B2B eCommerce, though having a rich foundation of benefits provided to merchants, B2B buyers still want the same experience as B2C shoppers: efficiency and ease of use. The thing is that each group maintains different needs and customization is getting more important than ever. In this article, top B2B eCommerce challenges for merchants will be outlined.
B2B relationships are personal
For B2C, there probably won’t be an account manager to connect with every single customer. However in B2B relationships, there is a kind of personal connection and they are often personalized following this way.
These personalized needs include customer-specific pricing, whether based on a tiering system or specifically negotiated deals, and bulk pricing. In addition, sometimes you will even have customers who don’t even need to access and view your catalog for more information. B2B buyers expect pricing, catalogs, and product selection to be organized according to their particular requirements. How will those relationships translate online? How do you keep relationships unique and personalized at scale?
Buyers have complex procurement processes
From the first part, it is easy to understand that B2B customers just have much more requirements and needs compared to B2C. As a matter of fact, the payment method is required to be more flexible. B2B buyers expect flexibility on how they order and how they pay. This is not only what they want, but actually because they need it, some companies’ purchase processes are as complex and analog as the laggards they buy from.
According to an August 2019 survey of B2B buyers, almost three-quarters of respondents said they’d switch to a new eCommerce site for better purchasing options. The same share of respondents stated that they would purchase more products if they could pay by invoice.
B2B buyers need to find more complex products just as easily
Though the B2B buying process including product searching might be much more complicated compared to B2C one, it can be denied that B2B buyers still expect the process to be as simple and easy. Modern buyers are moving away from in-person sales meetings and ordering via a paper catalog. Online B2B buyers, like B2C shoppers, want relevant search results, easy website navigation, and suggested product content.
On the other hand, their requirements regarding the complexity of B2B buying, such as a unique account with a custom catalog, specialized pricing, and sensitivity to product availability remain the same. The future of B2B is in eCommerce, and the need for personalized, intelligent, search-driven experience is essential.
The B2B buying process involves a lot of decision-makers, and the buying cycle is long and complex
B2C buying can involve only one person, however, for B2B, it can involve a wide range of people with their own specific roles and responsibilities. Some of them might be in charge of searching for solutions, while others work and negotiate, as well as financial representatives to approve the spending. And depending on the value of the purchase, this could take up to a year or more.
All of this complexity means that you have to follow up with them a lot and you have to be able to efficiently provide each stakeholder your business interacts with the information they need to do their jobs.
Above are the top B2B eCommerce challenges for merchants which is essential because once companies fail to solve, the impact is unimaginable. However, with the help of eCommerce, it will be much more simple.