With rapid technology shifts from the recent past and the prospects of newer and more promising technology advancements, the e-commerce industry has taken over the majority of offline marketplace for buying and selling in all types of businesses. As far as the B2B dynamics are concerned, business owners continue to make substantial investments on internet-based technologies, apps, services and platforms to have a continued growth and increase their possibilities of unmatched success.
But how do we know if a B2B business is excelling and is successful in the e-commerce industry?
There are several factors that can be measured and researched upon to understand the performance of a B2B firm and this article talks about 4 such factors that determine the success of B2B companies in the e-commerce industry.
Top 4 Factors To Determine Your Success
Before understanding the factors that determine the success of B2B companies, it is important to understand the three main pain points of B2B sellers that are constantly hindering the growth of any business. The first is the slow growth in the revenue which implies that eventually the business may come to a standstill and have no scope of any more success.
The second is the inability of B2B companies to deliver quality customer services and when the B2B businesses fail to live up to the customer expectations and create a positive customer experience, they start losing out on customers. Third, unnecessary processes and complexities in the entire transaction process, which inhibit the smooth flow of both buying and selling and may lead to negative customer feedback and loss of potential leads.
Given below is a list of the top 4 factors that have a great impact on the performance of your B2B firm in the e-commerce industry and determine the success or failure of all businesses.
For any B2B firm with an online presence, content is among the most essential things to push them towards success. When it comes to the manufacturers, it can often be challenging for them to produce content that is sales-driven and can be used for multiple channels as well as the e-commerce website. Several content creators struggle to understand what the requirement is for such type of content. However, it is to be noted that unnecessarily complicating the content to make it look more impactful is going to do you no good.
The content from the sellers only requires information that reveals all the necessary details to the potential customers, written down in a persuasive yet normal way. The details are SKU number, manufacturer’s name, price, measuring units, geographic origins and other specifications. In case of services, a similar list mentioning what the services include should be made available to the customers. However, that is not enough. To make the content about your products and services rich, you must add short and long descriptions, feedback and reviews to add value, user manuals, installation manuals, information related to potential hazards and material safety data.
Some Important Statistics
- Research by Web FX has revealed that content marketing costs 62% less than the traditional marketing methods.
- Demand Gen Report has claimed that 41% of B2B marketing representatives go through 3 to 5 content pieces before getting in touch with a sales representative.
- Research by Content Marketing Institute has revealed that 86% of B2B marketers use content strategies for increasing their brand awareness.
- Smart Insights has revealed that for 33% of B2B companies, a major part of their marketing budget is allocated to content marketing.
- Another report by Web FX has claimed that 61% of users/customers tend to engage more with a company that creates custom content.
While there is considerable difference between B2C and B2B business models, the excellence in customer experience delivered by the B2C businesses have raised the bar extremely high for the B2B retailers as well. However, irrespective of that, creating just a satisfactory customer experience is going to do you no good; it has to be exceptionally good. Customer experience in an e-commerce depends majorly on your website and things right from the loading time to the call to action buttons to the amount of textual and visual content, all are responsible for the experience.
Therefore, businesses need to focus on their website and work towards making it navigable and interesting for the customers. Too much content on the website might be linked to being transparent with the customers and may seem like a good idea, but it can backfire. Therefore, planning the layout and the display of content is essential. There has to be a perfect balance because customers typically are looking for all the information about your product and services. However, remember not to ignore the dispatch of services and products. While focusing on a website is essentially a determinant of success, the feedback about the process of procuring services and receiving products says a lot about the performance of the brand as well. Deliveries should be fast, benefiting the customers, and efficient.
Some Important Statistics
- Reports by Acquia that 76% of customers are likely to switch to a competitor brand if they have just one negative experience.
- Martech Alliance has claimed that 84% of consumers say that customer experience is as important as the products and services offered by a business.
- Qualtrics has revealed that companies earning $1 billion in a year can register an additional average gain of $700 million within 3 years of investing in customer experience.
- Salesforce claims that 76% of customers expect consistent interactions across different departments.
- E-consultancy reports have revealed that 88% of B2B firms reported that customer mapping had a positive impact on their personalised CX delivery.
Technology is another essential factor to determine the success of a B2B firm and to ensure the discharge of customer-centric quality services in a B2B setup, business owners should go for an integrated technology stack. It is of utmost importance to deliver your customers a uniform layout and easy-to-navigate user interface. Technology is not just restricted to what the customers get when they visit your online store. It caters to several other aspects, one such important aspect being the integration. While the focus is on integration, it is important to remember to remove all additional and unnecessary integrated applications to provide better experience.
When it comes to technology, the majority of businesses put excessive focus on what they have to deliver to their customers. While that is important, it is also essential to implement good advanced technology to ensure that the customer needs are met efficiently and there is no compromise in the quality of services and products delivered. For a positive development of a B2B firm, the data holds substantial importance and making quality data available falls on to the backend system among other responsibilities. Therefore, implementing a robust backend system is essential.
Some Important Statistics
- According to a report by WebFX, 47% of marketers have planned to increase the use of artificial intelligence for their business purposes by the end of 2021.
- CEB has claimed that about 6.8 people on average are actively involved in making purchase decisions in a B2B high-tech.
- 68% of B2B firms include strategic landing pages to bring in more leads according to Startup Bonsai.
- Research by Web FX has claimed that with an increase in website loading speed by 1 second, a B2B firm can potentially increase as many as 7% conversions.
- Research by Salesforce has revealed that only 61% of B2B marketers use different tools to track their web and mobile analytics.
In recent years, personalisation has become an extremely important factor in any B2B e-commerce setup. To excel at personalising the experience of the customers, B2B business owners need to have an analytical understanding of the online behaviours and personality of the customers, with special focus on how these customers are interacting with one’s own website. These metrics are important in determining what products can be offered to the B2B forms willing to buy and how to promote the said products.
Manufacturing firms in B2B setups have been observed to spend a considerable amount on the catalog and the pricing systems. Here’s how this works. When a potential buyer firm visits the website, they are presented with these logs which are presented to them in a person-based system. Personalisation comes into play in the offers and the promotions presented to the customers on the basis of the demographic information of the customer and his/her purchase history.
Some Important Statistics
- According to reports by Econsultancy, 44% of consumers are likely to repeat purchases from a brand just on the basis of personalised content.
- Forrester has revealed that as many as 89% of online businesses are now investing in creation of personalised content. Some such noteworthy companies include Netflix, Wells Fargo, Coca-Cola, USAA, and Sephora.
- According to research by Salesforce, 92% of marketers actively use personalisation techniques in their B2B marketing strategies.
- Harvard Business Review has revealed that there is a 40% higher chance of customers viewing products that are recommended to them on the basis of the information they share with the brand.
- Reports by Instapage have revealed that 77% of customers prefer to choose, recommend, or pay more for a brand that provides a personalised experience or service.
Tips For B2B E-Commerce Success
Here are some tips for the B2B firms to ensure success in an e-commerce marketplace:-
- Focus on being discoverable. In order for people to discover you and get more traffic on the platform, optimise the website with long and short tail keywords.
- Be feasible and usable for customers once they are on your online platform by helping them find the products or services they are looking for through advanced search and navigation on-site.
- Add personalisation to the priority list and tailor the buying experiences by providing solutions such as automated billing forms, custom entitlements, rapid order entry and simplified workflows.
- Manage seller complexities, especially the ones related to pricing to get more lucrative results.
- While the focus is on visibility, make sure not to go overboard with things and focus on making the layout and the transactional processes on the website quick and simple.
- Manage customer complexities and aim at providing quick problem-solving and relevant solutions for their problems.
We hope this article helped in understanding the major success factors of a B2B’s success in e-commerce. If you still don’t trust us entirely, we hope the statistics we added can convince you to focus on the above-mentioned 4 factors as it is always best to research and do what is best for your business!