Wednesday, April 18, 2012 1:01 PM
While they may differ in sales process and website format, the dirty little secret of e-commerce companies is that those on the B2B and B2C sides are becoming more and more alike every year. And why shouldn’t they? After all, the people behind purchasing decisions are all human, and are equally susceptible the same marketing strategies, so it’s a smart move to take advantage of sales practices from the ‘other’ side. Why invent the wheel if it’s already been invented? There are great tips and tricks from B2B that you can employ in B2C, and vice versa.
However, if you’re still treating every company and individual the same, you’re missing out on some prime sales opportunities…and likely a large amount of revenue. That’s why it’s important to take your cues from the other side of the aisle, but ensure that the end result is personalized to your user above all else.
The five trends
- Dynamic site experience: From personalized product recommendations to targeted content and everything in between, make sure your site is a place where customers receive individual attention. If Hawaiians are visiting your site, don’t show ski gear! Your site can detect where a user is coming from and display relevant product.
- Mobile/tablet shopping: We’ve spoken about this area enough that is should be second nature by now. Tablet shoppers convert at a higher rate and place bigger orders; do you really want to miss out on this demographic?
- Video: Websites displaying video convert 30% more visitors on average (CBS Interactive Business Network). Plus, a page with video is 50x more likely to be on the first page of Google Results than a text page (Forrester, 2009)! This is a prime SEO opportunity; make sure to take advantage.
- Search: Let’s face it, if your customers can’t find what they are looking for then they aren’t going to purchase. Parametric search functions and search best practices ensure customers can easily find the item they’re looking for. Don’t overlook this important website element.
- Sophisticated merchandising: Jazz the shopping experience up a bit by allowing customers to purchase not only from the standard grid product pages, but also directly from the merchandised product. This provides for speedier, more efficient checkout (closer to your end goal of conversion!), and it’s a great opportunity to cross-sell as customers are visualizing how the product will appear in their stores.
There’s no need to rush into these changes all at once – as with anything, start off small and test, test, test until you get the results you want. Just keep in mind that one of the reasons B2C e-commerce is often so successful is that these companies have found ways to tailor the experience to the individual shopper. B2B shoppers are no different, except that they’re purchasing for companies rather than for themselves. Why not take cues from tactics proven to work? After all, innovation is best built on a solid foundation of tried and true strategies.
Want more? Check out our entire presentation, 5 E-commerce Trends to Try Out, for more tips and tricks to keep you in the game:
|Like what you see? Check us out on Facebook, twitter, or Pinterest!