2. Make User Experience for Business Buyers your Unique Selling Point
The digital customer experience is one of the biggest influences on where B2C e-commerce customers choose to shop.
It’s no different in the B2B world. What is different is what that experience should look like.
From their day-to-day lives, your customers are increasingly digitally proficient and used to a certain level of functionality from e-commerce websites. They expect this to carry over into the experience of using B2B online marketplaces.For sellers, your B2B marketplace presents the opportunity for them to offer a higher standard of user experience than they could on their own.
By focusing on the B2B marketplace user experience, you can find ways to address common pain points in procurement. For example, providing your customers with digital paperwork may help streamline their accounting.
However, you should also consider the complexity of the products and services your B2B online marketplace offers. It may be that for more complex offerings working with a marketplace partner is required to create the best possible user experience.
Remember that the B2B purchasing process is longer and more complex than with B2C. There is a decision making process that has to occur and which involves multiple stakeholders before any purchases are made.
In B2C, the customer adds to cart and checks out and that’s that. B2B buyers, on the other hand, are going to most likely want more in terms of product information, video tutorials, and marketing materials in general.
You should also make sure that the refunds and return process is well communicated. This includes telling buyers who the warranty is with – seller, manufacturer or marketplace operator – and who to contact in the event of a problem.
Should You Use Dynamic Pricing?
B2B buyers are used to negotiating on costs and tightly managing spending. As such, the B2B marketplace experience may include dynamic pricing.
Dynamic pricing uses algorithms to change prices based on a variety of factors such as supply and demand, and competitor pricing. It can help sales staff when negotiating with customers. It can also help maximise profits, increase conversions and manage stock by changing pricing based on different scenarios such as the size of an order, product type and customer.
In many cases, dynamic pricing also means that the customer has room to negotiate on the price tag. If you’re selling in bulk, offering discounts on larger orders can be a great benefit, and it will give you a built-in upselling mechanism for sales pitches.
However, implementing dynamic pricing in a B2B marketplace can be complex and requires considerable analytics capability alongside a robust IT infrastructure and data management. B2B businesses considering dynamic pricing may find it helpful to work with a marketplace partner like Avensia to put in place the technology required.
One benefit of online marketplaces is that they can offer considerable savings around logistics and fulfillment. For example, while more specialist products may need to be shipped separately, standard items may be able to be combined and shipped together. This has the added benefit of getting products to buyers faster.
While some marketplace platforms offer various data management and logistic streamlining services built in, others may require you to use third-party services for those things. Either way, it’s important to know what your platform is capable of before deciding to use it for your online marketplace.
Ultimately, the experience of using a B2B online marketplace should be easy and enjoyable for buyers. They should see it as a valuable and useful channel for purchasing rather than a frustrating and complicated experience.