In this digital age, B2B buyers have purchasing options across the globe. A quick search allows them to find potential suppliers, compare pricing, and read reviews. To remain competitive B2B companies, particularly ones in the manufacturing, distribution, and wholesale industry, need to continuously up their ecommerce strategy.
Touted as a common B2C practice, personalization may be the game-changing addition to your ecommerce platform to get ahead. It’s important to remember that B2B buyers are individuals who may give preference to a personalized and seamless ecommerce experience.
A Data-Driven Experience
Implementing personalization to your B2B site means leveraging data to increase sales. It’s using data to show appropriate content to the right people. And it’s highly effective on past purchasers. When a person visits your site and browses with their credentials, they should see pages with the content, pricing, and product recommendations relevant to them.
Common B2B Personalization Applications
Personalization applies to the whole website, from home page to checkout. Here are top areas to implement personalization to your ecommerce experience.
Past purchases should dictate what products buyers see when they come to your website. If they always buy the same product, then they should see that product immediately when coming to your website. If your company sells products related to the item, show them other items “frequently bought with” that product. Do they only buy a specific brand? Recommend other related items from that same brand.
Another option is to offer a “Past Purchases” page where customers can easily find all the items they have previously ordered. It should sort based on frequency of purchase with the ability to update the quantity, add to cart, and checkout. Personalize the link for this page to show in the main navigation after the user has logged in.
A personalized pricing experience can go a long way. It covers everything from only seeing pricing in their local currency, to pricing based on customer level, to different discounts or promotions.
Shipping may not seem like the most obvious place for personalization, but it can create a faster purchase path. If a specific customer always ships to the same address, you can skip the address page to shorten the purchasing process. The most used shipping method should be set as the default for checkout to reduce the number of clicks your customer needs to make to place an order.
Offer personalized options for payment. Allow your customers to select how they want to pay (e.g. accounts receivable or credit card) and remember that choice for future check outs.
Don’t Forget Your ERP
Whether you’re updating your website for personalization or launching a new site and adding personalization capabilities, it’s critical to consider your ERP. Legacy ERP data can make it difficult to set up personalization properly. If the data in the legacy ERP is not properly managed or linked, the correct personalization values may not be pulled or your website could experience increased load times.
One solution is middleware. Set up between your legacy ERP and new website, middleware manipulates the data so that your website can run faster. Though a common solution, middleware is only effective when architected correctly. It’s vital to work with an experienced partner to implement it.
Simplified Translates to Sales
All of these aspects of personalization are directly related to offering customers a simplified purchasing experience. It’s about providing your customers a direct path to the products they want and making it easy to buy them.
Implementing personalization into your ecommerce strategy may require an investment upfront, but it results in increased sales. B2B buyers are also consumers. They know how easy purchasing can be because of B2C companies like Amazon, and have come to expect the same for B2B companies. Personalization leveraged to build an easy purchasing experience improves the customer experience, can increase sales, and put you ahead of your competitors.
Looking to improve your B2B ecommerce website? Get in touch with Adage today!