Getting B2B Buyers to Make the Switch and Shop Online
Why and how to shift business to business buyers from offline to online shopping
Change can be hard; this statement isn’t just true for businesses but their customers as well. When it comes to switching from buying and selling over the phone or in person to online, few businesses and clients are having a harder time with this change than B2B and their customers. Whether it’s too complicated to shop for B2B online or that’s just the way it has always been done, there are numerous reasons why customers don’t want to change. But it is beneficial to both B2B businesses and their clients to shift customers from buying offline to online. Below are a few reasons why you need to get B2B customers to buy online and tips on how to get them to switch.
So why do B2B companies need to get buyers to shop and buy online? There are numerous reasons, which benefit both the buyers and the sellers. For one it is much more efficient. Buyers can easily find what they are looking for, add it to their cart, and purchase in a matter of minutes, compared to having to look through a catalog, send in their order, or call a salesperson during their business hours to place an order. For businesses, the process is streamlined, no more having to go through multiple people, relaying information about the order and payment. Also, studies have found that buyers tend to buy more and spend more once they start purchasing online. Sellers can maintain their existing sales team and the associated processes, freeing up resources to work more efficiently on that end while increasing customer satisfaction.
If you are hesitant to begin selling online because like many B2B businesses you have an intricate sales process or a complicated product catalog, you might be surprised at the capabilities of a custom eCommerce solution. If you have given off-the-shelf or SaaS platforms a look and concluded that they won't work for your business, we encourage you to look a little deeper, do some discovery, view a demo and talk to a developer about your concerns.
Put Time and Money into Getting Customers to Switch
So the next item to worry about is how to get customers to shift to buying online. You need to devote both time and part of your budget into your strategy to shift customers. Have part of your marketing and sales team devote a chunk of their time to working on talking to customers and creating marketing collateral aimed at getting buyers to try online shopping. However, just putting time into your strategy isn’t going to get customers to switch. You need to also allocate part of your marketing budget to eCommerce promotion and selling. Remember, you get what you put in, so if you devote time and money into online marketing and selling, you will get more in return. Adding eCommerce is a sizeable investment, so it is very important to ensure that that investment is properly supported.
The top way to get customers to start buying online is through promotion. Using email marketing is probably the easiest and most efficient way to get customers to your eCommerce site. You can also employ mailers and use social media to promote eCommerce shopping. It is a good idea to get your sales team to encourage buyers to go online. If sellers aren’t too keen on that idea, entice then with rewards such as a bonus for sellers who get the most buyers to switch to online shopping. It is important that everyone on your team is on board and pushing eCommerce. It is common for your sales team to feel threatened by this major change, so make sure to get their input from the early stages in the process and build in financial incentives so that the eCommerce channel is not negatively impacting their pay. Remember that the goal with selling online to is increase your business's revenue, which should benefit everyone. You also need to have dedicated staff that can help walk customers through buying online and support staff that can answer questions on a hotline or through online chat.
Offering buyers an incentive to order online is another great way to get buyers to try your eCommerce site. From free shipping to 20 percent off their first purchase, offer a deal that will persuade them enough to get them to buy from your eCommerce site. If you have it set up right, buyers will realize how easy it is and continue placing orders online, even without the incentives. You can also offer an online only loyalty program with perks and rewards. This can help motivate customers to try and continue to shop and buy from your B2B eCommerce store.
Clarity Can Help
Clarity Ventures has quickly become one of the leading B2B eCommerce development companies. We focus on learning about what our clients need and provide them with the right technologies to help their businesses grow.Our team of experts has helped numerous B2B clients improve their eCommerce sites and user experiences. To learn more about Clarity and how we can help your B2B business thrive in the eCommerce world, call or click to contact us today!