4 Lessons B2B eCommerce Brands can learn from B2C

0 min read

Francis Pilon

It’s show-time! NRF’s Retail’s Big Show time that is. One of the biggest and most innovative retail and eCommerce shows on the circuit.

The greatest minds in retail, including our partners and clients, will flock together in NYC this week to share the best and brightest ideas and retail technology. Meanwhile, those of us who can’t make it in person are sleeping with one eye open just so we can keep an eye on #NRF2016.

In the spirit of eCommerce trends and technology, let’s look at some amazing things B2C eCommerce brands have been able to accomplish, and how B2B counterparts can benefit from following their lead.

#1 Engagement through user experience design

We’ve entered the age of design thinking. Sound omnichannel shopping experiences are rooted in understanding customer behaviour. B2C companies are partnering with design agencies to help create seamless experiences for their customers across all touchpoints. B2B doesn’t have to be less glamourous than its consumer-centric counterpart.

Design-centric organizations are analyzing the buyer journey to help make informed decisions. Using real-time data, advanced analytics tools, and market research, brands are able to understand and know more about their customers than ever before. They’re taking advantage of this information, applying it to the design of their digital experiences, and creating optimized shopping journeys that increase their conversion rate.

#2 Responsive design to lift omnichannel efforts

In case anyone needs yet another stat to understand that mobile optimization is key to any serious business on the web, Statista predicts that US mobile eCommerce will double in the next four years, amounting to an astonishing $150 billion USD. Consumers use their phones to buy online, and having a responsive design to enable that is no longer optional.

Tweet This: US mobile B2B and B2C eCommerce will double in the next four years, amounting to an astonishing $150 billion USD

B2C has blazed a mobile eCommerce trail for B2B to follow. A recent Gartner study on mobile reported that mobile B2C eCommerce accounted for 23% of revenues, whereas it only accounted for 19% of B2B’s. Yes, B2B can be more complex, and purchases are generally at a higher cost and volume. But there’s still an untapped opportunity here. When you’re planning your online B2B eCommerce strategy, ensure that mobile plays a major role.

#3 Leverage personalization

Understanding your buyer personas is not a new tactic, but using that knowledge to personalize shopping experiences and cater unique content to your customers is. Brands are taking advantage of technology like Acquia Lift and others to be able to create unique and personalized experiences for their customers. That’s what B2B customers are going to start expecting. As more and more B2C companies adopt this new level of machine learning and technology, it’s important for B2B companies to be on board as well.

#4 Greater transparency in the supply chain

Supply chain transparency is key. Leading B2C etailers are doing well in this regard, and it has now become a part of the norm for everyday consumers. Three key areas to focus on increasing transparency are:

Shipping and Handling Product Availability Pricing

Due to consumerization and other eCommerce trends, purchasers are now expecting the same experience with B2B that they receive with B2C. They want upfront pricing, flexible shipping, and real-time stock and product availability. If B2B companies fail to recognize this and adapt, they are more than likely to succumb to low conversion and high shopping cart abandonment rates. The more that B2B companies adopt effective online strategies, the less reasons there are for customers to jump ship.

These are just a few key areas where learning from B2C is beneficial for B2B companies. What else have you been able to learn from a B2C company that has helped your B2B eCommerce results?

Read more on B2B eCommerce in our 2016 B2B Trend Report

image courtesy of Business2Community.com