If you’re a B2B e-commerce seller, you probably know that cultivating new relationships is an essential function for a growing business. However, it’s probably no surprise that it’s easier to sell to existing customers than new ones, and it’s less expensive, too. According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, it costs between five and 25 times as much to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones.
What makes a B2B e-commerce business unique is both its access to a ton of customer data and its website that can be used to increase a customer’s share of wallet easily and efficiently. But to make this work, B2B firms need to delve into what it takes to keep their customers loyal. Here are a few ideas to get you started thinking about improving your brand loyalty.
Loyalty cards are big business, with more than 3.8 billion memberships in customer loyalty programs in the U.S. While these might be more popular in B2C settings, they can also be a powerful loyalty tool for B2B firms as well. However, instead of offering typical perks that your customer may or may not be interested in, think about what you can offer that actually adds value to the relationship. For some, that might actually be a personal gift to the buyer, rather than a little bonus discount after spending a certain level. It could also be an add-on that the customer will actually find helpful.
Consider value-added services
Whatever industry you’re in, chances are your team has a lot of deep knowledge about your products and how they work within the context of the industry. They understand the challenges your customers face, and how your products help them overcome those challenges. This expertise is often what sets one company apart from its competitors. And the more you share that expertise, the more likely your customers will keep coming back. The challenge, of course, is scaling this.
Making internal knowledge and expertise externally available can be difficult to do. But there are a couple of approaches that might work here, especially if done digitally. For example, you could hold a monthly live web cast where your experts answer common questions and talk about industry trends. You could even have some of your clients on as guests to talk about how your company and its experts helped them overcome a specific challenge. Another idea would be to produce guides that are more than just a simple product guide. For example, if you sell jet engine parts, a guide on how to choose the right type of replacement materials could be very helpful to your buyers.
And being helpful is what it’s all about!
Offer Easy Access to Instant Credit
What makes a buyer become a repeat customer and spend more money with your company? There are a lot of factors, but one thing that’s sure to help is providing them with easy access to instant credit. That is, if a customer is trying to decide between your business and a competitor, and the price and service is generally the same, then the deciding factor will likely be focused around convenience. In fact, there are plenty of situations where convenience might even outweigh price in the buyer’s consideration.
And that’s where Credit Key comes in. By offering Credit Key as a payment option, your buyers can get approved for a line of credit with your e-commerce store in a matter of minutes. Plus, if they get approved for more credit than what they initially need, they’re more likely to return later to use it!
If you’d like to learn more how Credit Key can help you increase customer loyalty, give us a call. We’re happy to show you what Credit Key can do to help you grow your business.