digital wallets, bank slips and PIX in countries like Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Peru, and Colombia.
Working with B2B ecommerce requires careful planning and consideration of this segment’s particularities. On the other hand, it still involves selling to people. By offering a quality experience to potential clients, you are able to improve your results and create even better opportunities for your solutions.
Would you like to know more about LATAM GATEWAY‘s solutions for ecommerce? Then, check it all out at our website!