B2B Ecommerce Examples:

What Works Best for B2B Buyers

Let’s face it – the B2B ecommerce market is growing and is estimated to reach $1.2 trillion by 2021. Impressive, right?

Ecommerce sales are also growing for both traditional B2B businesses and direct-to-consumer brands thanks to wholesale. They are opening to wholesale in order to get a slice of the B2B ecommerce pie.

Some of the best ecommerce websites are equally good B2B ecommerce examples. Keep reading this article and discover what works best for today’s B2B buyers.

Key Differences of B2B Buyers

Remember – what works with the average online buyer (B2C consumer) won’t always work with B2B ecommerce purchasers. B2B buyers have two significant differences that impact website design and marketing choices.

1.More Complex Sales Cycle

B2B sales cycles are long. They can last for weeks, months if not years. That makes B2C marketing tactics less effective.

For instance, a B2C ecommerce brand may use tactics to create a sense of urgency and stimulate impulse purchases.

This strategy is unlikely to work when a shopping decision takes weeks or months. B2B decisions usually involve multiple stakeholders making it even more complicated.

The complexity of the cycle means that B2B buyers are less impulsive when it comes to buying.

Walmart, for example, uses such tactics to suggest a certain product is in high demand.

2. Niche Targeting

B2B buyers often go after small market segments. B2C customers have their micro-markets as well, however, most B2B companies have a smaller universe of buyers.

The direct-to-consumer side of Nike’s footwear targets anyone with feet. Nike’s B2B business partners with brick-and-mortar retailers such as high-end boutiques for limited edition footwear, as well as, chains like Foot Locker and others for the popular Jordan sneakers line.

For this brand specifically, they need to market the same product in two different ways:

  • To the retailer (focusing on the product as a source of profitable sales)
  • To the end user (focusing on the product’s status, style, and performance)

Also, niche targeting means fewer customers making larger purchases. According to one research, B2B buyers spend an average of over $450 per order while B2C customers spend around $150 per order. Click here

B2B Ecommerce Landscape and Its Changing Nature

Millennials today are an important group. They have different expectations. They want the same level of service without lengthy discussions or unnecessary clicking. Most have grown up using all kinds of devices and that empowers them to research new products more confidently.

B2B ecommerce buyers expect an efficient and comprehensive online buying experience. That means:

  • Complete product catalogs should be available online
  • Simple website navigation and clear search bar
  • Informational content

The main purpose of B2B ecommerce websites may have once been to get potential buyers to fill out a form or pick up the phone. Today, the start-to-finish process may take place online.

For many B2B brands, the transition in purchasing habits has beaten website changes. Let’s take Cintas’s website, for example.

Their website is non-mobile-friendly which is a huge mistake.

Today, a seamless mobile experience is crucial, even if purchases take place on a laptop or desktop. According to one research, more than 40% of B2B customers today use mobile devices during the buying process.

Other research shows that more than 60% of online customers switch businesses if a current brand doesn’t have an easy-to-use mobile shopping experience.

B2B brands need mobile experience that delivers a consistent experience whether customers are browsing on a smartphone or desktop.

A great example is Curbell Plastics – a company which gives its B2B customers a consistent shopping experience to browse and shop their products on smartphone or desktop.

The increase in customer expectations is part of a longer process. That process is important for B2B companies that sell physical products.

  • From a simple website to a website that proves it is legitimate
  • From a basic website to a website that generates calls of action
  • From a lead generation website to an ecommerce site
  • From a basic ecommerce website to one that competes with the B2C shopping experience

These tactics are essential for the final transition.

3 Principles for a Great B2B Ecommerce Experience

Here are the keys to delivering a great ecommerce experience for your B2B customers:

1.Educate customers on the product

B2B buyers prefer to explore and self-educate. It is the main reason that chatbots and live chat have exploded.

Sales representatives still have an important role, especially during consideration phases. However, some of their knowledge should make its way into marketing on your online store.

American Hotel Register, for example, meets functional requirements of a good ecommerce website – they include a category listing, as well as, a search bar. However, the website does absolutely nothing to highlight why a user should shop there.

The need for educational content is essential, as well as, content about products.

2. Make Website Navigation Intuitive

Website search is an important component of website usability. B2B buyers research brands online and almost all of them ranked search functionality as increasingly vital to their shopping experience.

V-Belt Guys uses LiveSearch app to give customers quick results with proper product thumbnails.

3. Offer a Dedicated Landing Page

In order to help your buyers serve themselves, it usually makes sense to set up a wholesale portal or landing page. Almost half of B2B buyers are looking for personalized content pages.

In a wholesale portal, buyers can make orders, access product catalogs, reorder previously purchased products, and etc.

One example is Hurraw!. Their wholesale portal is identical to their retail website with one exception – the product quantities.

The landing pages for B2B products have similarities to B2C landing pages.

B2B Ecommerce Examples: Final Words

When it comes to providing a great B2B customer experience it all comes down to the unique needs of your company, the value of your brand and products, and your content.

You need to optimize your website to attract new customers. If you sell large quantities of products or have high order values, you will need to do more than just copy the best B2C sites.

Create dedicated content to encourage purchasers.

Follow our tips and you will be on your way to creating the best B2B ecommerce website for your customers.