Tips for Enhancing the B2C Experience for Consumers

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Mobile eCommerce App for Your B2C eMarketplace

One of the most important things for enhancing the B2C experience for your customers is having a mobile eCommerce app for your marketplace. There are several capabilities that can be improved with B2C apps, which we’ll discuss here.

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Make it easy to interact with your marketplace

Self-Service Is Fundamental for B2C Apps

Enterprise B2C (business to consumer) eCommerce involves lots of traffic when operating at scale. There are several areas we can optimize that will improve customer B2C experiences and boost sales. Most of these areas are interrelated. Better sales results in more resources that we can then reinvest to drive better customer experience, which in turn drives sales, and so on. It can create an upward spiral of success within the marketplace business model.

In operating a marketplace eCommerce platform for B2C, the self-service aspect is fundamental. Self-service makes it easy for the end user to interact with the platform, which means they will be more likely to do so. This will not only help you maintain your current customers, but also gain new ones as awareness of your marketplace grows. Self-service includes automated processes that further enable you to extend your reach through applications and value ads that can be unique to a particular category or space that your online marketplace is operating in.

Deliver value for a better B2C experience

Pinpoint What to Include in the B2C App

A fundamental aspect of an omnichannel experience is having a cross-platform compatible mobile application that uses the same set of data and resources as the marketplace eCommerce platform website.

Usually, this can be paired down to the base functionality and then incrementally scaled up over time. This is because the users may only need 20 percent of the functionality to meet 80 to 90 percent of their needs.

As you’re building your marketplace mobile B2C experience and omnichannel experience, it’s best to spend time talking with the actual users, looking at competitor sites and their associated apps, and work to be at least a few notches above the competition where it counts.

If you talk with your end customers with different constituents about what their needs are, you may end up being surprised that a lot of the competitors out there offer fluff that is convoluting the offering and even diluting it because there’s too much unused distraction within their B2C apps.

So keep in mind that you’re delivering value to the end users, both the buyers and the sellers. For a mobile app especially, you want to make sure you’re delivering a lot of value to the buyers, because a huge aspect of any marketplace (especially a consumer-facing one) is convenience.

converse with b2c customers

It needs to be easy for buyers to complete purchases, search for products, log in, find items in their cart, see product details, etc., whether they are on desktop or their tablet, or even if they go to the physical store and add in-store items to a list.

It gives a huge boost to the marketplace’s performance when you have a standardized set of data for their account that allows them to look at the same things on the desktop website and on a mobile application. It should be a seamless transition between any device they might use, with everything syncing correctly.

It’s also convenient to be able to scan items and access bar codes since this is helpful for reordering and returning items in a store or if they need to ship something back. It’s also best if the end user can receive notifications through the mobile app, and as text messages if they opt into it.

Then they can be notified if something that they’re waiting for is in stock again, or if there’s something time sensitive, like with some forms of bidding. Being able to directly interact with the mobile device helps the consumer continue to engage with your marketplace.

Ultimately, you can start with more limited functionality that focuses on the most important aspects of the end user’s journey, and then develop the B2C app further so that it encompasses the entire functionality of the website. As you develop, it’s important to keep thinking about what’s going to add value for the end users.

Have interaction available for the best B2C experience

Allow Users to Manage Fulfillment Through the B2C App

Another feature that will improve B2C sales, that may be phase two or three for many businesses, is enabling fulfillment management for the users. Then, when consumers place their order, they can look at their mobile device or tablet, etc., and see when the order is received, when it’s processed, and when the shipment goes out. They’d also get the tracking formation and any additional detail around that particular order, and be able to interact with the order and potentially the seller as well.

Depending on your B2C model, you may be operating the marketplace such that your business is the primary seller, or you may have many businesses that are in your marketplace that are selling to consumers.

Either way, in many cases the purchaser may have questions and may need to interact with both pre-purchase phase questions and with post-purchase phase questions or during fulfillment. Therefore, it’s critical to enable seamless interaction between the buyer and the seller within your B2C marketplace.

This improves the self-service aspect as well as the overall experience that the consumer receives, and that encourages repeat purchases. The more they repeat their purchases, the more profitable the marketplace becomes, as this also lowers costs for acquiring revenue.

This can lead to more investment in better mobile B2C apps, app capabilities, and other aspects of the marketplace like increasing the specialization of the offerings, thereby providing more value with each interaction. This creates better penetration of a particular market.

You can also gain more subject matter expertise as you work in a particular market, and customers gain the perception that you’re really experienced for a given category that you’re focusing on. This increases their trust and willingness to interact with the marketplace.

manage fulfillment through the b2c app
Improve B2C Sales by Providing More Value

Give Valuable Insights Further up the Funnel

valuable insights

It’s also common, when someone is making a purchase, to provide more than the standard amount of value. It depends on what your marketplace is offering, but there are a lot of aspects of the purchasing funnel that are valuable for the consumer prior to them completing a purchase.

You may be able to leverage this within the B2C app or in an omnichannel experience. For example, let’s say your marketplace is selling workout equipment and nutritional supplements, and you decide you want to provide a more valuable experience for the end user. You can have your B2C mobile app include resources, tips, and training videos from well-recognized experts for certain types of workouts, e.g., weight lifting, cardio, and yoga.

Providing value further up the funnel rather than just at the actual purchase can create momentum for the application and increase usage. This often includes providing useful information for free that will serve your market and increase awareness. Expertise, or it’s sometimes referred to as engineering-as-marketing, improves the B2C experience and level of interaction.

Another useful feature for B2C mobile applications is doing calculations, such as for those looking to buy automotive parts for example. We can make a simple application that does some calculations by getting data about the vehicle they’re working on, including the year, make, model, and all the known specs for the products that they’d be able to use for that vehicle. Plus, we’d show that they can click here to see all the products we have within the marketplace that they can look to purchase for this.

It’s also helpful to do comparisons between what’s in your marketplace and other traditional venues for purchasing. Fundamentally, you’re looking to create an edge within your niche and market, and the mobile B2C app can be an immersive experience for the consumer, allowing them to get additional value from your B2C marketplace platform.

Create a Superior B2C Experience to Boost Sales

List of Best Practices for Implementing B2C Apps

In summary, best practices are to have these functions for B2C apps to improve customer experience and improve B2C sales:

  1.  Self-service capability—includes functions for communication, notifications, fulfillment, returns, and refunds; lets the user easily operate within the platform.
  2.  Focus on value—start with limited capability for the mobile app at first, focusing on what’s most important for your end users, and then evolve the app into the full parody of features of your B2C website.
  3.  Allow fulfillment management—allow buyers (and sellers) to receive updates for order processes and communicate via the chat tool in the app in case the buyer has questions.
  4.  Give free information—add value further upstream or post-purchase by giving information that’s relevant within that particular space, preferably from experts.
List of Best Practices for Implementing B2C Apps

These tips for a mobile eCommerce app will help you improve your eCommerce marketplace and increase B2C sales. By thinking about the experience B2C consumers will have with your eCommerce app, you’ll be able to optimize that experience so your marketplace eCommerce can grow.

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Extend the B2C Experience for Your Consumers

We hope this was helpful. Feel free to reach out to our team so we can collaborate with you on your project. We can help craft a strategy that fits your B2C marketplace and mobile application and omnichannel experiences. We created a customizable, yet affordable, marketplace platform to help businesses like yours grow into their full potential. Schedule a free demo with one of our experts to learn more about what we can do for you.