Top 10 Must-Haves for an Amazing B2B eCommerce Website
The B2B phenomenon is getting bigger as more merchants move to the online space.
B2B companies are looking for automated, web-based solutions to increase efficiency while decreasing their costs. To be competitive in the space, it’s important that your B2B eCommerce website isn’t just good, but out of this world. B2B website best practices are essential information.
From optimizing site speed to writing engaging content, here are the top 10 must-haves to create a stand-out eCommerce website that maximizes your profits.
In this guide to B2B website best practices, you’ll learn
- Make it Mobile Ready
- Protect Your Customers With SSL
- Protect Yourself from GDPR Violations
- Update Your Shipping Capabilities
- Fast Image Loading for SEO
- Make Your Web Content Actionable and Engaging
- Customize for More Control
- Implement Advanced B2B eCommerce Analytics
- Personalization is Key for eCommerce Websites
- Include Bulk Order Options and Discounts
- Do You Have Everything You Need to Have an Amazing B2B Commerce Site?
- Frequently Asked Questions about B2B website best practices
1. Make it Mobile Ready
With more than half of web traffic coming from mobile devices, Google is going mobile-first and this ranks as one of the most important B2B website best practices. Your site better be mobile-ready if you want to show up in the search engines – but that’s not the only benefit.
A bigger consideration is how your prospects want to place their orders. Consider their ordering experience and how you can improve it.
Imagine your client is a restaurant making a food order. The old-school way to “order a truck” would be to go around with a sheet of paper to take inventory first. Then, take that piece of paper to the office computer to manually calculate what is needed. Only then is the actual order made.
That’s a lot of moving data around. It takes more time and leaves a lot of room for user error.
The new way? Your iPad-ready eCommerce solution compiles the data once on a single device. This saves on labor hours and reduces input error.
Now, take this example and think of it in the context of your clients – no matter what industry. Their process is undergoing a similar industry-wide revolution, so it's important to stay ahead.
The truth is that making your B2B eCommerce website design mobile-friendly isn’t just the smart thing to do. It’s a unique selling proposition. There are also things you can do to increase your mobile conversion rate. This way, you’re fully prepared to hit the ground running in the mobile space.
PWA studio is just one way to improve mobile shopping experiences. This software, with some customization from your developer, enables you to create rich, engaging experiences that aim to boost conversion rates and increase engagement.
2. Protect Your Customers with SSL
An SSL certificate, in short, means no one can intercept your customers’ sensitive information. When you go to a website and their URL says “https://” instead of “http://” that means it’s secured by SSL.
Smart customers know to look for these things. They may even get a glaring warning when they come to your site saying that they are not protected. They’ll be turned off by an insecure merchant platform or may not be able to access your site at all. Imagine the sales you’re losing.
Having SSL is also important for SEO. Google cares about whether users are protected while accessing your site. For this reason, you’ll need to submit two sitemaps to Google Webmaster Tools: one for the “Http://” version of your site and one for the “Https://” version. This confirms to Google that your site is secure and available to be indexed.
3. Protect Yourself from GDPR Violations
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a big deal for merchants targeting the European Union (EU). In May of 2018, it changed the game regarding privacy and transparency. Primarily, it’s important for your customers to know exactly what you plan to do with their information – without having to look for it.
It can be complicated, but in this article, we cover the three actions you can take to protect your business from GDPR violations.
4. Update Your Shipping Capabilities
Faulty shipping is one of the primary culprits of revenue loss and client turnover in business-to-business eCommerce.
This isn’t just a back-end ordeal, either. Shipping issues start before the order is even made.
Some of the top reasons B2B consumers abandon their cart (or a merchant altogether) are:
- Unexpected delivery charges
- Checkout process takes too long or is complicated (usually due to complicated shipping)
- No expedited options (you don’t want shipping to take any more than a week, especially for B2B customers)
- Shipping costs are too expensive
- Too many broken or damaged items upon delivery
- If your customers aren’t getting simple, speedy, consistent and reliable shipping services, it’s going to impact your business. The more automated and intuitive the shipping process is, the better.
This is why Adobe Commerce, powered by Magento specifically helps you optimize not just your eCommerce website, but your shipping process too. Here are some of our shipping support benefits:
- Automated order fulfillment from multiple locations
- Advanced carrier selection so you can reduce rates and maintain quality
- Options that drive conversion through shipping satisfaction
- Fast, scalable, and reliable shipping platform powered through Temando
5. Fast Image Loading for SEO
Image load speeds are important in general, but for image-heavy commerce websites, this is critical for your business.
Fast image load time is important for two reasons:
- Your customers are busy and need to move quickly. If you slow down their ordering process, they will abandon their cart.
- The faster your images load, the faster your site loads. Search engines like this.
The smaller your image file size, the faster it will upload. The trick is reducing the file size while maintaining quality. It all starts with how you save the photo. You can use Photoshop to choose the “Save for Web” option, then select .jpg at an 80 image quality for a standard web-quality compression. If this process seems complicated, ask a graphic designer or web developer for help.
You can often find plugins, such as WP Smush, to help compress the image while it uploads to your site. Looking to optimize your images? There are plenty of options in Adobe Commerce Marketplace for you to choose from.
6. Make Your Web Content Actionable and Engaging
From the home page to product descriptions to your blog (if you have one), keeping your customers engaged is key. In order to do so, you want to speak to their specific needs and pain points while offering the perfect solutions.
Your site should also incorporate the tone-of-voice you want your brand to have. Think of your content as your side of a conversation.
- How do your customers like to be spoken to?
- What tone do they respond well to?
- Will they appreciate humor and what answers are they looking for?
Things like this seem small, but they actually help drive conversions on your website, as a case study of some of the top B2B e-commerce brands shows. Engaging content builds brand loyalty. Actionable content drives your customers to make the order.
Best Practices for Writing Engaging Web Content
Most B2B eCommerce websites are still lacking in quality content. This a great opportunity for your business to stand out. Here are some specific tips that will help:
- On your homepage, make sure to point out your USP (Unique Selling Proposition). What’s different about your eCommerce site that your competitors are lacking? Put this front and center.
- Give clear and concise direction so your visitors aren’t confused about how to order from you or what they’re getting for their buck.
- Use tools like Grammarly and The Hemingway App to improve readability.
- Speak your customer’s language. If they call it “pop” instead of “soda,” so should you.
- Bring personality to the table for brand loyalty and true customer connection
- Remember: At the end of the day, your customers are people. Even if they’re representing a business, they still think and feel the way people do.
These guidelines will help but remember to test and refine as you go. Tweaking things like headlines, CTA copy, and product descriptions will have a huge impact on your conversion rate. It’s also a great idea to invest in a great copywriter to help make your words sing.
Keep in mind that your website isn’t the only place you’ll want to house excellent content. You’ll need a winning content strategy for those other areas your customers live online, and stay consistent throughout.
7. Customize for More Control
Your business is unique, and your eCommerce website design will reflect that. You’ll need to personalize it for your process and your customers’ needs.
The more control you have, the better. Going Open Source with your B2B eCommerce business helps you gain that control. With it, you get a fully customizable base platform to work with. As you build, you’ll have access to a wide range of resources.
How Open Source helps, in a nutshell:
- Extensions: In Adobe Commerce Marketplace you’ll find trusted extensions and add-ons for various areas of your business.
- Community: The #1 reason for choosing any open source software is the huge, dedicated community ready to help one another. Adobe Commerce is no different. In addition to the almost endless customization options, you also get a community of developers and merchants ready to support you along the way.
- Certified Professionals: Our community isn’t just made up of your average individuals with basic Adobe Commerce knowledge. You’ll also have high-level access from Adobe Commerce Certified Professionals. They’re trained to help perfect your platform – or you can even become certified yourself.
- Specialized B2B Analytics: Running a B2B e-commerce website means you’ll need a special analytics setup. With Business Intelligence, every Open Source member gets high-level B2B support.
Running a high-level B2B eCommerce platform means you’ll be dealing with bigger budgets and doing bigger business. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for this. Open Source is the way to run an amazing B2B e-commerce website because it grows with you and fits your every need.
8. Implement Advanced B2B eCommerce Analytics
B2B eCommerce is very different to B2C. A B2C site needs to track macro metrics like average cart value. But business-to-business sites require a much more personalized solution.
This is because each one of your customers is unique – even if they’re ordering the same products. They’ll have their own special contracts with you, shipping needs, and inventory concerns. So, they’ll need personalized solutions, which means you’ll need to keep up with individual KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
It’s important to have a business analytics solution that allows you to tailor your KPI tracking to each customer. You want to be able to track by individual catalogs, actions, and contracts. Each lead you take on could be a high-ticket repeat customer, so you should also keep up with your sales reps and negotiations. All of this (and more) is available via Business Intelligence.
9. Personalization is Key for eCommerce Websites
It's important to have a highly customized back-end – and it’s equally important for your customers to have a personalized front-end experience. With such unique preferences and contracts, you’ll want to present visitors with tailored catalogs and ordering options.
Forbes’s Denis Kostusev mentions four points of focus when personalizing your platform:
- Craft a buyer persona (also known as an Ideal Client Avatar) for your brand so you’ll have a clear vision of what they want.
- Keep your brand and communication channels consistent on all platforms and at each step of the buying journey.
- Start small (to make it easier to measure), then measure everything.
- Move up the ranks both on and offline. You’ll know when you’re winning because you’ll receive more SEO traffic and referral business.
In summary, the happier your customers, the more money you’ll make, and the faster your business will grow.
10. Include Bulk Order Options and Discounts
When it comes to your B2B site, you should consider your volume of orders.
There are two specific things you need as B2B website features that you may not on a B2C site:
1. Minimum Order Quantity
Minimum order quantities help you weed out bargain shoppers and move inventory more quickly.
When you’re in B2B eCommerce, that means you’re going to have a large supply of goods to sell on a day-to-day basis. You’ll want to test and discover what some solid minimum order quantities are based on your ideal customers and ROI.
2. Bulk Order Discounts
Bulk Order Discounts keep you competitive and keep your customers coming back for more. They also help you get rid of perishables and make room for new and updated products.
Generally speaking, you’ll offer a discount on larger quantities ordered. So, if your customer was originally going to only order a batch of 10 of a product (at full price) but there’s a discount on 20, it moves the needle as many of those customers will buy the savings.
This is a standard practice in the wholesale business, though you can also run discounts strategically based on expiration dates and product updates.
Do You Have Everything You Need to Have an Amazing B2B Commerce site?
If you’re ready to make waves in the B2B eCommerce space, you need a website that puts your best foot forward. This post has revealed the ten must-have keys for taking your business to the next level. Grow your presence online and reap the rewards. Get started with Adobe Commerce eCommerce business tools today.
Frequently asked questions about B2B website best practices
Can SSL certificates be hacked?
It is technically possible to hack SSL certificates, but also very unlikely. The 256-bit encryption and use of keys makes reading data unreadable and would take an incredibly advanced computer an unknown, extremely long, amount of time to decode.
Which image format loads fastest?
There are a number of different image file formats you can use on your B2B site, including:
- JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
- PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
- BMP (Bitmap)
- TIFF (Tag Image File Format)
Of these four, JPEG and PNG can be compressed, and JPEGs are usually quicker.
Can US companies ignore GDPR?
American companies with an online presence that sell to EU citizens and ship to EU countries from the US must comply with GDPR over the data they collect. Failure to follow the laws risks enforcement action and potentially large fines.
Learn More About B2B eCommerce Websites.