Why Distributors Need to Think More Like E-Commerce Companies?
According to a survey conducted by Accenture, 86% of US-based B2B companies with over 500Million USD in annual returns have already implemented e-commerce solutions as part of their offerings. If you haven’t realized this yet, now is the time to wake up, before you miss the bus.
The emergence of e-commerce in the last 5years has made a drastic change in consumer behavior and expectations.
Since we can assume that our B2B customer will also be at some point a B2C customer, his needs- satisfaction scale has a higher benchmark today.
In order to sustain in the market and stay relevant to customers, many B2B marketers are forced to emulate ‘the thought’ and ‘digital ideas’ that have helped e-commerce companies provide a successful customer experience (CX), Omnichannel experience, provide a mobile-optimized site and having a 24/7 sales team and support.
Behold the growth of B2B eCommerce.
Need for Online Presence
Absence in the online world is good enough to be considered non-existent. If you want to survive this digital age you need to build your online website capable of making sales.
If this wasn’t enough, you also need to make sure that you are ‘approachable’.
Meaning- a seamless customer experience through easy navigation and easy to the eye designs across the site. Also, make sure you have the right content for every product you display.
As a distributor, if your competitive edge consists of your services, on-time delivery, and other value-added services, make sure you mention it on your home page. You need to stand out in the crowd.
Build Customer Trust
A first -time customer will always hesitate to buy a product. But by looking at the design and how you have marketed yourself on your home page, the customer may be inclined to go and view your products.
But, if you have done a sloppy job of providing low-res images and insufficient product content, the customer will exit your page immediately.
Hence, to avoid this blunder, make sure you provide accurate product content, tech specs, and also guidance notes, that would help the customer understand the other uses of a specific product. These qualifiable guidance notes might just take you to the home stretch.
Today it's all about SEO.
Search Engine Optimized keywords are KEY in writing product content. If your content words are not going to come up when somebody searches for a product, what use is your online presence.
Some B2B companies, use SEO keywords in writing their blogs & whitepapers. Google’s algorithm is much more likely to show a useful page than an e-commerce product page.
How do you do this?
Put yourself in your buyer’s shoes.
Imagine the toughest questions he may have for which you have the answers. Create a blog around this and publish it. Using effective SEO will help increase your B2B e-commerce sales.
As a brick and mortar distributor, your sales team will be in the habit of up-selling products to customers, claiming a future need that they may have. The same can be done in the digital world too.
Send email blasts- personalized your email blasts to customers who may need a specific product. Use limited language. Use a solution based content to get the maximum effect of your email.
Personalize suggested content- With the use of many tools online, you can reach out to your customer browsing your webpage with recommendations that you think he might like.
Digital Customer Service Acess
With e-commerce, some unlucky customers may have issues with drop shipments, or breakage of products during shipment.
Make sure you have a team to deal with this. Your customer needs to know that you understand his unhappiness and you are here to fix it. Bottom line- retain your customers. Do not lose him to the competition.
Increase Customer Service Accessibility Online
There are many tools online that one can use to create a chat screen or raise a ticket for issues.
The former tools can be placed as part of your home page, giving your customer easy accessibility to your sales & service team when he has a doubt or issue to be sorted.
Integrate your Systems
Small or big, you must unify all your information for better data management. This also helps in digital marketing and customer service efforts. Integrating all your information will save you unnecessary headaches and build long-lasting customer relationships.
Choosing the right CRM is key here.
Many world-famous B2B e-commerce companies known for their free drop shipping have implemented CRM for a seamless flow of information throughout the company.
Listen up Distributors
You are not the only B2B distributor in town. Certainly not in the online world either. The millennials go online, choose their requirement and get it shipped to them in a matter of minutes.
The whole sales process is completed in less than half the time needed in a brick & mortar store. If your standards and services do not meet the customer benchmark, you may lose to your competition.
It is very important to start alert, ahead and aware of your customer’s needs and choices.
Bringing out your very own e-commerce store is the need of the hour! Having said that, you also need to go that extra mile to satisfy your customers in every possible way from service offerings, product offerings and after-sales help to retain and build your customer loyalty online.
Choosing an entity/agency to handle your website requirements would be the smart thing to do.
Altius Technologies has helped many B2B distributors, set up their e-commerce store with a unique and flawless seamless design.