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Modern B2B websites

The best features for a B2B eCommerce website are the ones your customers want to see.


In addition to the features and functions they expect to find, why not add extra ones that will make things easier, delight them, engender loyalty and lead to multiple repeat orders.


Using business to business eCommerce has never been more relevant.

INTUS by Iconography
INTUS by Iconography

We find that businesses wanting to sell to other businesses via eCommerce need to be approached with a different mindset than conventional B2C eCommerce projects. It's never a 'one size fits all', INTUS offers a service that's built to fit your needs

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“24% increase in online B2B purchasing 43% of business to business eCommerce buyers switched suppliers during the pandemic because the existing supplier could not offer online ordering. 72% of B2B shoppers expect a similar experience buying on a B2B site as on a B2C site”
- The B2B Future Shopper Report 2020 from Wunderman Thompson Commerce

The impact of Covid on eCommerce

There are more opportunities than ever before in the eCommerce B2B market. This is because of supply chain disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit. From toilet rolls and bicycles to specialist imported sandpapers and engineering products, products of all kinds have been in short supply. 

This is down to spikes in demand for some items, stockpiling and border restrictions around Brexit, and shipping slow-downs imposed by global lockdowns. 2020 was a year like no other, and the effects will take time to play out and settle down.

The stand-out experience of 2020 has been the acceleration of digital technology to support communications and facilitate purchasing. It has emphasised the importance of eCommerce as a 24/7 self-service trading vehicle. 

B2B eCommerce is a vital alternative source for maintaining revenue streams in the face of grounded in-person sales teams. We’ve seen it in B2C, where retailers have scrambled to beef up their online offer. And since the first lockdown began, the best B2B websites have provided a credible alternative to in-person selling. 


Why invest in B2B eCommerce?

Research from Gartner and others shows that 2020 was a watershed year for demonstrating to B2B buyers how well self-service purchasing can work. Gartner reports that 44% of buyers now prefer no sales rep interaction. 

A 2020 McKinsey survey reported that more than 75% of buyers and sellers now prefer digital self-serve and remote human engagement over face-to-face interactions. As digital-savvy millennials replace retiring baby boomers in key decision-making positions, the switch to digital-first buying will become the norm. Business to business eCommerce has come of age. 

In 2020 then we had seen an amplification of long-standing trends. The rapid advancement of B2B & B2C eCommerce and the rapid adoption of virtual meeting technologies like Zoom to meet and communicate. 

As well as striving to build the best B2B websites, businesses are increasingly exploring how they can meet customers in multiple channels. So not just B2B but also in B2C and D2C channels. And underpinning all of this is the expectation that the business to business eCommerce experience will match B2C. That means eCommerce B2B has to be as slick and friction-free as it can be. 


“By 2022, organisations using multiple go-to-market approaches for digital commerce will outperform non-commerce organisations by 30 percentage points in sales growth. Find out more here.”
- Gartner Predicts 2021

Benefits of B2B eCommerce

While it’s clear that B2B eCommerce presents several opportunities for businesses, here we review some of the key benefits the best B2B eCommerce websites will deliver:

 


Acquire new customers

You will inevitably attract more attention with a well-presented website that communicates your product and service offer clearly, backed by SEO optimised pages and relevant and interesting resources and blog pages.


Self serve ordering

This has so many benefits. It’s 24/7, and the customer is doing the work. So long as you have a user-centric solution, new and repeat orders should be frictionless. You can allow multiple buyers (e.g. head office and branch) in on one company account. Sales reps can work with buyers synchronously or asynchronously.


Big order values

The best B2B websites give buyers the confidence to spend big. 70 percent of B2B decision-makers say they are open to making new, fully self-serve or remote purchases in excess of £50,000, and 27 per cent would spend more than £500,000. 


More efficiencies

With the B2B eCommerce website connected to payment gateways, live stock feeds, and back-office ERP systems, the accuracy of transactions will be better. Unified back-office systems means more streamlined workflows and eliminating time spent on reworks to orders. 


Reduced costs and better margins

With more orders coming through eCommerce, B2B sales targets can be met without the need for sales reps to meet customers in-person. This means they can spend more time on higher-margin customers and only meeting in-person when they can and need to.


Personalised communication

The best B2B websites will have functionality built-in to deliver personalised product recommendations, home pages, banners, product listings, discounts and promotions. These personalisation and customisation tools make it easy for buyers to get to what they want and delight them. 

 


10 B2B eCommerce features for 2021

Here's a list of ten must-have features you’ll find on the best B2B websites in 2021. 



Product information that is comprehensive and allows self-selection and comparison


Category groupings of products that support multi-buy/quick-buy options



Multiple price list options based on logins and dynamic pricing


Rich media that acts to inform purchases and support re-ordering



Inventory positions that are clear and guaranteed with real-time updates


Shipping information that is accurate and reliable for available to sell and forward orders 



Tiered delivery costs that allow for rushed orders to meet customer demand


Order tracking that reassures key deadlines will be met, and queries can be self-served 



Personalisation and customisation of the user experience to reduce friction and delight 


Multiple users in a single company account so buying teams can each self-serve


A B2B boost

The best B2B eCommerce systems will deliver cost savings by automating ordering processes, reducing errors in ordering and facilitating clients in self-service for re-orders, returns and information on various things like delivery dates, spend to date etc. 

Revenue gains will come from allowing customers 24/7 availability, encouraging big order values, automating the personalisation of marketing communications and significantly freeing up your staff time to focus on nurturing high-margin customers.  

The boost given to B2B eCommerce in 2020 means investing in more features and striving for the best B2B websites is both a short term imperative and a future-proofing strategy. 


“B2B leaders that commit to further digitising their go-to-market models should derive competitive advantage in the form of more—and more loyal—customers than their slower-moving peers.”
- McKinsey


We are Iconography


We don't just build an eCommerce website for our B2B customers; we work with you to understand your needs and produce a fully rounded solution. 

Our innovative B2B clients challenge and trust us to deliver online solutions tailored to fit their existing business processes, providing a solid foundation and bridge to the future.

A team of seasoned eCommerce and omnichannel specialists, a dedicated group of digital artisans. We've been building profitable, high performing eCommerce and omnichannel businesses for our clients since 1997.

If you’re interested in exploring how our B2B solution can take you to the next level, contact us here.

 


Custom B2B eCommerce
Custom B2B eCommerce

We understand how to structure eCommerce for trade customers. INTUS Trade provides the specific stock, lead time and product information they need and the pricing, promotion, ordering and delivery options necessary to ensure all our trade sites are a useful resource which supports customers and adds real value.

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