5 Tips for sustainable B2B E-Commerce success

Author: Dennis Looks

Illustration, with blue screen, hand pulling threads, woman sitting in front of laptop and other hand pushing around on a tablet in chat. All elements are connected and show the B2B structure in e-commerce

The B2B market is gaining increasing importance in both local and global economies. Just like in B2C business, a positive customer experience is crucial in this domain as well. This includes personalized offers and services that can be experienced across all distribution channels.

While B2C business is gradually declining, the B2B market holds promising prospects for numerous companies. Employees from the millennial generation and Gen Z are now well-represented in various procurement departments. They are accustomed to convenient and hassle-free online consumption in their personal lives and desire similar personalised shopping and service experiences in their professional roles. They expect fast order processing, seamless multichannel or omnichannel experiences, and the ability to respond quickly, agilely, and flexibly to uncertain economic developments. B2B companies are thus urged to create the necessary conditions. The following strategies can help in this regard.

1. User Experience with a Wow factor

A positive UX, or User Experience, takes top priority. B2B companies need to be aware that their customers can easily turn to another procurement platform nowadays. UX encompasses more than just providing excellent customer service. User-friendly platform design is of great importance. Products should be easily discoverable, as transparent pricing and up-to-date stock availability are key to a consumer-oriented shopping experience. Strong content and personalized presentation of offerings, such as personalized recommendations, strengthen customer loyalty and contribute to a modern B2B destination that caters to individual needs.

Learn, why classic online shops do not work in B2B.

2. Seamless shopping experiences across all sales channels

With an omnichannel strategy in place, B2B companies increase their availability by ensuring that their products are available online on multiple sales platforms and marketplaces – in addition to their own e-commerce site. This extended presence and seamless switching between devices and touchpoints provides customers with a personalised shopping experience. This leads to increased sales and traffic, while the customer experience is continuously improved through the data gained.

3. Help for self-help

B2B self-service enables companies to engage with customers over longer periods of time and across all segments of the customer journey. A healthy balance should be struck between self-service and assisted service options. By analysing data, personalised product recommendations can be made so that customers have access to comprehensive and helpful information about their desired product before, after, and during the order process. If required, this can be supplemented with support from service and sales staff at any time. In addition, guided selling can be used to further optimise the sales process. This approach uses AI-driven data analysis tools that combine current market trends with specific customer behaviour to offer tailored solutions that guide customers along the buyer’s journey.

Use Case: Doka–B2B online shop

4. AI as a reliable partner

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation are indispensable in B2B e-commerce and have proven to be reliable partners for successful businesses. Complex tasks such as gathering, analysing, and processing copious amounts of customer-related data fall under the jurisdiction of AI systems. AI effortlessly handles repetitive duties, thus relieving employees. This, in turn, allows human staff to have more capacity to focus on creative tasks and provide personalised customer support. The result is improved service and tailored offerings that perfectly align with the individual needs of consumers.

5. Service delivery as a competitive advantage

The B2B environment is often characterised by homogeneous products or services that make it challenging for companies to differentiate themselves from competitors. Therefore, exceptional digital service delivery, in the form of seamless multichannel distribution and positive customer experiences at all touchpoints, is crucial for sustained competitiveness and sustainable growth.

Getting ready for the B2B future

In the modern B2B environment, purchasing departments and procurement teams also need to make quick decisions that contribute to their own business success. Loyalty to individual vendors and suppliers is not necessarily their top priority. Therefore, it is crucial for B2B companies to focus on providing a positive purchasing experience and customer satisfaction so that consumers are inclined to return frequently and willingly. Achieving this is not an easy task. However, tools and strategies such as omnichannel distribution, personalised interactions, AI to support the sales team, and self-service options provide every company with the necessary digital agility and fitness that are indispensable in a fiercely competitive market.

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