FAQs are essential to any good web store, but there are a number of order- and client-specific questions that you simply can’t answer ahead of time.
These questions and their answers are vital to carrying your client through the order process, and handling them correctly could make or break the purchase.
We’re looking at 5 common questions B2B clients struggle with when making online purchases, and how an excellent web store environment can help you answer them before they’re asked.
How much will shipping cost?
If you use an international courier like FedEx or UPS, you’ll typically be required to provide the weight and dimensions of the parcel in order to calculate the shipping costs. This information can be defined in your ERP, but it needs to be available in your web store as well if you want to be able to provide your clients with accurate shipping pricing in real time.
When your web store is integrated with your ERP, that’s no problem. Not only does an integrated web store pull information about product weight and dimensions directly from your ERP, it also adds everything up in your shopping cart to provide your clients with an accurate, real-time indication of their shipping costs.
Bonus: This offers great added benefit for your internal agents, as they won’t be required to weigh every product before handing the shipment off to the courier. This also allows them to create shipping labels based on the information provided on the packing slip, which speeds up the packing process in your warehouse.
Are there other related products I need to buy?
Depending on what you sell, orders might get quite complex. If you’re a parts supplier, for instance, your clients may want to purchase the tools in addition to the parts they’re purchasing, or they may need additional minor parts that go with the main product (nuts, bolts, tubes, etc). If you sell electronics, on the other hand, your clients may want to purchase chargers or cases in addition to the devices they’re ordering.
An integrated web store offers a shortcut to optimizing this cross-selling process. Instead of asking your client to take the initiative to find related items, you can simply fill in related products in the admin and they’ll be displayed automatically on the parent product page and in your client’s shopping cart.
Bonus: When you take advantage of cross-selling opportunities in your web store environment, you help your clients by ensuring their purchase is complete, and you help your business by making more sales.
Particularly in the B2B world, clients often make (nearly) the same purchases time after time. They know what they need, how much they need, and it doesn’t change often.
That’s why order history functionality is such an important tool to offer your clients. This gives them insight to previous orders (great if a business has multiple purchasers) and allows them to reorder a past order.
And what do I want to order next time?
Order templates are an excellent tool that will help your clients make the very best use of their time. If your client consistently places the same order (or orders that only vary slightly) they can simply pull up the order template, make any minor adjustments as needed, and place their order.
Order templates are created once and then are always at the ready.
Bonus: Simplifying the order process is of course fantastic for your clients, but it’s good for your back-office team as well. The more your empower your clients to take advantage of all the self-service opportunities in your web store, the less time your employees are spending on admin and the more time they’re spending assisting with complex issues and making sales.
Which billing and shipping address should I use?
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s the small stuff that adds up to make an excellent customer experience. Why make your clients re-enter their shipping details time after time when you can store multiple addresses in your ERP and make them available to your clients in your web store?
In the B2B sector, it’s quite common for clients to have multiple billing and shipping addresses — enough so that browsing through them to find the correct ones can cost your client valuable time. An integrated web store, however, will automatically select the billing and shipping address that is most likely to be used, based on past and frequent orders.
Bonus: New clients will still need to enter their shipping addresses the first time they want to use them. A good e-commerce solution will offer postal code check functionality to help ensure there are no manual entry mistakes in the address. This is a useful feature for your client, but it’s also helpful for your back-office team, as it reduces the likelihood of incorrect addresses on parcels and the extra (and unnecessary) admin that goes along with that.
Have other buyers liked this product?
Especially when making a first-time purchase, your clients want to be sure they’re choosing the best product with the best price. In a time when the omnichannel experience reigns supreme, buyers are using a myriad of sources to acquire the information they need to make smart purchases.
Offering product reviews in your web store reduces the number of steps your clients need to take before placing their order. Giving your clients an accessible online environment where they can research products and place their orders is offering a true high-quality customer experience.
Bonus: Providing your clients with all the product information they directly in your web store has the added bonus of reducing the number of product-related calls and emails coming in to your customer care department.
These are just a few of the ways that integrated e-commerce can help you stay a step ahead of your clients and offer them the customer experience they want and deserve. Download our free white paper to learn more about the many benefits of integration.
26 April, 2017