What defines a successful B2B e-commerce website in 2019? We’ve worked it out for you and put together a list of 8 successful examples of B2B e-commerce to inspire your own web store.
The following examples are all web stores of Sana Commerce customers, who added valuable e-commerce features to give their customers the best customer journey. This is done through personalization, descriptive content, ease of use and functional design. (The good news is that you too can add these features to your B2B web store. All the mentioned features are included in our latest Sana 9.3 e-commerce solution.)
Get inspired by these 8 examples of the best B2B e-commerce platforms:
- 1. Boards & More: Appealing Web Store Design
- 2. Medux: Omnichannel Experience
- 3. Keller: 3 Clicks to Get to the Right Product
- 4. Kippie: E-Commerce Guest Checkout
- 5. Zijlstra: Dropshipping
- 6. Royal Brinkman: Segmentation by Customer Groups
- 7. The Smartwares Group: Spare Parts Portal and RMA
- 8. Broekhof: Online Chatbot
Example 1 | Boards & More: Appealing Web Store
Boards & More is a kitesurfing and paddleboarding wholesaler. The company’s web store demonstrates just how important design is. Not only does its web store design look appealing, but the design also plays an important functional role.
B2B visitors come to your web store to search for information. Therefore, the role of your web store design is to provide customers with detailed information about your products. Your web store should combine appealing design with detailed product information, such as technical data or information about the connection of products with other spare parts available on your web store. This gives your customers an ideal B2B customer experience.
How does the Boards & More web store achieve this? Its product images display all the different product spare parts. Take a look, for example, at the kite pictured below. If you click on a certain part, you will immediately see that exact part — along with an installation video.
Example 2 | Medux: Omnichannel Experience
Throughout the buying experience, there is one thing that really matters to B2B buyers: customer centricity. It’s important to focus on your customers’ needs. This includes adapting your channels to their needs. With an omnichannel strategy, you can create a consistent and seamless experience across all sales channels.
Medux is a great example of a supplier who has successfully put an omnichannel strategy in place. Medux is the umbrella company to many different brands and companies. The company provides care and welfare resources through various web stores. It connected all its systems and integrated them with its Sana web store and Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP.
In doing so, Medux is now able to:
- Maintain an all-in-one e-commerce platform
- Gain insight into real-time inventory levels
- Optimize the shipping and return processes
- Focus on customer centricity
The customers’ wishes are the guiding principle for all of Medux’s business activities. This includes the launch of its user-friendly web store. After all, the customer determines how they make their purchases, whether it’s online or via Medux’s brick-and-mortar stores.
Medux’s web store is now available 24/7 to its customers. In addition to the web store, its physical stores remain an important sales channel — but its services are becoming available more and more online. Being online gives Medux the advantage of always being close to its customers and being able to quickly take care of any issues that may arise.
Unified commerce: that’s where e-commerce is headed.
What’s the difference between omnichannel and unified commerce? Unified commerce means that businesses no longer need to work through multiple internal channels. All channels are merged into one central real-time platform: all customer contact points are accumulated into one platform.
This means that not only are all channels merged online — such as, for example, the Sana web store integrating with the ERP and other applications — but also offline.
Example 3 | Keller: 3 Clicks to Get to the Right Product
According to a Hammerson study, almost 70% of B2B buyers say that convenience is the most important factor when placing an order online. In addition, customers prefer self-service. According to Forrester, 75% of professional buyers want to be able to easily order products online instead of having to place an order with a sales representative.
Keller, an industrial wholesaler, offers over 40,000 products. Customers don’t want to have to search endlessly through 40,000+ products, to find what they want or to navigate endlessly through a web store.
The result? Keller’s entire product catalog can now be found online in its web store. Customers can find and select the right product within just three clicks and place it straight into their shopping basket.
Example 4 | Kippie: E-Commerce Guest Checkout
The rise of and the fact that B2B buyers now expect a B2C buying experience is reflected in customers’ desire for guest checkout. Your customer doesn’t always want to fill out long forms. Sometimes, customers just want to quickly and anonymously place an order.
Offering your customers, a guest checkout can reduce your shopping cart abandonment rate — a problem for many companies who run a web store. According to Barilliance, the e-commerce shopping cart abandonment rate in 2017 was 78.65%: that’s 3 in every 4 customers who visit your web store.
Kippie allows its customers to complete their purchase as a guest. Buyers don’t have to leave all their details, but can, in addition to having a regular login, also choose to use a “one-time guest checkout” to make their purchase. This gives B2B buyers the same buying experience as B2C, where convenience prevails.
Example 5 | Zijlstra: Dropshipping
Convenience also means fast delivery to your customers via your web store. In his article about B2B e-commerce trends in 2019, Sana’s CPO, Arno Ham, predicted that next-day shipping will be the minimum requirement to meet the needs of the current end-customer.
Zijlstra’s goal for 2019 is to have 60% of its orders processed through its web store. The furniture manufacturer is currently reaching a rate of 55%. It says that this success is mainly due to the fact that it offers a flexible and fast delivery through its web store.
In addition, Zijlstra added a dropshipping function to its web store. Now its customers (e-tailers and retailers) can easily meet their end customers’ needs. They can outsource the delivery of their products to Zijlstra, and focus only on collecting the payment from their end customer.
Example 6 | Royal Brinkman: Customer Segmentation
Personalization has been an integral part of B2B e-commerce for some time now. According to a survey by Salesforce, 80% of B2B buyers now expect a similar buying experience to their Amazon shopping experience.
But it goes even further: if you don’t offer a good personalized service, your B2B customer will go to another supplier without a second thought. According to the same B2B survey by Salesforce, this applies to at least 2/3 of the respondents.
With over 10 years of experience in B2B e-commerce, Royal Brinkman has built up a database of customer knowledge. This enables the company to classify its customers into certain groups.
By using customer segmentation, Royal Brinkman now has content that connects to the different phases and personas of its B2B buyers’ journey. By using short videos and other content, Royal Brinkman answers the questions of its different customers via its interactive web store. For example, a tomato farmer is shown different content than a flower farmer. The purpose of this is not necessarily to convince customers to purchase a product but to help them make decisions based on their specific needs.
You can leverage existing data to offer your customers that personalized service that they expect. With Sana 9.3 it is even possible to view customers’ order history prior to when you launched your web store. Want to know more about this unique function? Then read page 34 of our Sana Commerce 9.3 .
Example 7 | The Smartwares Group: Spare Parts Portal and RMA
Nowadays, many manufacturers and suppliers create a separate portal for the spare parts that they sell on their web store.
The Smartwares Group, a supplier of small household products, is a good example of a company with a successful spare parts portal. The group has 8 brands in its portfolio, including Tristar and Princess. It has a total of 8 different web stores, including both B2B and B2C web stores. Retailers can order products online, but end customers can only order spare parts.
The Smartwares Group makes it easy for customers to find the spare parts they need in a separate portal on the web store. For example, if the end customer orders a spare part, this spare part order will be redirected to the group’s various B2B suppliers (that is, the Smartwares Group’s wholesaler and retailer customers).
The Princess spare parts portal offers the customer a good overview of all the spare parts available for purchase. When a customer clicks on a spare part, they will be taken to a product page that displays all the details for each individual spare part in that category.
Customers can also compare different spare parts and products by using the comparison feature. For the Smartwares Group, this function is a real bonus. It means happy customers and fewer returns because, due to the extensive product information provided, customers rarely order incorrect products.
The group also meets its customers’ needs by offering Return Merchandising Agreements (RMA). RMA allows customers to adjust orders by logging into their account and making an adjustment request. After the request is submitted, the information is transferred directly from the web store to the ERP — this means that changes to the logistics are immediately adjusted.
This is a standard function built into Sana 9.3. Want to know more about this function? Have a look at our factsheet.
Example 8 | Broekhof: Online Chatbot
Chatbots are an easy way to answer your customers’ questions. And it doesn’t have to be a costly solution that uses up valuable resources, since chatbots use AI and machine learning to automate customer contact.
Broekhof is a great example of a company that uses a chatbot in combination with ERP data. This means that the company does not need to deploy additional employees to answer customer questions. Rather, this is automated: saving the company the time and effort of repeatedly replying to the same customer questions.
The Best B2B E-Commerce Platforms Always Have 1 Thing in Common
All these successful examples of B2B e-commerce have one thing in common: they are customer-centric companies. They offer their customers convenience and functional design, combined with descriptive content, on a personalized web store.
Want to know more about what our Sana 9.3 e-commerce platform can do for your business? Download our factsheet and learn more about the possibilities.
10 June, 2019