eCommerce User Experiences: Tips, Tricks, and What to Avoid
B2C and B2B eCommerce businesses need to stand out from the rapidly growing crowd, but how? Read on to learn eCommerce tips, tricks, and things to avoid.
eCommerce makes customers' lives easier – but without careful attention to the user experience, your eCommerce site could be more frustrating than helpful. When customers have the choice, right at their fingertips, of hundreds of competitors at any given time, brands have to do more to garner an audience, engage with consumers, and win loyal customers. Providing quality product data is the baseline now that so much product data is ubiquitous from company to company. To stand out from the crowd, demonstrate value, and drive conversions, provide the best user experience. In this guide, we discuss B2B vs. B2C eCommerce experiences and share tips for improving your eCommerce user experience.
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B2B vs. B2C eCommerce Experiences
When it comes to eCommerce, different verticals can sometimes require different features or user experiences - particularly when it comes to B2B vs. B2C.
Wholesale customers have buying needs and behaviors that are distinct from retail consumers, and thus the B2B eCommerce experience can differ in a few notable ways. Websites often require more advanced features beyond a simple shopping cart to support the purchasing logistics and habits of B2B buyers. These enhancements include extremely detailed product pages, including extensive specifications. Furthermore, websites must be educational and provide resources to aid every role in a business's buying process. Often in B2B buying, many stakeholders are involved, and everyone needs to feel informed and confident about their buying decisions.
The complex business logic and ordering constraint inherent in B2B buying necessitates comprehensive customer service portals, including sophisticated quote options and features to draft and save multiple orders. Customer portals, and B2B websites in general, are designed to translate the customer service experience to the digital ecosystem and enhance the efficiency and flexibility of the experience. Business customers often want to negotiate before placing an order or need to compare quotes and present them to company stakeholders for authorization to purchase. Successful B2B eCommerce sites typically allow customers to create quotes easily and quickly and offer volume or customer-specific pricing expected by B2B buyers. Buyers may also need to use the portal to create and save multiple order drafts.
Regarding checkout and shipping, flexible payment methods are essential to doing business with other companies. Businesses often purchase large quantities and prefer to pay by invoice or another sophisticated payment method like ACH. Complex shipping requirements are another part of that, and eCommerce sites are typically designed to streamline the process of coordinating shipments.
B2C eCommerce sites typically follow a traditional, retail-style site layout. This entails a prominent, styled display of products or services, a shopping cart, resources like FAQs and blogs, and customer service offerings. Successful sites are typically heavy in design, branding, and emotional appeal to consumers. This can help customers recognize how the offering benefits their lives and fulfills their personal, social, or economic aspirations. Thus, B2C eCommerce businesses must go beyond providing the best product descriptions and competitive prices and think about their online presence's narrative and phenomenological qualities.
Additionally, the checkout experience is among the most important aspects of a user's experience. According to a global study conducted in 2022, frictionless payment is the most desired eCommerce innovation. Customers from every generation agree - a simple, fast checkout process, with as few clicks as possible, will improve the eCommerce shopping experience. One way to expedite the checkout process is by offering a guest checkout option so customers do not have to slow down to log in or make an account.
Tips for Improving Your eCommerce User Experience
Whether you are looking to improve your wholesale eCommerce experience or enhance the buying experience for everyday consumers, abiding by the following nine site performance tips will set you up for success.
1. These days, customers will quickly bounce from sites that take even a second too long to load. Ensure your website speed is lightning-fast to sustain your audience's attention.
2. Website design and layout are fundamental to your brand's success online. To reach the largest audiences, prioritize accessibility and mobile performance. Pay particular attention to the quality of your images, as image resolution significantly impacts how the site is perceived.
3. Create a shopping experience that is intuitive, experience-driven, and personalized.
4. Simplify the checkout experience so that it is frictionless. Minimize the steps required to checkout, offer guest checkout, and use advanced payment processing software.
5. Everyone has their favorite way to pay. Identify the payment methods your customers prefer and offer those on your site.
6. eCommerce sites are exposed to many different types of security risks. To mitigate risk, partner with a reliable payment system provider and ensure your payment processing system is fully up to date. To demonstrate trustworthiness to your customers, display security badges and trust icons.
7. Reliability is key. If you use multiple solutions like an ERP, PIM, and CRM, which you likely do, ensure everything is smoothly integrated. To establish trust, provide clear channels for customer service and consistency in the shopping experience.
8. Offer promotions that are tailored to the individual guest based on past shopping behavior and zero- and first-party data.
9. Partner with a distinguished eCommerce provider to set your company apart. When many businesses use the same out-of-the-box solution, it can be challenging to achieve real distinction. The DynamicWeb eCommerce platform offers a paradigm shift that can be deployed as a composable suite or open, agile, best-of-breed solution, using either ready-made components by DynamicWeb or third-party technologies that cater specifically to your unique business needs. DynamicWeb Commerce Suite is PIM, eCommerce, Marketing, and CMS and features standard integrations to Microsoft Dynamics ERP. With DynamicWeb, everything you need to provide the best customer experience is flawlessly integrated, available at your fingertips, and ready to scale as your business demands.
To learn more, watch our free webinar eCommerce Strategy: Designing eCommerce Experiences that Inspire Conversions. To see how we can help you take your eCommerce experience to the next level, book a free demo today.