“You can always do better” – A fortune cookie.
The question is, how? Even if business is good, your B2B eCommerce strategy can always use a few tweaks. We’d like to share several smart techniques with you that can be implemented in your eCommerce store to increase B2B conversion rate and usability. If done correctly, you should see fuller shopping carts, lower bounce rates, and more sales.
Don’t hide catalog from users
What’s the use of having a product catalog on your website if it’s hidden from potential customers? For security purposes such as spambot prevention or logistical purposes such as funneling all your first time customers through your sales team, it makes sense to restrict shopping cart access to registered customers only. But that doesn’t mean you should hide your catalog from users! Instead of hiding products and pricing behind a restricted login page, allow everyone — both registered users and general visitors — to search and locate your products. Opening up your catalog is fundamental to improving your website’s Google rank.
Your catalog is a key player in organic search hits, so it makes sense to keep it public. An unhidden catalog is an easy lead generator for new wholesale accounts since users can see you offer the product they need. Your sales and marketing team will appreciate that your catalog will do a lot of the work for them! If your business doesn’t sell to the general public, simply hide the Add to Cart button so users can’t make purchases on your wholesale website.
One of our clients, Railing Dynamics, lets anyone view their product catalog, without having to log in. While a customer can add any particular product to their wishlist, the only way you can buy a product at RDI is by contacting a local RDI dealer. This tactic helps funnel customers directly to local sales teams, who can share their expertise and be better able to serve their customers. Think of eCommerce as a self-service model for empowering customers to seek out products and sales reps to sell them.
Allow for bulk ordering from a single page
A general rule of thumb for optimizing the ordering process is to make things as simple as possible. The less obstacles you have between your customer and the checkout page, the higher your conversion rate will be. Instead of requiring wholesalers to follow the standard eCommerce process of the Category page → Product page → Add to cart, etc 50 times each, allow them to find and add products to your cart from one page. A bulk ordering extension really comes in handy here. got a pretty handy bulk ordering extension that comes with our B2B eCommerce Suite.
For example, our B2B Suite adds three custom-built tables that present the entire product catalog. From there, users only need to locate a product (for example, by searching for its product ID number) and enter quantity, after which it is automatically entered into the cart. Your focus should be to strip away the superfluous extras that make bulk ordering difficult. Your customers shouldn’t have to waste time sifting about your product page. So when you allow for bulk orders from a single page, you increase average order quantity and order total. When those metrics go up, so do your profits.
Implement different ways to filter large catalogs
Don’t leave it up to your customers to trawl through your catalog without help. Make it easy for them to find what they are looking for! You can do this with an extension such as Layered Navigation so wholesalers can swiftly filter through your products, without having to start a new search. Layered Navigation lets you bring the products to the wholesaler so they can locate and order faster. Intelligent filter options, popover hover effects, and multiselect features save customers time and prevent webpage crashes by cutting down on page reloads.
Utilize better search tools
Instead of relying on a simple search bar. invest in something smarter. Your search tool should feature intelligent autofill fields that helpfully anticipate what customers are looking for and match misspellings to the intended products. You should also include detailed breadcrumbs so that it’s easy for customers to adjust their search without starting over from the beginning.
Adding a search tool such as Klevu to your eCommerce store is also a smart idea. This dynamic tool lets wholesalers browse by product name, SKU, color, and other useful categories. Customers can look up search trends in your search bar, and you can select and prioritize the products you want promoted when customers search. Klevu and most other search tools usually come with actionable search insights for 360 degree analysis of customer search patterns, which makes for more effective SEO.
Optimize the checkout process
The smoother your checkout page, the better your conversion rates will be. It’s a great idea to implement an extension such as One Page Checkout to increase sales with a responsive and simple checkout process. Why make your customers put their information on one page, their shipping information on another, and their credit card on yet another one? Using one page checkout means doing away with all the extra steps, which means a smoother checkout process, which means more sales. If you want to be extra clever, consider a checkout extension like the AJAX One Page Checkout where wholesalers can checkout anywhere on your website via a pop-up. This lets customers checkout without having to open a new page, which decreases the likelihood of your site crashing. It also gives you plenty of customizability options such as adding discount codes, newsletter subscription confirmation, plus PayPal login if that’s what your customer prefers.
Make sure eCommerce store is responsive
This is almost a given, but so much of eCommerce is happening on mobile platforms these days — estimates put the number at anywhere between thirty and fifty percent of aIl online sales — a mobile version of your store is a necessity. Interestingly, there seems to be a correlation between the increasing size of tablets and phones and the amount of online shopping people do with them. What this means for your business is that you need to make certain your website doesn’t just look good on a laptop or desktop. There are over 600 responsive themes and templates made for Magento that you can purchase on Envato, so in case you don’t already have a mobile-friendly theme, do yourself a favor and buy one already!
One last thing
Hopefully you were able to catch any loose ends of your strategy after reading this article. If you want more insight about B2B eCommerce, we’d also suggest checking out these great case studies published by Magento.
Maybe it hadn’t occurred to you to use layered navigation in your search tool, or bulk ordering wasn’t something you offered your wholesale clients. Make those changes to your website and let us know what changes you see!
If you know anyone whose store could benefit from reading this article, don’t forget to share this with them