Your average eCommerce business would be classified as having a B2C business model or business to customer. Think retailers. While B2B, or business to business, is the act of selling products from one business to another. Think wholesale.
It is common for B2C purchases to be a small, one time event while B2B transactions are generally larger and recurring. Pricing will normally differ considerably as large, regular orders should be rewarded.
Traditionally B2B transactions are negotiated and processed between two human beings via more traditional communication methods such as phone or email. As time ticks along, it is becoming more apparent that this part of the supply chain can be automated too.
In a recent study, it was found that 74% of B2B purchasers prefer to place orders through an eCommerce website than using the traditional methods thanks to its convenience. Most of the people questioned also said that they like to have instant access to their account and order tracking information via a digital portal as opposed to having to go through a representative.
Make sense to me. It’s more streamlined and simpler for everyone.
Alot of practices that should be applied to B2C websites apply here too…
Online store visitors should be able to get where they want to be with as little clicks as possible, so keep it well structured and organised. A search feature can help a lot here. And, needless to say, your site should look great on all devices.
Remember, B2B online selling sites will probably receive a lot less traffic and potential buyers than a B2C store so you really must do what you can to increase conversion rates where possible.
B2B customers are going to be a lot more interested in every little aspect of your product than your average end consumer as they are going to be investing a lot more and need to feel confident with what they are selling.
By giving as much information upfront as possible, you will reduce the communications required to close a B2B client as they will already have had many questions answered by a highly detailed product description.
In depth descriptions, a variety of high quality photos, detailed specifications, installation guides and reviews should all be included where possible. Being thorough will impress and instill trust and increase online sales.
The two main things that differentiates B2B ecommerce business from B2C is the quantity and price of orders. Retailers expect to purchase in bulk and pay a reduced per-item-price for doing so.
Discounts should be advertised and applied in an increasing fashion as the retailer adds more of an item to their cart. The unit price reflecting the order size.
Due to the nature of retail, it is quite common that resellers will want a reliable and regular delivery to keep stocked up. Providing the opportunity for them to set a recurring and scheduled order with subscriptions will save everyone time in the long run.
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