XU Magazine - Issue 12

The future of B2B eCommerce

tradegecko_platform
Written by Cameron Vernest

Struggling to optimize your wholesale channel? TradeGecko walks you through 3 key strategies to differentiate your B2B eCommerce platform from your competitors…

With estimates that by the end of 2017 the global B2B eCommerce market will be worth 7.7T U.S. dollars, which is more than three times the B2C market sitting at about $2.1T, it is no surprise that B2B eCommerce stores are becoming more commonplace. It is no longer enough to have a basic eCommerce store with little in the way of design or user experience.

These days, B2B buyers expect the same buying experience on a B2B platform as they would with B2C. As a merchant, setting up your store to reflect your brand, to be discoverable and to make purchasing as easy as possible could give your business the edge it needs.

1. Custom branding

Your online wholesale store should give your buyer a feel of your company brand and aesthetic right from the get go. If you are selling on B2B and B2C platforms, aligning your branding improves your platform’s credibility. Set up a custom domain so that customers are confident that they are visiting the right website. Additionally, customize the first page your buyers land on to reflect what you sell as well as your brand’s vision. Lastly, make sure your company logo is visible, not only on your online store, but on order confirmation emails, invoices and other transaction related documents too.

2. Discoverability

Improving discoverability on your B2B eCommerce platform requires a two pronged approach. First, improve your store’s discoverability. Setting up a clear and detailed store description could improve your search engine optimization and drive more traffic to your store. Also remember to include a form for buyers to fill in and submit for access to your store. This will give you control over who buys and distributes your products.

The second approach to discoverability is within your store itself. How easy is it for your buyers to browse your products? When setting up a website, include clear images with a white or plain background to draw focus to your products. A grid view is also useful for buyers to have a quick view of all the products available, without too many clicks. Set up filters on your store so buyers can view products by brand or product type. The easier it is for customers to discover your products, the more likely they are to purchase them.

3. Seamless checkout process

A complicated checkout process leads to cart abandonment. An ideal checkout experience means that the process from browsing to adding items to your cart, to selecting shipping rates and making payments, should be as seamless as possible. Invest in a system that allows you to add shipping options for your customers to choose from, as well as an integrated payment system. If the platform enables your customers to place repeat orders without manually adding products to the cart, even better, as this could save them time and increase user experience. If too many actions are required for the buyer to place an order, chances are they won’t. If you are building a B2B eCommerce website from scratch, remember to use a trusted payment gateway so that your customers are secure and you get paid on time.

If applied together, a well designed and branded online store that is discoverable, with a visually appealing product catalogue and an effortless checkout process, is sure to make your B2B eCommerce store a pleasure to interact with whilst increasing the frequency and volume of your wholesale orders.

Learn how to grow your wholesale business with a personal inventory management software consultation and 14 day free trial of TradeGecko.

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About the author

Cameron Vernest

Cameron Vernest is a CPA, CMA and holds a MBA in Finance & Accounting residing in Toronto, Canada. Accounting became the foundation of his career with Johnson and Johnson. Excited by what he was seeing in the eCommerce and mobile space he jumped to Shopify. From there it was a short hop, skip and jump to TradeGecko where he is Director, Strategic Partnerships leading TradeGecko’s global partnerships and business development.