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3 Steps for an Effective B2B Digital Commerce Website Experience

By Rick LaFond | October 21, 2021 | 0 Comments

MarketingCustomer Acquisition and RetentionDigital Marketing Strategy and Execution

B2B marketing leaders indicate that digital commerce is a critical go-to-market channel for the future performance of their business. In fact, 71% of B2B CMOs expect to increase total marketing expense budget allocated to digital commerce in the next fiscal year, according to Gartner’s 2021 CMO Spend Survey.

One of marketing’s primary responsibilities in advancing their organization’s digital commerce maturity is to align strategy and execution to the needs, behaviors and preferences of B2B buyers. This is especially important given that 43% of B2B customers (including 54% of millennials) say they prefer a rep-free sales experience, according to Gartner’s 2021 Digital Buying Survey.

A good digital commerce strategy touches a range of marketing channels, such as advertising, search, social marketing and email. However, as a marketing leader, you should first and foremost prioritize your website. You can design a digital commerce website experience that addresses the complex nature of B2B buying by following the three steps outlined below.

Step 1: Enable Efficient Product Discovery

When a B2B customer arrives at your website they need clear direction as to how to begin their search for the most relevant product(s). A good B2B digital commerce website maintains a clear navigation menu that enables customers to easily identify the most relevant portions of your site. An effective navigation menu experience offers categories and language that align to how customers would logically think about or group your products and content.

You can also enable efficient product discovery through a good on-site search experience. At a minimum, follow good tagging hygiene such that search results yield the most relevant content. Auto-suggest/ auto-complete functionality can accelerate the search experience.

Step 2: Own Merchandising Best Practices to Simplify Product Evaluation

Product evaluation can be an incredibly arduous process for B2B buyers due to factors like product complexity, input from multiple buying group stakeholders, and even a sense of information overload. As such, your website needs to help customers evaluate your solutions more confidently.

Develop content-rich product pages that not only help customers learn about your products but also help them understand if/how those products address their primary needs and use cases. Examples of helpful product page content include product images and videos, product FAQs, specs charts, case studies and guided selling tools.

Step 3: Set Up the Next Step for Purchase

After evaluating products and reaching a decision point, customers should be able to easily identify an actionable next step for purchase. A dead-end site experience is unacceptable. Present customers with easily accessible, sales-oriented calls to action (CTAs). Good CTAs use intuitive and compelling language, and they’re featured in prominent locations (such as the top of a product page).

Allow users to choose the most relevant sales channel. Different sales channels (e.g., online direct, offline direct, offline indirect) offer value to customers in different ways. Present your customers with multiple options, based on the realities of your go-to-market model and the preferences of your customers.

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Stay tuned for the key findings from Gartner’s 2021 Digital Commerce Survey, which be available to Gartner clients in November. You can use these findings to understand the top marketing trends around digital commerce, as well as to improve your organization’s maturity and performance.

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