Marketing strategies should be adapted to the business model and the market in which the e-commerce business operates. To some extent, however, general principles and basic rules are common. This is due to the same ideas and often very similar platforms. There are several important elements that should be taken care of in cooperation with a business client. Check out what we mean!
How is a business client different from a private one?
Building a specific marketing strategy for business customers results from the nature of their conduct and the manner of establishing relationships with the supplier. First of all, it should be remembered that in B2B cooperation transactions are often made in completely different amounts than with an individual customer. While in private sales you have to take care of the number of individual sales, in a B2B relationship, you should take care of a specific business partner, because he does not only purchase much larger quantities of goods at once but the cooperation will certainly last longer.
When establishing business relationships with a specific company, you also need to realize that we will not always be dealing with one and the same person responsible for purchases. This is often done by entire departments, and the people who make the deal will change. This requires a special approach to caring for such a customer and his entitlements on our e-commerce site.
B2B and B2C
B2C differs from B2B in many ways. The first customer makes a low order value and makes the decision individually. In the case of B2B, the orders are much larger, and the decisions are made by many different people. In transactions with an individual client, most often each of them looks similar and takes place on a similar basis. The unique nature of cooperation with enterprises requires an individual approach to each of them. Hence, it is also obvious that the purchasing process is much longer than in the case of B2C.
Contact with the customer
So sometimes, financing is more important than the brand itself or small features of the product that differ from the competition, or the ability to quickly order a large amount at once. Maintaining constant telephone or e-mail contact with a single customer is another thing that seems unusual for B2C sellers. However, in the world of business transactions, this is more important than the gross final price. When the satisfaction of regular customers is at stake, your contractor is able to spend more on the order, just to receive it faster or on his own terms.
Presentation of B2B products and personalization of the offer
Speaking of an individual approach to the client. Each of them has their own needs, problems related to the transaction or making a choice and, more importantly, their own customers whom they want to satisfy. It is your responsibility to ensure that all these issues are resolved as a trusted and professional supplier. Understanding the needs of a business client is the key to establishing fruitful cooperation. Sometimes, the method of delivery or payment issues are more important than the product itself. A situation in which a private customer borrowed a product from a warehouse for testing is bizarre, and in the B2B world it is a popular practice, if, of course, we are talking about a valued or regular customer.
Similarities to B2C
Some realities of building a website, however, are shifting from B2C to B2B. This is for a very simple reason. The same business contractors also shop online privately. E-commerce platforms are refined in terms of product information. It also includes the relevant technical documentation and photos. There is no reason why a company purchasing a large amount of product for its client would not want to see detailed photos. Even if they only act as an intermediary. After all, it has a huge impact on the quality of their cooperation.
Understanding customer needs
So how to match the offer to the business client? First of all, be aware of his needs and information that will interest him the most. Rather than visualizing the product in its element, which could be of interest to an individual buyer, it is better to provide detailed information on dimensions, for example, for transport planning. The benefits of using the product also differ, as it is not the nice packaging and manual in each box that matters, but the efficiency and quality of the materials, for example. The product description may contain answers to frequently asked questions, a short instruction on how to use the product or case studies on the application of the solution.
The perfect solution was used by Amazon in its Business department, dedicated to B2B cooperation. They have made it possible to grant access levels to individual employees logged in to the company’s account. In this way, you can have an administrator who deals with the technical aspects of the transaction such as delivery and payment, and employees will only make selections in the products to be ordered.
E-commerce site facilitation
Another facilitation in the use of an e-commerce site for a business customer is the specific search criteria. It is worth adding searches among EAN and SKU numbers, according to the quantity of available products or, for example, the method of delivery. Also remember that the price will most often differ for different contractors, depending on the ordered quantity. The possibility of negotiating and submitting offers will certainly improve relations with customers. The discount can grow with the growing customer order, and more and more complex delivery methods are the key. It is also worth considering services accompanying the products sold, such as product installation or employee training. The introduction of such elements will not be complicated for a company trading with a given assortment, and for a company using your services it will be an invaluable help.
Relationships in cooperation
Often the relationship you maintain with your business client is more important than any other element of the relationship. B2B customers appreciate the quality of the complete purchasing process for a simple reason. Such cooperation lasts longer and certainly will not end with some purchases. An individual customer cares mainly about a product in a good offer, and entrepreneurs about a long-term good relationship. It is a great help for him, because due to the complicated nature of cooperation, it is better that problems related to, for example, logistics are solved once and refined over the course of subsequent transactions. It saves time and less stress for a person who is still dealing with many things at the same time.
So how do you build the right relationships? Provide potential customers with your individual approach to everyone from the very beginning. Create mentors who will look after your set of clients and whose needs they understand best. You will then educate employees specializing in a narrow nature of cooperation, which will perfectly facilitate establishing relationships with a given type of client. In addition to good contact with regular customers, it is worth taking care of extensive communication with new contractors. Livechat, taken from B2C, will be perfect here.
Going beyond the online world
Needless to say, every e-commerce business has to develop. This means that with the increase in the number of customers and, of course, sales turnover, we must not only improve the quality of services, but also increase the number of channels. Presence in the stationary world is an important signal for the customer that the company is taking itself seriously and looking to the future.
In addition to extensive contact with the customer via the network, real contact is also important. Collection points or a network of traders seeing our contractors is an important element of cooperation. In many industries, the organization of meetings, presentations or trainings is a perfect excuse to establish business relations for years.
Flexibility and adaptation to the industry
All general tips contain universal wisdom that will surely improve your relationship with any type of client. However, many industries are so specific that the seller has to meet unusual customer expectations. First of all, it is important to understand your own industry and the needs of the companies that we will supply.
In the construction industry, for example, it is very important that our store has a strong side or a mobile application. How often does a construction manager have the opportunity to sit at his desk and calmly compare offers or check product specifications on a desktop computer? All options offered on the desktop, i.e. full product description, high-quality photos and contact with the consultant must work identically on a smartphone and in a desktop browser.
The competition is not sleeping
Product descriptions are extremely important in the B2B e-commerce industry. The days of unfriendly and truncated warehouse sites are gone, the use of which was associated rather with compulsion. Now, B2C standards are moving to B2B platforms and this is mutually beneficial. Customers get a high-quality store or wholesaler, and retailers can benefit from the marketing and technical expertise of retail stores.