The world has moved online and B2B companies are not behind in this race anymore.

In fact, McKinsey has just reported that B2B customers are showing a 90% increase in preference for self-service channels in research, a 120% increase for self-service in the evaluation process, and a 30% increase in their preference for self-service channels for ordering and reordering.

With more buying moving online, B2B companies have to work out ways to lower cart abandonment rates to increase profitability. It is time for the B2B online experience to match the superlative B2C eCommerce experience and make sure that filled carts cross the check-out line.

However, given that B2B products are more complex and nuanced, organizations have to take some carefully calibrated steps to reduce cart abandonment rates.

Don’t make me think

Simplicity shows the road to success. We agree that the B2B narrative is far more complex than the B2C. But that is exactly why B2B companies must be more heavily focused on simplicity.

Truly, search and browse are the final frontier in B2B eCommerce. Customers should be able to navigate the eCommerce website easily. They should be able to find the product easily. And customers should be able to move from discovering the products to making the payment in the least number of clicks.

A confusing search, product information gathering, and checkout process is the surest route to abandoned carts.

Hidden costs

B2B customers are not on your eCommerce site to make an impulsive purchase. They have specific needs and exact demands that address their business needs. Hence it not only important to ensure that there aren’t too many steps between the store and the ‘buy’ button, but also imperative to avoid unexpected hidden costs that don’t break the deal.

Unexpected costs that suddenly get added as soon as you hit the ‘buy’ button make customers rethink their purchase. Often, customers also just add items to the cart to view the final price. Once they see a different price, they could abandon the cart and leave.

Given the complexity of B2B products, the taxes and shipping costs, etc. it is prudent to provide all costs upfront. These details can feature on the product detail page by asking for the customer’s zip code. The fewer the surprises a customer encounters, the greater are the chances of completing a purchase.

Payment options

B2B customers are moving online because of the convenience it offers. Today they have the product choices and product variants available online. However, along with that, they also want the payment options that they are used to with their physical transactions. The fewer the payment options, the greater the chances of cart abandonment at the final stage.

It makes sense to include different payment options in your online store. A 360-degree view of the customer will also help this process as it helps you prioritize appropriate payment methods. Provide flexible payment and also specialized and customized payment options when possible to make it easier for the customer to complete the transaction at one go. Apart from this, providing a pricing calculator for bundled products also helps prevent cart abandonment by offering greater pricing transparency

Localization conundrum

Many cart abandonments happen because of localization challenges. Since most B2B organizations address wide markets and potentially operate internationally, localization becomes an important challenge to factor into the customer experience.

Today’s customers are used to personalization. They want relevant and contextual product information that helps them progress towards their buying decision. Thus, pricing or product information must be presented in a manner relevant to the customer. Beyond language, it may become important to factor in different ways of presenting product features and attributes in a manner relevant to the customer’s location. Enabling elements such as multi-currency is also a good way to prevent cart abandonment

Searchability

High searchability of products is a must for full carts to reach the checkout counter. B2B customers do not want an expedition to locate what they need. It is imperative to help customers find the products that they need fast while allowing for the fact that B2B buying is a research-intensive process.

To make products highly searchable it is important to implement intelligent product categorization and ensure that all SKU’s are intelligently classified and identified. Improving Master Data Management capabilities to ensure timely and accurate availability of product data improves searchability and increases conversion rates. It is also important to power up internal site search to make it easier for customers to search for products inside the website. This improves the product research experience by optimizing product searchability. Connecting the right meta tags and keywords to the products help this purpose and elevate the search and browsing experience.

Product information management

Product complexities, multiple variants, different product information formats, many technical specifications such as visual drawings, units of measurements, inventory status, etc. are a normal part of the B2B product universe. However, while the product ecosystem might be complex, the buying experience must be that much simpler.

Correct product tagging is also important to deliver an elevated customer experience. This allows you to offer personalized catalogs and pricing to customers. Correct product tagging also helps in enabling advanced navigation and helps customers search for products based on a range of specifications (think color, brand, price, type, etc).

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