In our last blog, we explored how traditional manufacturing distribution channels have been disrupted by new B2B ecommerce trends. As part of this trend, buyer expectations have also changed irreversibly.
Power now firmly lays in the hands of buyers. Customers expect full transparency, almost endless levels of product choice, and rapid, guaranteed delivery. Producers and distributors who are new to the e-commerce game must get on board with the buyer-centric mindset in order to keep a competitive edge.
We’ve pulled together our top tips on how to start building your online presence and meet the expectations of your buyers.
Make sure your listings are comprehensive
These days, buyers expect to have a wealth of information at their fingertips to guide their procurement choices. It’s vital that all of your product listings are up to date, and contain high-resolution images with full product specifications.
Your listings might also include “How-to” guides, CAD drawings, 3D images, a 360-degree view of products, explainer videos, and even instructional videos to really make sure your buyers have all the information they need to understand the product.
Don’t forget to spend some time on your business profile too – it’s a great way to showcase your company and link out to further channels and social platforms. And remember, product descriptions and content should be consistent across all platforms.
Focus on social proof & peer reviews
The dreaded one-star review is feared across all e-commerce verticals, and B2B manufacturing is no different. Don’t let all the hard work you’ve put into your listings go to waste with poor ratings.
Building and maintaining a strong product rating and a healthy list of customer reviews will help to give your product the social proof needed to increase sales. If your team is struggling to keep up with replying to the onslaught of incoming feedback, it may be a good idea to deploy a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tool.
RPA tools can automatically and appropriately respond to each review, whether positive or negative, in real-time. Engaging with your customers in this way will keep them engaged and feeling valued, as well as mitigate the effects of bad reviews by resolving any problems they may have had. In fact, 97% of consumers that read reviews also read businesses’ responses to reviews, making it more important than ever to ensure they see you promptly and professionally responding to that feedback.
It’s also helpful to work with trusted customers to help build up your rankings by incentivizing honest reviews. Though remember – this will only work on your own webstore, and is not a sustainable strategy on big marketplaces like Amazon.
Deliver on time and to order, always!
By participating on platforms such as Amazon Business, buyers place a substantial amount of trust on their orders arriving on time and to-spec. With such a range of options available to sellers through the platform, it’s important to choose wisely to meet customer expectations.
Sellers that opt to leverage Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) delegate this responsibility: Products are stored in Amazon distribution centers, which take care of packing and shipping for you. Same-day, next-day and two-day delivery options are available to buyers, so make sure each product listing reflects the correct delivery standard.
In addition, it pays to keep an eye out for new features that are being brought onto the platform, such as the Smart Dash Shelf. Keep up to speed with these changes to help meet the needs of your buyers and beat the competition.
Switching to a buyer-centric mindset should be at the heart of your new e-commerce strategy, and these tips can help get your business profile up and running.
Still not sure where to start? Contact our team today. We can help you explore more ways to meet the expectations of your buyers and jump start your growth. #HustleUp!