11 November 2013
So if you want to increase B2B sales, here’s five bits of critical information your eCommerce shopper needs.
1. Product Inventory. If you don’t have inventory, then there’s no sale. Shoppers like to have information on how much, if any, stock is available. Forrester reports that when manufacturers reported inventory with a simple notification of products being in stock versus out of stock, they raised conversion rates by 100%. To automate these updates to your inventory status, integrate your eCommerce solution with your ERP on the backend. You not only increase B2B sales, but you also save time and paperwork when you automate these processes.
2. Price Info. It’s no surprise that customers are sensitive to price. They like to know the suggested price as well as what they’re actually getting. From the same Forrester report cited above, manufacturers who showed a difference between the suggested retail price and the actual price experienced a 111% higher conversion rate. But when it comes to eCommerce, product price isn’t a shopper’s only worry. Customers are equally concerned about shipping costs. According to Paypal, shipping costs are the number one cause of shopping cart abandonment. As Forrester suggests, you increase B2B sales by reducing sticker shock and being transparent.
3. Quotes. Sometimes, price information just isn’t immediately available. B2B industries often require a quoting process for customizable products. In exchange for the information you give back to your prospective customer (the quote), you also gain their contact information when you have them fill out a lead form. After your visitor receives the quote they requested, make sure to follow up with them via email to improve your chance at conversion.
4. Product Lists. Some information, like product inventory and price, is about being open and transparent with your customer. Other information, like product lists, are about helping and guiding your customer. Product lists take many forms. A “Recently Viewed Items” list helps those who browse the site and offers more navigation options. When customers are further along in the buying process, a recommendation list offering related items is another tool to increase B2B sales through cross-selling or up-selling. Think about your specific industry and what other opportunities you have to present product lists to your customers.
5. SKU Info. Particularly for manufacturers, the technical differences between products may cause confusion for customers. To relieve this confusion, it’s best to clearly differentiate between SKUs. Properly categorize your products, maybe by use or intended audience. Robust sorting options benefit potential customers by putting categorization into their own hands. Meanwhile, pictures and videos of product demonstrations visually show off the differences between SKUs as well. Information is power, especially for the willing consumer and especially in technical industries. If you work in a specific industry or you just want to increase B2B sales, consider these bits of information to empower your customers and make it easier for them to buy from you.