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3 Minute read

Top 10 eCommerce Mistakes B2B Businesses Make

In today’s digitally-enabled market, companies compete with one another to provide the most convenient way for customers to shop – online, with just a click of a button. This applies to B2B businesses as much as it does to B2C businesses.

While some B2B buyers might still prefer to close deals face-to-face, most B2B buyers have fast-migrated to the digital space when it comes to doing their research or making the actual purchases. Research by BigCommerce suggested that -

  • 64% of B2B customers do half or more of their research online before making a work purchase.
  • 75% say it’s more convenient to buy from a website than a sales representative.
  • 93% prefer to complete a purchase online.

With changing B2B buying trends, companies today must adopt eCommerce to bridge the expectation gap with their customers. B2B sellers must strive to offers a digital experience that -

  • Meets customer expectations
  • Drives conversions and sales
  • Improves brand loyalty
  • Provides an interactive post-purchase experience for better impact

For B2B sellers to provide a smooth digital experience for customers, eliminating B2B eCommerce mistakes is essential. The right B2B eCommerce platform aligned with the business needs of the company can boost the bottom line and help improve lead conversion.

Common B2B eCommerce Mistakes Companies Make

Here are some common mistakes that sellers make with B2B eCommerce marketing -

  1. Thinking B2B customers don’t prefer to buy online
  2. Thinking that B2B customers don’t prefer to buy work products online is a common misconception. The idea might stem from B2B buyers traditionally preferring face-to-face interactions when closing the deal. However, the reality today is different. Research suggests that 72% of B2B customers prefer the convenience of online purchasing. This means B2B sellers need to adopt eCommerce platforms to smoothen the product purchase experience for their customers.

  3. Not providing a B2C like shopping experience
  4. More and more every day, B2B buyers in the decision making or decision influencing positions are millennials. Coming from a generation where most day-to-day activities have moved from offline to online, shopping for products online has become normal for younger B2B buyers.

    B2B sales teams must remember this and provide their B2B customers a B2C-like interactive customer experience, this can comprise of quick-to-implement essential elements like a live chatbot, advanced search capabilities, and multiple secure payment options.

  5. Ignoring the importance of mobile in marketing
  6. Research suggests that 61% of B2B buyers use smartphones to research work purchases. Companies today must accordingly develop mobile-optimized websites to smoothen the B2B customer’s purchasing process.

    They should also prepare to offer better customer support and a pleasant post-purchase experience over mobile, to ensure consistency in the overall omnichannel customer experience. Developing a B2B eCommerce platform compatible with mobile devices can ensure increased conversions and engagement.

  7. Neglecting SEO
  8. Research suggests that 89% of B2B buyers use the internet for B2B research process. 73% of customers land on a B2B company website from a search engine. Keeping these numbers in mind, companies must focus on optimizing SEO to appear on non-branded searches for terms that B2B buyers use at the beginning stage of their customer journey.

    Implementing an effective SEO strategy is a must for companies to show up on search engine results pages (SERP). Build a keyword strategy and chalk out SEO practices in alignment with your business needs to show up where your customers are searching! Optimizing on-page SEO in meta-descriptions and webpages can also help further traction via search.

  9. Thinking you can’t offer custom orders
  10. In the case of face-to-face interactions, customers can be offered a customized price basis negotiation. Believing that this can’t be done online is a common B2B eCommerce mistake that companies make.

    B2B buyers looking to shop on eCommerce websites now want to be able to request a quote as per their own scope of work. They want to negotiate costing per their requirement. So, ensure that your website is equipped to offer custom pricing and to allow buyers to raise such requests.

  11. Lack of simple, secure payment options
  12. A report by BigCommerce showed that B2B companies that offer flexible payment options see a 17% increase in sales and a 21% increase in average orders. B2B sales companies must have a simple, secure payment option in place to smoothen the customer’s purchasing process.

    While some customers might want to pay through cheques, others might want to pay through a mobile wallet. To improve sales, companies must set up a variety of online and offline payment options like using corporate accounts, credit, mobile wallets, net 30 terms, cheques, and other simple methods they prefer. You can also provide the customer with a one-click payment setup to increase customer satisfaction.

    Figure 1. B2B tools Offered by a Headless Commerce System

  13. Not providing comprehensive product information
  14. A BigCommerce study suggested that “76% of customers say the most important factor in a website’s design is that it makes it easy for them to find what they’re looking for”. Customers will already expect high-resolution images of the products and precise product descriptions.

    You can ace information by being clearer with product description. Add exact measurements, materials used, model or part numbers, compatibility with other tools or products, installation information, and even available inventory. Optimizing product descriptions and using this in personalized marketing for cross-selling and upselling products can help you further boost sales.

  15. Ignoring social media presence is fine
  16. Since 50% of all B2B research is done by millennials, not focusing on building an effective social media presence can be a big mistake for B2B companies. Most customers today like to read about a product before investing in it and turn to a peer or a social media platform to come across more honest reviews. B2B buyers also often interact both personally and professionally with people on different social channels to find out more about the product before making a purchase. B2B businesses must put in the extra effort by posting reviews, tips on how to use the product, and share case studies to attract and engage their customers across professional social media platforms. They can also share similar information across community forums that are popular with buyers in their industry.

  17. Believing that price transparency is the only way to do business online
  18. There are tons of debates about the impact of price transparency on the competition. While some companies believe that being completely transparent with pricing on an eCommerce platform can increase competition, others believe this to be leveraged. Fortunately, both ways can be opted.

    Customer segmentation and adding them to various groups can give companies the benefit of quoting different prices to different customer bases. On the other hand, using the website to enable product visibility to prospects and personally contacting them with the price can also help companies convert prospects into customers.

  19. Not integrating your site with other critical systems
  20. Per BigCommerce, 57% of B2B executives say that eCommerce platform integration is the top need for B2B companies. Integrating B2B eCommerce platform with the ERP and CRM systems in your company can help improve collaboration with real-time data tracking and insightful information.

    Making the mistake of not setting up this sync might mean that you have to manually update data like inventory, orders, and pricing, increasing the scope for human error. It's also an unnecessary wastage of resources like time and capital, which can be better spent on selling the product.

Eliminating B2B eCommerce Mistakes to Stay in Business

B2B sales companies today must realize the importance of opting for the eCommerce method to create a better market presence and offer convenient solutions to customers from the comfort of their homes. In the current technologically-driven market, relying on old, legacy methods of conducting business can only reduce ROI while hampering performance. An effective B2B eCommerce platform can help companies expand their customer bases and convert prospects to loyal customers.

For a deeper understanding of eCommerce in the B2B business space to boost profits and increase marketing ROI, explore our e-book.

You can also connect with our Digital Commerce experts at marketing@altudo.co for a more detailed discussion on how your business can use consumer intent to increase the top-line and continue to grow.

Marketing Team Technical Lead | Altudo


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