If you’re in B2B ecommerce, you know that your online store is a key element of your success. Millions of companies are shopping online, whether it be for office supplies or wholesale inventory.
You also know that simply having a website doesn’t guarantee success. You can generate all the traffic in the world and still never make a single sale if you don’t give enough attention to the user experience (UX) of your website.
On top of all of that, you must make sure your internal processes are optimized so your business run like a well-oiled machine.
Here are some steps to help you put it all together for optimal success.
1. Give Generous Attention to UX Design
Your website design determines how customers experience the shopping journey. When selling to other businesses, you need to optimize the way they move through your sales funnel. Follow established usability best practices, including:
- Making important elements easily identifiable. Use color, size, white space, etc., to set your most important content apart.
- Make clickable items obvious.
- Minimize noise on your site. Have a clean background and plenty of white space.
- Make calls-to-action stand out.
- Highlight the user’s current location on the site.
To really enhance your site’s usability, conduct UX research. There are a number of methods you can choose, from interviews to surveys to usability testing.
A platform like Optimal Workshop can help you run quick, affordable user research for your website to gain powerful insights from real shoppers on your site.
2. Explore Software Created Just for You
Today, there is a piece of software to help automate nearly every process. From automating your marketing to generating perfect mobile apps, there is almost definitely a tool to help you. When a tool is available specifically for your industry and promises to help streamline your work, try it.
For example, if you’re a security company who has a need to implement labor-saving staff management tactics, leverage FindMyShift’s staff scheduling service for security companies. A tool like this frees up time spent on managerial processes so that it might be spent enhancing your sales funnels and finding methods to increase conversions.
Another example is Appypie’s restaurant app builder, which can help restaurants create a customized mobile application with a built-in menu, in-app ordering system, reservation scheduling, and food service specific promotional tools. With this tool, you can even study your patrons’ dining behavior with Google Analytics.
The key to a successful sales strategy is using the right tools. When choosing yours, make sure you’re using the platforms designed specifically for your industry.
3. Automate Your Inventory Management
Imagine that you have a customer who decides to make a large purchase. They place their order and wait to hear from you. You receive payment and start to process the order when you realize you don’t have enough stock to handle the order. After this comes a series of customer service emails, a refund, and a potentially unhappy customer.
Automating your inventory management can help you avoid that nightmarish scenario while saving you time, labor, and money. Implement a system that makes it easy to update, sync, and monitor all of your products and variants while giving shoppers a clear view when a product is low or out of stock.
Freund Container, for example, shows shoppers when a product out of stock.
4. Fully-Optimize Your Product Pages
In addition to letting customers know right away that an item is unavailable, there are a series of steps to take that ensure your product pages are optimized.
- Use high-quality images to showcase your product
- Provide powerful product titles and descriptions
- Enable on-page product reviews
- Clearly communicate total cost
- Show estimated delivery time
- Allow comparison shopping when relevant
- Give attention to SEO
By providing all relevant information and making your products search engine accessible, you will boost online product sales exponentially.
Grainger provides other B2B companies with a model to follow for fully-optimized product pages.
5. Make Sure You’re Easily Reachable
It’s critical that you are easy to get in touch with. And, when a customer does reach out, you should be available right away. When you can’t be available, you need to let the customer know exactly when they can expect a response.
Display Ample Contact Information
Including as much contact information as possible gives customers options for connecting with your brand and provides a sense of trust.
McMaster-Carr displays contact forms for all of their locations in separate tabs and notes how quickly the customer should receive a reply (within two hours). Relevant phone numbers, mailing address, and email addresses are listed in the sidebar next to the contact form.
Leverage a Chatbot
In the wake of AI, many B2B companies are using chatbots to communicate with customers. Bots can complete simple communication tasks, gather information, and answer frequently asked questions.
Add a chatbot to your site with a platform like VirtualSpirits. This tool can help you turn your website visitors into leads and generate sales, providing answers to FAQs, giving tips and advice, and giving customers access to a live conversation on mobile or PC. You can choose the design of your own virtual agent and trigger your chatbot through specific user actions. You’ll have access to all of your conversations stored on the platform’s server.
6. Enhance Your Site Navigation
Over the years, homepage design has changed. But, one fact remains: your site needs to be easy to navigate. Customers have to know how to find what they’re looking for if they’re ever going to buy it. Make it easy for them.
Ferguson is an excellent example of a company whose designers understand outstanding website navigation. The homepage of the website displays multiple product categories and types of categories for shopper convenience. Some are enhanced with high-quality images that showcase and draw attention to the categories. In the footer of the website, customers can access many pages that could be helpful in helping them make a purchase decision.
7. Simplify & Strengthen Your Checkout Process
Abandoned shopping carts are a sales killer. If you want to avoid this, you need to design a shopping cart flow that converts. Each step of the checkout process needs to be optimized.
- Sign in/ registration
- Delivery and payment information
- Order details verification
- Order placement
- Order verification
MSC provides customers with a simple, secure, straightforward shopping cart flow. Their strategy is unique in the way that they allow users the option to download and print the contents of their cart, which can be especially convenient for companies wherein multiple eyes need to access order information.
8. Leverage Artificial Intelligence
Integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into your processes can feel intimidating at first. But that’s only because you haven’t tried it yet.
When you’re ready to implement AI in your eCommerce strategy, you need to find the right tools to simplify your job. Here are some of the most popular eCommerce AI tools:
- Zeta – AI-powered marketing automation
- Cortexica – Custom computer vision, machine learning and video analysis for retail
- Visenze – Visual commerce solutions (image search, automated product tagging, etc.)
- NeoWize – Personalization, business intelligence, and analytics for online stores
- AIanalyst – Google analytics reporting simplified
- Personali – Business intelligence for increased profits
- Granify – Shopper experience optimization
- B12 – Rapid smart website creation
- Choice AI – AI widgets for eCommerce
Be Prepared for Voice Search Trends
Keep in mind that Alexa, Google Home, and Siri are everyday household names now, so while you may have recently transitioned from the desktop to the mobile search paradigm, it’s time to take another leap – preparing your brand for voice search.
Tactics, like using conversational keywords and populating your FAQ pages, will keep you at the cutting-edge of search technologies.
Making your way through the intricacies of building an eCommerce empire can be daunting. With average eCommerce conversion rates between 1-4% across the board, even a small hike can improve your sales tremendously.
When you begin your CRO journey with the above tips, you are sure to find yourself in the seat of success sooner than you imagined. Use the advice above to boost sales for your online store.