All eCommerce businesses face some challenges sooner or later. However, merchants are not the only ones who experience difficulties in the sales process, B2B buyers are also vulnerable as they entrust stores huge sums of money and personal information. Furthermore, shoppers also have to deal with B2B sales challenges as a part of the purchasing process, and the goal of any merchant is to minimize those challenges and streamline the purchasing process beneficial for both merchants and shoppers.
In this article, we’re going to identify the main challenges B2B customers may face and the way to solve them. But before we talk about the challenges, let's try to figure out who the modern B2B customers are.
Who are the B2B customers?
B2B customers are those customers who sell products and services to other companies. Although B2B customer service differs from B2C customer service, the latest tendency shows that more and more businesses adopt the experience from B2C and start exploring the eCommerce sphere.
In 2022, the number of online orders from B2B buyers grew by 65%. So selling on the B2B market is a fruitful business. However, these businesses should be ready to fulfill the highest expectations and demanding buyers. Large investments, large demands. B2B customers expect fast page loading, intuitive navigation, responsive sales representatives and support, comprehensible content with the highest quality illustrations and a lot of additional materials, quick checkout, etc.
So the main challenge of any B2B business is to provide customers with the highest quality service and make their purchasing process as efficient and seamless as possible.
But what are those components of the successful B2B store, which have a major impact on sales? Nothing can reveal the areas for improvements better than a detailed analysis of drawbacks or, in our case, challenges making B2B customers abandon your store and go to the competitor.
B2B sales challenges from customer’s perspective
1. B2B relationships and trust
As mentioned above, B2B buyers have to be more responsible and careful than B2C ones, mostly because of the huge sums of money they spend and the specific nature of B2B, which means the products customers purchase will have an impact on their business as well. Thereby, almost 85% of B2B buyers would prefer to purchase from familiar suppliers they have good relationships with than any other businesses, even if they offer more favorable prices or service.
Establish strong connection with customers
To attract more shoppers and build a strong connection with them, you should offer an exceptional service and a wide range of benefits for shoppers:
- Improve navigation and reduce unnecessary distractions by creating private catalogs for each customer group. Set unique pricing per customer segment and offer only necessary options to improve customer experience.
- Support efficient negotiations by allowing customers to ask for quotes while browsing the catalog and ordering desired products.
- Enhance customer retention by offering reward points. Allow companies to collect reward points for the purchases made by company users with the Magento 2 Company Accounts module. Attach coupon codes to emails using custom variables and drive customers to purchase more with maximum benefit.
2. Security concerns
If customers have any security concerns about the store, they won’t buy anything there. B2B buyers have to share a lot of private information with the store, including payment details, names and contact information, etc. The system vulnerability in this situation is unforgivable, that’s why it’s so important to maintain the website's health and security, apply all security patches and necessary version updates of the platform and modules on time. If you want to focus only on sales, make use of maintenance services, where professional Magento 2 developers take care of your store's health and performance. Moreover, the service gives you access to the whole catalog of Aheadworks extensions for no additional charge.
3. Poor product awareness
Poor awareness brings more questions and doubts. The less shoppers know about your products, the less confident they will be in the purchase. It’s a simple rule, however a lot of merchants miss an opportunity to educate their customers about their products and then have to deal with dissatisfaction and an avalanche of questions.
Supply customers with all necessary information
Provide buyers with additional information about the product via different channels:
- Give shoppers the information they ask for in the FAQ section.
- Create blog posts to educate shoppers about your products in more detail and drive more traffic to your store.
- Attach any number of downloadable files to your product and offer them for free to increase customer awareness about product worth and quality.
- Establish an ordered system of notifications on your store, send descriptive newsletters with the appealing layout and important information included.
4. Long and complex B2B buying process
B2B buying process includes additional complexities to consider compared to B2C one: more decision makers involved, more complex deals, bulk orders, specific terms, etc. The task of the store admin is to simplify this process and make it as seamless as possible.
Help customers throughout the whole buying process
By taking part in the buying process you not only assist your buyers in decision-making, but also establish long-term relationships with them:
- Streamline the B2B bulk orders by allowing shoppers to add products by SKUs to cart.
- Allow customers to reorder previously purchased products with ease.
- Enable one step checkout to speed up the purchasing process.
- Assign sales representatives to customers to assist them even if they are not ready to purchase yet.
- Solve any challenges your shoppers face by providing high-level support. Organize a ticket management system for your support team with the smart help desk and turn users into loyal customers.
5. Lack of options
B2B businesses should be ready to satisfy any whim of their customers, so lack of desired payment option, shipping method, organized return and refund policy, etc. can cause customers to leave your store and never return again.
Provide multiple options so shoppers find some on their taste
Multiple payment and shipping methods can help you win new customers and keep the existing ones satisfied:
- Offer multiple payment methods or specify a payment method for each customer group.
- Offer multiple shipping methods or specify a shipping method for each customer group.
- Allow customers to pay with gift cards and reward points.
- Provide credit to the trusted customers to cultivate their loyalty.
- Arrange a smart return management system to establish trustful relationships with your customers.
As you can see, to build and maintain an effective B2B store, you have a lot to care about: starting from hosting, platform version upgrades and security patches implementation to minor features available only with additional modules. Check out Aheadworks extensions catalog or get free access to the whole Aheadworks catalog and professional support with maintenance services.