Intershop Insights

Be Ready and Plan For The Challenges of Your B2B eCommerce Project

For your company embarking on the B2B commerce platform implementation there are some key B2B challenges that can impact the success of your project during deployment and ongoing:

Maintaining platform consistency: It’s critical to ensure the content available on your B2B eCommerce site is not only as up-to-date as possible, but also maintains consistent look, feel and function across platforms. You cannot risk frustration of differing online experiences across devices. Attaining this state is not straightforward it requires seamless connection across back-end systems, sales systems, and your digital platform.

The good news is attending to these type of considerations mentioned above with planning then careful execution means the opportunities for B2B ecommerce are massive, especially for companies willing to take a deviation from the norm and build a connection and more personalised approach to their B2B UI/UX strategies.

Layered Complexity: B2B eCommerce is more layered than B2C by this we mean from buyer-seller relationships and process flows to layered pricing contracts and multi-tiered business obligations. By example a customer may have many users or customers within a single parent “customer” or entity, and products themselves may be purchased by customers in various configurations and with custom specifications. You need to be across these type of issues within the technical configuration effort of your digital platform and know it can handle the complexity. Not to do so will incur a negative impact on achieving your planned B2B eCommerce business benefits.

Multi Channels: B2B buyers can deploy multiple channels to place orders. These channels can include an online B2B eCommerce portal, tablet, telephone, email, fax, or mobile, as well as via a direct sales force. In an omni-channel environment, each customer can decide to use several different channels for different types of transactions. You need to ensure your B2B commerce platform allows customers to start an order on desktop and pick up where they left off on a mobile device, or allow a sales rep to start an order that the buyer can then complete online. If you don’t attend to this digital reality you will endure frustration and possibly endure abandoned orders.

Here are a few clear and simple ideas for your B2B project:

1. Minimise your co. and tech speak

Flooding your digital platform with industry speak and complex techo language may seem like a good idea or the easiest path to provide content. Too much internal co. speak and tech language can make you appear a bland inward focused company out of touch with customer needs. You need to more so consider presenting yourselves as a team of consultative specialists working towards getting optimal outcomes for your customers. To acquire, then retain the loyalty and grab the spend of your target customers, you have to make the language relevant to them and in the ways they want to see your message communicated.

2. Don’t rely on your old hack image inventory

There’s nothing as lack lustre than as your website being loaded up with dull status quo stock images. Using the stock pile of nowhere people with contrived expressions attached to your product/service can be less than authentic. We would without doubt assume such imagery is not representative of the team in your organisation or more importantly your target customer.

Consider using more true to life images and leverage marketing experience material that captures the trust element you want to attach to the relationship so you will enhance your chances of success. You need to humanise wherever possible product imagery and descriptions into a look and feel that your customers values and feels at ease.

3. Build genuine customer review and respond to good and bad.

Social proof of your company and its product/service offer is powerful and in the digital age much relied upon. Reliance on the knowledge and experience of others when trust exists has always been a sales driver.

Sometimes called the “herd instinct” a natural flow on when loads of other people are doing something, means I should too.

Showing your customers the “influencers” having a great experience using the product/service simply adds authenticity to your company claims and affirmations about your offer. Consider video, social media endorsement, bloggers ….. all this will add to the endorsement of the company and its value proposition to its customers.

4. Use your customers own insight and language.

Don’t load up on company speak and techo talk to blow your customers away. It can be much easier. Just use people’s actual comments and reviews. Grab your customer’s own words, this simplifies the effort for you and you will create communication that will connect with your target customers.

So in summary the success of your B2B launch is in your attention to detail. The detail needs to be centred on ensuring the B2B digital experiences and tools you are providing will always make doing business with your company easier. This is the key to building the spend of existing customers and hooking new customers.

To learn more about Intershop watch the video below: