Big things are on the horizon for B2B marketers.
According to a Merit report, millennials comprise 73% of B2B buyers today, and their preference towards online shopping has spurred exponential growth in B2B ecommerce.
Meticulous Research claims that the global ecommerce market is expected to achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.1%, reaching just over $24 trillion by 2025.
Various factors are contributing to this growth, including:
- The rise in internet and smartphone use
- Cloud-based ecommerce platforms, big data, and other significant technological advances
- Improved payment and shipping options
- The increase in millennial and gen Z disposable incomes
How to Build Stronger Relationships with B2B Clients and Users?
As retailers become more selective when it comes to the brands they choose to carry, B2B stores must offer brands the ability to promote their image, along with selling their products. So, how can you create a straightforward marketing strategy to engage consumers in the B2B space?
We spoke to our friends from various agencies dealing in online marketing and web design in Los Angeles and came up with the following X steps. These are guaranteed to help you succeed as a B2B online player as long as you implement them with patience and consistency. Let’s begin!
01) Create a Blog
Your ecommerce store is meant for other business owners, marketers and professionals. They are all interested in information related to your particular industry, as these will help them make better decisions and achieve more growth.
A blog covering hot topics within your niche will not only gain you valuable search engine optimization — it will support your community and help you achieve industry-expert status.
02) Build Page Authority
Building the authority of your domain and the web pages within it is crucial if you want customers to find you through search engines. The most efficient way to achieve this is through building backlinks — links from other websites leading back to your page.
Reach out to websites that allow guest posting and make sure to backlink to relevant landing pages as well as your blog, allowing other sites’ readers to learn more about your brand.
03) Optimize Your URLs
If you’re not particularly experienced in SEO matters, you may think that the URL of each page within your website is relatively insignificant. After all, who types complete URLs into their browser’s address bar anymore?
However, as you might imagine, things are not quite that simple. Optimized URLs help both humans and search engine algorithms understand what they can expect a page to contain. Therefore, a good URL — one that is representative of the page it links to — is essential to SEO as well as user metrics.
4) Decrease Loading Times
As we’re sure you already know, people don’t particularly enjoy waiting for web pages to load. And whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, you will be dealing with people, so you should be doing everything in your power to improve the user experience. That includes having your web pages load quickly; otherwise, you’ll quite literally be losing customers by the second.
5) Set Clear and Attainable Goals and Track Your Progress
B2B customers tend to do a lot more research than B2C consumers because their purchase decisions do not only affect them personally but their business as a whole. If you can understand what your clients are looking for and offer them the right services and products, you are guaranteed to achieve success.
To do this, you’ll need to set SMART goals and track your progress through analytics. Knowing exactly what you’re trying to achieve and how much closer you are to achieving it each day will motivate and inspire you to work harder and generate more sales.
6) Focus on Building a Powerful Brand
Your brand matters in B2B just as much as it does in B2C, if not more. You have to think like a B2C in terms of branding to drive sales by generating demand and ultimately building better relationships.
The following tips will address the crucial branding factors often forgotten or neglected by B2B organizations.
7) Keep in Touch
Maintaining constant communication with your customers is key to building strong relationships and keeping a high level of brand awareness. Only reaching out to customers when you’re launching a new product or during high season in your industry is a great way to allow them to forget about you. Remember the phrase “out of sight, out of mind?” Don’t let it apply to you.
This is not as simple as it sounds, though. You’ll need to utilize all your capacities in terms of social media and other communication channels, keeping your audience updated with fresh and insightful content.
8) Prioritize User Experience
It is often the case that B2B websites neglect user experience, or at the very least, don’t consider it a high priority. This is a mistake as UX plays a massive role in how often retailers will come back to your website.
Online ordering portals need not be simple utilitarian SKU lists. Remember, there’s a person on the other end, just like in a B2C store, so engaging graphics, content, and overall character will go a long way.
9) Optimize for Mobile
Millennials have been in the B2B ecommerce game for a while now, and Gen Zers are not too far behind either. These demographics like to do their business on the go, and B2B sites that recognize this are likely to achieve more success in the years to come.
Like B2C ecommerce stores, B2B websites need to optimize their platforms to be equally accessible on desktop, mobile and tablet.
10) Tell the Story of Your Brand
Sharing your brand story is a crucial part of the wholesale process, even though it may seem like a more B2C-oriented pursuit. If you want to strengthen the relationships with your existing buyers and sell to new ones, you’ll want to create a strong brand that resonates with your customers.
Perhaps more importantly, you’ll want to provide the same ability to your prospects. Your customers should be able to share their brand stories with your help. If you can help them do that, they will think of you as more than just a vendor, but as a close partner on their journey to success.
The rise of B2B e commerce has forced B2B businesses to simplify and improve their online shopping journey, mirroring the B2C experience. However, because B2B transactions are usually a lot more complicated than consumer-oriented ones, business-focused ecommerce stores need to provide an even more seamless transaction.
This includes building in advanced functionality to their websites, such as inventory management, easy ordering, quote management and even price negotiation.
Hiring experts to manage your B2B platform is the right course of action here since, as a B2B, you probably have enough on your plate as it is. Whatever services your organization provides, chances are they require a carefully constructed strategy, consistent planning, and above all, an excellent execution.
Whether you choose to reinvent your B2B store on your own or hire experts to do the job, remember to stick to the guidelines presented above, as they will set you up for success over the long term.