The B2B eCommerce market is thriving. By B2B, this means that the seller-company caters to other businesses as their clientele. This is in stark contrast to the usual B2C company, whereby the clients are mere individuals. In B2B marketing, because you’re dealing with businesses as your customers, all the more that there’s the challenge to make your campaigns even better; it’s harder to please other businesses as clients. If you want to grow in this industry, building a great store and offering quality products is sometimes simply not enough.
Just like every online business, your B2B eCommerce company cannot succeed without a solid growth strategy. On top of that, this issue gets even more complex due to the fact that B2B companies are quite numerous and diverse. These businesses, as clients, know precisely what it is that they want, and are looking for. So, there’s so much for you at stake to please these difficult client base.
In order to craft your winning strategy, make sure to take a look below at some proven ways to get out there, and start building a name for yourself.
Building your brand
The B2B industry is an industry where customers look for reliability and trust. Of course, they also consider a few other things such as price, but brand reputation has always been an important factor when it comes to buyers’ preferences. These clients are buying in wholesale, so all the more that they’re picky with the brand that they trust. They’re always after those brands with an excellent reputation. For starters, therefore, brand reputation should be your topmost pursuit as you come up with B2B marketing strategies.
According to a report, a number of B2B customers believe that the brand is a central element of a supplier’s proposition. It is believed that a company’s brand may constitute as much as 20% of the influence on a potential customer.
Obviously, branding is quite important and that’s why building a recognizable brand needs to be one of your top priorities. This is vital if you want to attract new customers but also retain your current ones. In attracting new customers, many of these businesses may ask for referrals from other businesses as well, so your goal here is to ensure that you please them, so that your name makes it on their list of referrals.
In addition, your brand needs to be supported by your company’s effectiveness and quality. That is, you have to develop a brand through various types of marketing and partnerships. Also, it would be wise to look into some events that are popular in the industry and be present there, since that is a great way to let people learn about you. Make yourself known in the business niche that you belong to. Better yet, during these events, bring introductory samples of your products. This gives you that edge against other business as you scramble on to gain clients.
Once you have a strong B2B eCommerce brand, you will:
- Stand out from the rest
- Have better conversion rates
- Get more media coverage
- Gain more business clients
- Close more sales
- Have a better return on investment
Value comes first
In order to grow, you have to do everything you can to have a great relationship with your customers. One way to do that is to emphasize value rather than price.
Your relationship with customers should not end after the sale is made. Instead, you have to add value to your customers and partners, and this value has to extend beyond the price that was agreed on in the contract.
You need to appeal to the heart if you want a stronger relationship. That is, you shouldn’t focus on the price but on your products’ features. The benefits they provide are what matters the most to the customer.
No one is saying that the price of your products is not important, but customers won’t care that much about it. Instead, they will care whether or not you and your business can help them generate more revenue or reduce their expenses.
Whenever you interact with customers, you should stop and listen, and discuss ways to continue delivering value outside of the price you are proposing. If you are not so sure whether this is a smart choice, take a look at some benefits that you will enjoy.
- Your customers will see you as an advisor, a trustworthy authority that can find new ways to solve their problems.
- When you have tangible business benefits, you protect your margins. The more benefits, the better the outcome, since no one can claim that good service isn’t worth good money.
- If you manage to deliver great service on a regular basis, you won’t have to worry about contract renewals. There will be no need to convince customers why they should continue doing business with you. Instead, they will only want to know where they should sign the paper.
Creating your perfect marketing strategy
It’s common knowledge that no online business can advance without a marketing strategy. And considering that a great deal of B2B buyers is willing to access product information and make a purchase online, marketing really is of the utmost importance nowadays.
Fortunately, there are dozens of tools that you can use to attract new customers, boost loyalty, and maximize customer retention. Take a look at some essential tactics and find out how you should use them to create your own perfect marketing strategy.
Email marketing is still a great marketing tool if used correctly. It’s versatile and it should absolutely be a part of your marketing strategy. On top of that, email marketing still provides great bang for your buck. And there are numbers to prove that.
When you promote your B2B eCommerce website through email marketing, you can actually automate communication with your customers at every touchpoint. To be precise, you can automatically send welcome emails, contact people on their special days, and even remind customers of abandoned carts.
So, the bottom line is that the integration of your B2B eCommerce platform with a solid email marketing tool can really do wonders. In terms of ROI and in general, this is something you shouldn’t miss out on.
SMS marketing is still fairly new across all industries. When you also consider the fact that people generally like SMS messages better than other forms of communication, you can see that this kind of marketing is worth taking a look at.
Through these messages, you can have a global reach and you can rest assured that your messages will be received.
However, you should also know that with great power comes great responsibility. You just need to make sure that you receive consent from your customers. Unsolicited messages can cost you a lot, so you have to play by the rules.
And, if this wasn’t enough to convince you how beneficial using SMS API services can be for your business, you should know that competition, in this case, is still not fierce. As a matter of fact, not many entrepreneurs have an SMS marketing strategy, and that can only be an advantage for you.
Inbound and content marketing
A huge mistake some entrepreneurs make is thinking that content marketing starts only when they hire a professional to do it for them. Needless to say, that is certainly not the case.
This kind of marketing starts as early as when you’re producing high-quality product descriptions and overviews. This plays an important role in your website’s ranking. In addition to that, it also allows your potential buyers to make informed purchasing decisions.
Well-crafted content is quite important for shoppers and even more so for B2B buyers. Of course, there are other inbound marketing channels that should be a part of your perfect marketing strategy.
- Blog – a terrific way to boost your website rankings on Google and improve your brand awareness.
- Premium content – webinars, podcasts, presentations, and whitepapers available for subscribed customers.
- PPC – a great tool to utilize along with other content activities with the aim to improve the effectiveness of your inbound efforts.
Getting personal with your top customers
Being personal and contacting your top customers every once in a while to check on them should be a common practice in your company.
Your top 10 or 20 customers probably make up the bulk of your sales every year. And even if you are quite sure that they love your business and that they are loyal to your brand, you will want to go the extra step and contact them to ask how they are doing.
You could also arrange a meeting in person to discuss whether they are satisfied with your products and services, and how they are doing in general.
If you are not so sure what you should talk about, below are some of the topics that will probably come in handy in case you opt for a meeting.
- Checking if your customer has found everything they needed on your website.
- Soliciting feedback on how the layout or sales process can be improved.
- Reviewing their previous purchases to search for additional complimentary
items to go with their current order.
Treating your customers in a personal manner is great for your business’s reputation and you will see that they will reward this practice.
Bonus tip – offer a starter pack for new customers
Customers want to see your items at trade shows, right? But, they also want to use your products in their own workplace to see what they’re like. Even if you sell your products in bulk, make sure that you also have single options on your website. Another thing you could do is send your customers free samples if you’re unable to offer small batches of your products.
The goal, in this case, is to allow customers to decide whether they really want your products and reduce the risk of making a poor bulk purchase. Although this is an added expense on your part, there’s really no better way to win the hearts of these business clients than for you to prove that it is, in fact, a good idea to purchase in bulk from you, and not from any other business.
B2B marketing is more complicated than any other type of marketing simply because you’re dealing with big-time businesses as your clients. Because these clients are entrepreneurs buying in bulk or wholesale, there’s so much at stake for you to please them. Else, one wrong move and you’re going to lose a potentially large deal; it’s a make or break situation.
Thankfully, these tips can help you have that start in your marketing campaign. In doing so, reaching these B2B clients are now easier than ever.