8 Features of the Best B2B Ecommerce Platforms
Even for business to business (B2B) companies, providing exceptional customer experience is critical for sales and company growth.
Consider the following data points on the importance of customer experience:
- Businesses that focus on customer experience outperform competitors by as much as 80%.
- Another study reports that the cost of acquiring a customer is skyrocketing, and actively working to improve customer experience will boost overall revenue.
- Customers report that customer service matters for brand loyalty, with 96% of customers reporting that it is important to them.
- 73% of companies with above average customer service perform better than their competition.
Simply put, the growth of your business is directly related to customer experience. A better customer experience means better growth. That goes not only for your sales and customer service team, but your ecommerce platform as well. The ecommerce customer experience is critical for business growth and increased revenue.
Let’s look at the features and functionality that matter when it comes to your ecommerce platform.
The Best B2B Ecommerce Platform Features
For many companies, just getting an ecommerce platform up and populating it with products is a win, but that should be only one step in a successful ecommerce business strategy. Incorporating features that enhance or improve the customer experience is critical for success.
Here are the features you should consider as you look to improve the customer experience on your ecommerce platform:
- Ease of use. Is it easy for users to navigate and find what they want? That means not only the products, but the product information. Look at utilizing a Product Information Manager (PIM) in conjunction with the ecommerce platform to put the most relevant and accurate information at users’ fingertips. Consider the ease of ordering and site search features. The footer is a great place to include product hierarchies, services, and tags to find additional information. Filters in search functionality can help customers quickly find what they want.
- Support for content. Today, sales are dependent not just on salespeople, but also on the availability of content and information. Buyers want to research a product before they purchase. How easily can you embed videos to provide information? Are the videos easy to use and not disruptive of site navigation? Product reviews can also provide information for users. Can they add comments or like other reviews for a more engaging experience? An FAQ page is also informative. Site information, like a return policy, should be available to boost confidence in a purchase. Can a user download a product manual? Consider adding a digital experience platform to help manage the content on your ecommerce site.
- Chatbots. Rather than hurting sales, a chatbot on your site can increase engagement and sales. According to a recent study, a chatbot can boost sales as much as 67% and engagement as much as 90%. Consider adding a simple chatbot feature to your B2B ecommerce platform. Use it to quickly answer common prospect and customer questions, as well as screening prospects before directing them to a salesperson for additional help.
- Order tracking. For ecommerce, customer satisfaction (and customer retention) is no longer about price or product, but also the delivery experience. It’s taking the customer on a journey from researching a purchase to putting the product in their hands. Order tracking helps by taking the mystery and frustration out of wondering when the product will arrive. It connects the customer to their product during shipping. You should not only have an order tracking function, but make it easy to use and readily available as well.
- Push notifications. Push notifications are not only an important part of the best B2B ecommerce platforms, but they are also a great marketing tool for boosting retention and re-engagement. Push notifications are pop-up messages sent to a user’s device even when an app isn’t open. For your business, push notifications help your marketing avoid spam filters. For the customer, they can sign up for updates letting them know when a big promotion is coming so they won’t miss an opportunity. If you provide relevant information in the notifications, the customer will appreciate the additional engagement.
- Coupon and discount codes. Everyone is looking for a deal. That goes for B2B customers as well. Prospects are more likely to purchase if you inform them of or allow them to use coupons and discount codes. There is a rush of excitement when a customer receives a promo or discount code. As you consider your options and functionality that will improve the B2B ecommerce experience, look at including digital coupons and promo codes on the platform.
- List creation. It’s nice to believe that all a customer wants to do is log into your site, find the information and product they want, and then make a purchase. But that’s not how most customers operate. They may want to find a product and then have a coworker review it, or select products that the rest of the teams should use. That’s what a customer list or save feature can do. The more ways you can let prospects group products and communicate with their team, the better.
- CRM integration. A critical part of customer experience is the customer. A CRM is a way of tracking, recording information on, and managing the customer relationship. That includes B2B customers. If you integrate the CRM to your B2B ecommerce platform, you connect that customer information to the information on the platform. Use purchase history to curate content on the site to personalize the digital experience. Integrating a digital experience platform will help with personalization. Another easy win is adding a loyalty program that encourages larger or more frequent purchases.
Your Strategy and B2B Ecommerce Website Development
There are a lot of moving parts that need to be managed when planning a new B2B ecommerce platform or updating an existing ecommerce site. For many companies trying to build the site internally, these nuances, options, and features can leave them frustrated. They are left with a site that isn’t optimized, has problems, or isn’t meeting the business goals.
That’s why it’s a good idea to work with a partner company or consultant who can help connect the pieces of your ecommerce strategy. They can provide the support you need. That may be providing a specific resource or specialized expertise that isn’t on your team, or it may be managing the project from inception to launch to meet your goals. They can fill in the gaps where you need to or give you the assistance you need to reach the finish line.
If you have questions or want to discuss your business goals and B2B ecommerce platform strategy, then reach out us. As a full-service digital experience and ecommerce consultant group, we bring the expertise and resources you need for a successful B2B ecommerce platform and strategy.