As B2B businesses, such as merchants, distributors, wholesalers and manufacturers continue to shift towards online commerce, having a well designed and optimised B2B website has become more important than ever. A best in class B2B website is essential for creating a positive impression among potential customers and driving business growth. Such websites are those that offer a seamless customer experience, with features and functionality that cater to the unique needs of B2B customers. In this article, we'll explore the essential features that make up a best in class B2B website.
Clear Navigation and Optimised Onsite Search
B2B catalogues can be vast and technical, making it difficult for customers to find the products they need. Therefore, a great information architecture and search functionality is crucial for a B2B website. The information architecture should be easy to navigate, with products categorised in a logical and intuitive manner. The search functionality should be efficient, accurate, and able to handle complex queries. Providing multiple filtering options can also help customers to find the products they need quickly and easily.
Bespoke Customer Product Catalogues
Every B2B customer is different, with unique needs, preferences, and purchasing patterns. Therefore, the ability to tailor the product catalogue and experience by the type of customer is crucial for a successful B2B website. This could involve showing different products, pricing, and promotions based on the customer's industry, size, location, or previous purchasing history. Providing a personalised experience for each customer can lead to increased engagement, loyalty, and revenue growth.
Bulk and Tiered Product Pricing
Bulk and tier pricing are standard in B2B eCommerce, and the best websites allow businesses to offer tiered pricing based on volume purchases. By doing this, businesses can incentivise customers to buy more while providing savings. Bulk and tier pricing help businesses to retain customers and increase customer loyalty.
Businesses often require quotes before making purchases, and the ability to convert a quote to an order is an essential feature for B2B websites. A quote feature can provide a streamlined and simplified process for customers, making it easy for them to convert their quotes into orders.
Real Time Inventory and Order Tracking
Real time inventory tracking is a critical feature of B2B websites. Customers need to know if a product is in stock, and if it's not, when it will be available. Real time inventory tracking makes this possible, ensuring customers always have access to the most up to date information. Additionally, order tracking provides transparency to the customer and helps businesses to maintain a positive reputation.
Integration with ERP and other systems
A best in class B2B website should be able to integrate seamlessly with other business systems, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), warehouse management systems, product information management (PIM) systems and more, to streamline operations and improve efficiency.
Sharing Basket Information
B2B customers often collaborate with multiple stakeholders, and the ability to share baskets information is crucial. By allowing customers to share baskets information, businesses can foster teamwork and enable better communication.
Reorder Previous Purchases Seamlessly
One of the key features that separates an average B2B website from a best in class one is the ability for customers to easily reorder previous purchases. This can be a valuable time saver for customers who need to replenish their inventory or reorder a product that they have used before. By providing an easy to use interface for customers to reorder previous purchases, businesses can improve customer satisfaction, increase repeat business, and streamline their operations.
Flexible Payment Options
Another key feature of a marketing leading B2B website is flexibility of payment options. B2B businesses need to be able to offer a variety of payment methods to their trade customers, including credit card, bank transfer, and electronic payment for DTC customers and cash account holders. Or payment on account for customers who have credit terms agreed. Offering payment on account is a must to build customer loyalty and improve cash flow, it allows customers to pay for goods and services at a later date, based on pre agreed credit terms. This can be particularly valuable for larger orders or for customers that have a longer purchasing cycle.
Stockist Information and Locations
A B2B website that provides stockist information and locations helps customers find and purchase products quickly and easily. Including an interactive map with locations of authorised dealers or distributors, along with detailed contact information, can make it easy for customers to connect with the right supplier. This feature can also help businesses expand their reach and increase sales by providing customers with more options to purchase their products.
Handling Multiple Tax Rates
B2B eCommerce sites selling to customers overseas must be designed to handle this complexity, including different tax rates and rules for different countries. This can be achieved through a variety of features, such as automatic calculation of taxes based on the customer's location, the ability to set up tax exemption certificates, and compliance with the latest tax regulations.
Management of Account Finances
A B2B webstore should provide effective management of account finances, including flexible methods of payment, invoicing, and account payment functions. This can help to streamline the ordering process, reduce administrative burden, and improve customer satisfaction. Providing multiple payment options can help cater to the diverse needs of trade customers. Additionally, the website should provide real time information on account balances, invoices, and payment history, allowing customers to manage their finances effectively.
Bespoke B2B Customer Portal
Finally, a best in class B2B website should have a bespoke customer portal that is tailored to the needs of each individual customer. This portal can include features such as order history, tracking, account management, and customer support. By providing customers with a personalised portal, businesses can improve customer loyalty and satisfaction while also reducing customer support costs.
In conclusion, a best in class B2B eCommerce website requires a specific approach that prioritises customer needs, user experience, and efficient operations. A great information architecture and search functionality, the ability to tailor the catalogue and experience by the type of customer, effective management of account finances, and a customer login portal are some of the crucial elements of what makes a successful B2B webstore.
By providing a personalised and user friendly experience, businesses can attract and retain trade customers, drive revenue growth, and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Ultimately, the key to building a best in class B2B eCommerce site is to continuously listen to customer feedback, iterate, and improve to meet their evolving needs and preferences.
Chat with our eCommerce Success team if you’d like to learn more and understand how we can help your develop a best in class B2B webstore.