Too many B2B merchants aren’t offering the types of e-commerce tools their buyers want, according to a B2BecNewssurvey. According to the survey, as reported in Digital Commerce360, only about 40 percent of manufacturers have a B2B e-commerce website, and among those, very few are using advanced features or analytics such as such as bulk pricing, quote requests, contract pricing negotiating, and product configuration. Yet, these are features that most B2B buyers today look for when choosing a vendor.
Do you need all of these features?Maybe or maybe not; after all, the B2B buying process is often complicated and unique to each type of product, vendor, and industry. Remember, though, the easier you make your customers’ lives, the more they’re likely to spend with you, today and in the future! Let’s take a look at a few of them to understand how they might help you win more clients, close more sales, and grow your business.
Also known as auto-replenishment,this feature allows customers to automatically buy products on a regular basis without having to go to the website to manually place the order. With this feature, merchants can offer to ship products weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly. Most software that supports this feature allows you to define the periods and pricing. This feature is ideal for companies that ship commodity products in bulk, such as office or medical supplies, coffee, paper, etc. The great thing about offering this is that you can get new orders and grow monthly revenues without having to do anything. And because auto-replenishment allows customers to “set it and forget it,” it’s a simple method for providing a high-value service while also increasing customer lifetime value.
Bulk and Negotiated Pricing
This seems like a totally obvious feature to offer online, given that it’s quite common for sales reps to give bulk discounts and negotiate. Yet, it appears that many B2B merchants aren’t allowing this level of flexibility on their website. Frankly, it seems odd that this wouldn’t be available, but adding this can certainly help boost revenues.Why would a buyer go elsewhere when they know they can get a discount for ordering 10 widgets instead of one at a time? And by providing a digital platform for negotiating, you send the message that you care about their business. It’s a no-brainer, right?
Request for Quote
This is so simple, it’s almost astonishing it isn’t part of more B2B merchant websites. If you expect your customer to browse your products online but to call you to get a quote, then you really need to think more carefully about the customer experience you’re providing. Adding this feature can be as simple as adding a customized contact form to having the buyer provide more detailed specs about what they need.
Flexible Payment Methods
While this wasn’t mentioned in the infographic, we at Credit Key have seen first-hand the effects offering flexible payment methods to a B2B e-commerce site can have. Flexible payment options allow customers to pay over time at 30, 60, or 90-day intervals (or whatever intervals a merchant is willing to accept). What’s more, when using Credit Key, merchants get paid almost instantly while we manage the credit side of the transaction, so they don’t have to incur the risk of providing credit.The result is often a smoother transaction, higher conversions, and ultimately, happier customers. And who doesn’t want those things?
If you’d like to learn more about how providing flexible payment methods can help you boost your bottom line, contact us. We’re happy to show you what Credit Key can do for you.