Businesses and consumers are treated differently in the eCommerce world. Consumers purchase based on a personal need or want, whilst businesses do so in order to function or sell. the user experience for a B2B transaction is perceived as less important with most B2B companies solely focused on offering a competitive price.
Ecommerce or online ordering, however, is now available everywhere with the defaqto standard experience being defined by ASOS, Amazon and other eCommerce giants. B2B customers have a right to expect the same service they’ve become accustomed to as consumer.
Unable to meet the demands of their customers and often relying on costly call centres to compensate for poor online functionality, B2B suppliers are beginning to realise they need to catch up.
While the goals for B2B and B2C customers are the same from building an order and check-out to fulfilment, their motivations for moving online may differ. Online, B2B customers have access to the full catalogues and often cheaper brands instead of a telesales offered subset. They save time with 24 hour ordering and can also save money with online incentives as suppliers seek to move away from costly telesales.
Not only do B2B customers expect a modern user experience, they often demand more complex processes to be fulfilled online. Restricted catalogues and internal approvals may be needed as well as pseudo currencies and other functionality a standard B2C transaction wouldn’t expect to see.
Successful B2B companies need to embrace these growing demands. Don’t be complacent, don’t expect your customers not to care.
You might be able to offer the right price but if your competitors choose to offer that plus a less stressful, more friendly experience then your customer will choose to leave.