B2B eCommerce in a Time of Pandemic and Beyond: Are You Engaging?

In last week’s blog post, we covered the importance of listening to your customers. Here’s a link to read that if you missed it. This week, we’ll be covering tips on how to engage with customers in a way that’s not only beneficial for your customer relationships, but also for your business. The following are ideal ways to engage with your potential and current customers:

Assortment – Once you have a solid understanding of what customers are purchasing and not purchasing, evaluating your product assortment is important. A site that sold consumables and parts before the pandemic, may also be a great place to try selling assembled goods. This is a great time to test selling different types of products since salespeople may be challenged to access customers.

Quoting If your website has analytics enabled, you may have noticed an increase in traffic from new customers who may be looking for suppliers to replace those who do not have a digital channel. This is a great opportunity to enable request for quote (RFQ) capability to generate new leads.

RFQ can be implemented in many ways. The simplest approach enables a web form that, when completed, is routed via email to your sales team. You can also embed forms from your marketing automation system or CRM to automatically create a lead for your sales team. In the most advanced case, platforms such as Oracle Commerce Cloud and Oracle CPQ enable customers to fill a cart and request a quote that automatically routes to the sales team (as well as other required departments like engineering or the pricing team) to efficiently determine a quote price.

Product Data and Search Tuning – Many manufacturers stand up an eCommerce site, and never revisit the importance of product data. Customers who have experience purchasing online will feel confident in buying decisions with sparse product data, but those who are engaging in a new buying channel require more information than many companies are able to provide through their eCommerce channel because of limited product data.

Some areas to focus on to improve customer engagement:

  • Ensure your catalog taxonomy (or category structure) is intuitive and navigable. You can check click paths in analytics or record user sessions in Hotjar to see how customers are navigating your catalog.
  • Validate products are well attributed with enough information to give a buyer confidence they have found the correct product. Part numbers are not enough!
  • Use search analytics. Check for zero search result terms that may indicate problems in search or give you clues that customers are trying to buy something not currently in your assortment.
  • Add media to products. Product images are important to inspire confidence in a purchase, even when product data is complete and accurate.

Sample of Hotjar results.

If you are struggling with maintenance of product data, it may be time to consider implementing a Product Information Management (PIM) system. Pierce Washington can assist with services in these areas from analysis of analytics to product catalog enrichment services.

Please reach out to me directly if you have any questions or want to discuss any of these topics in more detail.

Austin Lowry
email: austin.lowry@piercewashington.com
phone: 901.848.6015

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