Building a marketing plan for b2b eCommerce

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Just like any other internet business, a b2b eCommerce store needs a robust marketing plan in order to realise its potential. Here are a few smart marketing tactics that will help to drive customer traffic and sales for your b2b eCommerce business.

Content marketing

With b2b eCommerce, the priority for content marketing is the depth and quality of product descriptions, which are important both for informing purchasing decisions and securing good Google rankings. Other content-based marketing activities include…

Blogs and opinion pieces: Blogs help you establish a position of thought leadership for your business and generate website traffic.

Pay Per Click / SEO: with the incentive of quality content in the format of whitepapers, webinars and podcasts, PPC and SEO can help you engage customers and potential customers, and drive trust and loyalty.

Content refresh: refreshing and resubmitting existing blog posts and other content is an easy way to boost search engine rankings.

Account Based Marketing

Account Based Marketing targets key accounts and focuses on addressing their specific challenges. Winning a new customer can cost up to 16 times more than keeping an existing one, so retaining and developing existing business should be your first priority.

  • Personalisation: customise the product catalogues, promotions and loyalty programmes to individual customers visiting your site, and send them unique offers and content via email.
  • Collect and act on feedback: use onsite engagement, email, telephone conversations and personal contact from your sales reps to gather feedback and insights from existing customers to optimise your eCommerce site and enhance the buyer experience.
  • Focus on retention: securing regular purchases from your customers requires a combination of proactive marketing, a seamless omnichannel buying experience, and continuous improvement of your b2b eCommerce store.

Customer reviews

Customer testimonials and reviews are an important factor in the purchasing process. Business-to-business customers, just like b2c customers, value the real-life opinions of product buyers. In fact, the size and value of b2b orders makes product reviews even more important for business buyers – they want reassurances about the reliability of the supplier, product quality, delivery timings and aftersales service.

Even negative reviews can help – it’s easier to resolve issues, improve your offering and optimise the customer experience if you can quickly pinpoint the problems. So make sure you site is set up to encourage customers to leave testimonials, or collect reviews from elsewhere and regularly publish them on your site.

Abandoned baskets

High cart abandonment rates eat into conversion stats. Abandonment often happens because of price or timing issues – for example, an unexpected shipping cost, or a buyer’s schedule overrunning. These visitors are obviously very warm prospects and there needs to be a follow-up process in place where they can be contacted (usually by email) and encouraged to complete their purchases. Many sellers use this communication as an opportunity to re-emphasise a value proposition, or they incentivise buyers with free delivery and other promotional offers.

Loyalty programmes

Customer loyalty programmes can help to increase sales through a range of personalised approaches, each designed to achieve a different result. For example, you can incentivise higher volume purchase levels from customers by rewarding repeat purchases as part of a tiered structure; you can support the performance of your distribution network by incentivising wholesalers and resellers to stock more product; and you can drive new business by rewarding customers that refer new opportunities to your company.

Invest in your brand

A recent report from McKinsey says that b2b buyers see the brand as a focal part of a their supplier’s proposition. So building a strong brand is vital to attracting and retaining b2b customers – and that comes down to the effectiveness of a range of online and offline marketing activities. Top performing companies are able to leverage the power of their brand to differentiate their websites from competitors, benefit from higher margins, convert occasional buyers into loyal customers, and gain greater media coverage for less cost and effort.