Today, the customer experience is an integral part of the purchasing process, whether it is physical or online. Purchasing is no longer a simple transaction of money for a good or service. Online, the user experience is therefore essential to the success of an e-commerce site.
When we talk about customer experience, we are talking about all the interactions that can take place between the customer and the company. These interactions have an impact on the customer's choice and decision-making process. It is an element that can contribute to the development of a company's sales.
The B2B buying process
The buying process in B2B is much longer than it is for a B2C customer. Indeed, it involves both the buyer and his company. The purchase decision requires a long reflection, a comparison of the competition and their prices, and discussions within the company. B2B customers are indeed more reasoned and act according to the needs of the company. In short, it is a long process, which makes the cost of customer acquisition higher!
Another important point to know is that the buying process of a B2B customer starts with internet research in 61% of cases! Offering this optimal user experience on the internet is therefore just as important.
Knowing this, customer satisfaction is a key point. The latter must then find an experience that they like on your e-commerce site.
Thinking that customer experience is less important in B2B
A very common mistake made by B2B salespeople is to see only the client company as a whole. In reality, however, purchases are made by people, who have particular habits, emotions and expectations. The buyer is not a rational actor, but a human being. It is therefore necessary to adapt to consumer behaviour, even in the professional context!
Also, and consequently, most business buyers are also customers of online shops in the personal context: they are used to B2C e-commerce sites. Therefore, when they do their business research or shopping online, they expect to find the same user experience as they have as a consumer. To give you a figure, 71% of B2B buyers expect to find such an experience.
So how do you adapt to the expectations of B2B customers on your e-commerce site?
1. UX/UI is crucial
Ergonomics and design are two very important elements of the user experience: the customer must be able to find the information and products he is looking for easily, and find his navigation pleasant. To ensure these two elements, the implementation of a Ux/Ui methodology is mandatory:
- Customer segmentation and creation of personas: determining who your typical customers are and what their main expectations are.
- The value proposition : determining the problems and wishes of customers in relation to your solutions to determine the essential features and information of the site.
- Analysis and reflection on the customer path: determine the customer's path on your site, the elements that interest them. Determine the most fluid tree structure in relation to this typical path.
- The choice of design: select a pleasant and effective design to make the user experience as smooth as possible.
The B2B customer is a reasoned shopper, so you need to make sure you offer an intuitive shopping experience. This means providing access to flexible functionalities and simplifying the customer's search. The objective is to ensure that they can find all the information they need to make a decision.
In addition to being pleasant, your site must be responsive, even mobile first. This means that your site must be perfectly adapted for mobile navigation. According to Google, more than 40% of B2B buyers make their purchases on mobile phones.
Thanks to BigCommerce, a solution for which we are a certified partner, you can optimise the customer experience on your B2B e-commerce site. You will be able to offer an intuitive experience thanks to the numerous BtoB features offered as standard: customisation of prices through customer segmentation, management of buyer profiles, advanced search, numerous payment options, integration with your internal management systems, detailed product sheets.
It will also be possible to work on your design, thanks to a visual identity, original creation, and a responsive web design.
2. Customer experience is also about content
B2B buyers conduct internet research before making a decision, so it is essential that they can easily find the information they are looking for on your website. In fact, according to a Komarketing study, 46% of B2B buyers would leave a website due to a lack of clear messaging. So content marketing is an excellent strategy to ensure a good customer experience.
It is therefore important to work on the information available: offer informative content on your products, technical information, user guides or customised content according to the sector. The objective of this content strategy is to succeed in offering content that will arouse the buyer's interest and allow you to stand out from the others.
So, as a B2B seller, if you're going to sell online, you need to consider the user experience and make the customer journey as simple as possible to make the visit to your site as pleasant and efficient as possible.