3 Ways Distributors Can Get Ahead with eCommerce

July 29, 2019

Category: B2B eCommerce

According to Forrester, B2B eCommerce in the US will reach $1.8 trillion by 2023. With a number like that, it’s no surprise that distributors are focused on getting ahead when it comes to eCommerce. 

The shift to digital is forcing distributors across the US to evaluate their current eCommerce strategy in order to stay relevant. The B2B landscape is beginning to closely resemble typical B2C trends. Information is readily available, allowing B2B buyers to research, compare and make purchases online. 

Simply having a B2B eCommerce site isn’t enough to set you apart from the competition. It’s more important than ever to differentiate yourself in order to stay relevant and competitive in today’s digital landscape. 

3 Ways Distributors Can Get Ahead With eCommerce

1. Go Mobile

Today, B2B buyers are more mobile than ever. More than 90% of B2B buyers say they are likely to buy again from a vendor with a superior mobile experience. Using modern technologies that are mobile responsive ensures that your customers can use your site to place orders from anywhere and at any time. 

Having a mobile-responsive online ordering experience that loads quickly also helps you remain on good terms with the all-powerful Google. Here’s a good resource that explains how and why Google cares about whether or not you have a mobile-responsive ordering experience.

In addition to being mobile-friendly, your eCommerce site should be easy to use. As you go through the building or replatforming process, be sure to consistently spot check if the site is going to add value to your customers. Do you have organized product data? Can you easily navigate throughout the site? Is the information clear? Strong navigation will help you get ahead. 

2. Listen to Your Customers

One of the best ways to get on your customers’ good sides is by developing the type of eCommerce experience they want to use. Spend time with your customers understanding how they want and need to order, what features and functionality would help make their life easier, and what would make them purchase from you over other competitors.

B2B product catalogs are typically large and complex with thousands of SKUs and complicated product data. Talking with your customers, you may find that their highest priority is having an easy way to get to the products they’re looking for. If that’s at the top of your priority list, make sure your eCommerce platform has premium search capabilities.

Similarly, if you know that your buyers purchase the same products over and over again, you should make it quick and easy to reorder past purchases, find frequently ordered items, or browse from a list of favorite items. 

Understanding your customers’ needs and implementing features like these will add value to your eCommerce site and keep customers coming back again and again. 

3. Provide Great Customer Service

A big part of the ordering and fulfillment process is dealing with things like claims, returns, exchanges, and issues. Whether your customer ordered the wrong product, needs help with a billing issue, or can’t track an order, you can integrate customer service tools to help make customer communication seamless.

Allowing your customer access to their account where they can access order statuses will help eliminate their need to check-in on their order’s whereabouts. Things like chatbots can offer a more modern means of communication for customers who have a quick question. Adding product content in the form of blog posts, guides or videos can help customers self-teach and answer questions they would normally come to you on.

There are lots of opportunities to use your digital experience to improve your customer service capabilities for your customers.

Differentiating yourself from the competition is vital to your continued success as a distributor. Providing your customers’ value through modern, mobile ordering experiences and excellent customer service will help you get ahead. 

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