B2B self-service is now an essential tool for b2b online stores. When performing at full capacity they have the ability to give your customers a great experience during every step of the purchasing process. Here are our top tips on how to ensure your eCommerce website is working smoothly and effectively.
- Make sure product data is accurate
Nothing is more frustrating to a customer than purchasing a product that then turns out to be out of stock or only partially available. It’s therefore important to provide your customers with live stock availability and all the product details they require to make their purchase with confidence.
- Make ordering online easy
It’s one thing to offer an eCommerce website, but another to make it smart and easy to navigate.
When a customer places an order it needs to be integrated with your accounts system. A sales order can then be created in your accounts system and stock allocated from the appropriate warehouse(s). The order is then ready for further processing through despatch and invoicing. The order number is returned to the website and appears on all of the customer documentation.
Another feature to help make online ordering easy is having the option to save a basket. Once a customer is logged in the basket is continuously saved, so if they log out or leave the computer the basket can be recovered the next time they log in.
For regular customers, it’s really useful for them to be able to make quick orders by simply entering in the stock code of the item they wish to purchase. It’s also useful for regular customers to have their ‘top’ items listed in their ‘Your Account’ section to make it easy for them to repeat orders.
- Smart navigation is key
You want your customers to enjoy using your self-service portal. Unless you’re operating in a very niche market, a clunky experience might mean they decide to move their custom elsewhere! Smart, easy to use navigation is key to creating an enjoyable eCommerce experience for your customers. Your website should also follow standard paradigms if you want your customers to navigate your eCommerce site easily.
To help your b2b customers with navigation, your search algorithms should be designed for a b2b audience. This means giving the option for customers to search by stock code and manufacturer’s part numbers.
- Meet the needs of trade customers with b2b features
A dedicated b2b eCommerce platform requires dedicated features to meet the specific needs of trade customers. Allowing businesses to facilitate trade/credit accounts through your site is an essential feature. This means all orders will be placed directly into sales order processing within their account in your accounting system. Each account can have multiple purchasers with their own unique login.
Another useful feature is for customers who place regular bulk orders to be able to upload a simple CSV file containing stock codes and quantities. They are then priced, stock checked and added to the basket in order to reduce order time and make the checkout process much easier.
- Keep your shipping shipshape
Shipping can be complex in the b2c area but for b2b with large orders that may involve pallets, it is even more complex. Make sure your shipping options help to simplify your shipping charges whilst still recovering costs. An effective self-service platform will give you the flexibility to set up shipping by weight, value, number, product or postcode.
All of these features (and many more) are available with GOb2b. Our modern b2b eCommerce platform automates your sales order process taking your customer orders directly from your website into sales orders on your accounting system. Book a demo here.
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