Your B2B Ecommerce Platform Needs to Provide More Than Just Purchasing Capabilities
Succeeding at B2B commerce takes more than an attractive website. Companies need to create sites that engage business customers, maximise their buying efforts and save them time. A B2B ecommerce platform should not only provide an online web store, but also deliver to your customers password-protected, self-service capabilities to manage all aspects of their business relationship. Three key areas of a supplier's relationship with their buyers that you should make sure your B2B ecommerce platform supports are purchasing, billing and support.
Make Purchasing Online as Easy as Possible
Moving your business online can streamline the purchasing process but your customers still expect the same pricing and discounts they've traditionally received when doing business direct with their sales reps. And unlike consumer purchasing, B2B buyers are purchasing in bulk and repeatedly reorder the same items. Make sure your B2B ecommerce platform provides:
- Pricing, Terms and Credit Limits: Offer the same tailored pricing, terms and credit limits to your buyers online that they receive offline. You can also set different pricing levels for the same item for different customers and offer channel or volume discounts. In addition, you can require visitors to log in before viewing pricing information.
- Product Lists: Allow customers to quickly create custom lists of favourite or frequently purchased items to expedite recurring purchases. Customers can purchase individual items from their lists or add an entire list of saved items to a shopping cart with just one click for quick, bulk ordering.
- Quick Order: Easily reorder items from past purchases or add products to the cart by SKU.
- Quoting: Streamline the quoting process. Allow buyers to submit a Request for Quote on your website. A company representative can revise the quote if needed. The buyer can then convert the quote to an online order.
- Private Sites: Protect your site by requiring buyers to log in to gain access or see pricing.
Automate and Expedite the Billing Process
You can automate and expedite your billing process by giving your customers the ability to review and manage payments online. Providing these self-service capabilities, not only saves time and resources for your company, but also empowers your buyers by allowing them to manage their account anytime, anywhere. Providing these online capabilities on your B2B ecommerce platform will show your customers you value their time:
- View Account Balances: View summaries of outstanding and available balances, deposits, credit memos and the terms associated with accounts.
- Review Invoices and Make Payments: Examine all invoices, and if account terms exist, easily make full or partial payments against single or multiple invoices.
- Use Multiple Payment Methods: Provide B2B payment methods such as invoice billing, credit limits and ACH processing.
Make It Easy for Customers to Get Help
Offer solutions for self-service support to your customers, while empowering your team to meet customer needs with detailed case management, efficient returns and tracking for field services. These features on your B2B ecommerce platform will provide efficient support that will help grow customer satisfaction:
- Returns: Enable self-service returns management so shoppers can initiate an online return authorisation.
- Case Management: Improve engagement and client satisfaction by enabling customers to submit questions or support queries direct to your support desk.
- Order History: Give customers complete access to their order history and details related to each order, including shipping, billing and payment information. Easily reorder items from past purchases.
- Order Status: Provide tracking links for buyers to track their orders.
If you launched a website to support your B2B customers years ago, you must move beyond first and second-generation technology and innovate the buying experience to support your customers' rapidly changing expectations. Many organisations have found a unified, cloud-based ecommerce platform can provide the agility and flexibility needed to keep pace with business. Learn more about NetSuite's cloud-based B2B ecommerce platform and how it delivers online capabilities to support all aspects of your business relationship that you have with your customers.