Do you remember those “choose your own adventure” books you read as a kid? The kind where you could choose one of two options that could lead you down two very different paths in a story? 

Let’s get nostalgic and pick up where we left off.  It’s 4:50 pm on a Friday afternoon and one of your biggest customers just realized they need to place a stocking order before the weekend.  They log on to your website to place an order, to realize that… Option 1, the webstore has generic list pricing, it looks beautiful, but doesn’t seem user friendly for placing recurring orders.  After spending several minutes of frustration adding items to their cart, they end up having to send an e-mail to get a quote for an adjusted price based on their negotiated rates. OR Option 2, they can log into their password protected account, view their negotiated pricing, and place an order quickly before heading home.   

What optional ending do your customers experience when they visit your site? 

Anyone that engages in business to business (B2B) transactions understands that businesses operate and purchase differently than consumers (B2C), and a website built for businesses needs to have features that serve their way of doing business.  Below are 5 features that help a B2B ecommerce site better serve their customers.

1. Ability to manage specific pricing rules 

Many businesses have negotiated, or contract pricing that is different than list price.  Having a webstore that reflects contracted rates is critical to the customer experience.   Having a webstore that automatically reflects this custom pricing also ensures accuracy in the orders, and improves operational efficiency for your businesses as you don’t have to have someone review each order to adjust pricing. 

2. Ability to order using template, or quick pick options 

Businesses frequently order the same items time and time again.  Instead of making your customers find and select the same items each time they visit your site, having an order template, or the ability to place an order using a previous order saves your customers considerable time. 

3. Ability for customers to self-manage their accounts/ invoice payments 

How many phone calls do you receive each week from customers who need to see a copy of their invoice from their latest order?  Of maybe they want to submit payment against the recent invoice.  Why do they need to call you in order to do this?  Providing a webstore that allows a customer to access ALL invoices (whether the order was placed online or not), allows them to self-serve on their account, while at the same time freeing up your employees to work on building your business.  

4. Ability to pay on terms/ request a quote 

When placing an order online in our personal lives we get used to providing a credit card prior to checkout.  However, most of us don’t have the same budget review processes that a business is required to follow.  Offering the ability to get a quote, with custom pricing, allows them to seek approval when necessary, without losing their cart.  Providing them the ability to check-out on terms, using a purchase order (PO) further provides functionality on your webstore that matches their method of doing business. 

5. Ability to select a delivery date  

When I place an order online in my personal life I don’t care when the package is delivered, as long as it is ASAP.  When businesses place an order, especially if the goods they’re purchasing are perishable, delivery dates matter.  Having the ability to specify delivery dates allows your customers to manage their inventory more closely, when it matters most.  Having the ability to offer specific delivery dates on your end also helps in the logistics of local delivery. 

In summary, if you can create a webstore experience that matches your customers methods of purchasing and managing their business processes online, this will encourage more frequent purchasing on your site. 

It is easy to settle for a popular e-commerce platform that was created for everyone.  The problem is that not everyone does business the same way.  If you are a B2B seller, let Kinein show you what a B2B site is supposed to function like.