B2B E-commerce: Keys to Success

Josep Civit

Josep Civit

By Josep Civit


April 3, 2017


Sem categoria

People are lazy at work. If you help them, they will come to you more and more. This is what B2B + E-commerce is about: Making life easier for your clients. Numbers show that it’s a safe bet. B2B e-commerce sales will top $1.13 trillion by 2020. In the report, one idea stands out: “Personalized web content will be crucial for B2B sales”.

In order to succeed, we must consider several facts:

✔  70% of site activity is focused on the process of finding information. Make it easy!

✔  76% of customers say the most important factor in a website’s design is “the website makes it easy for me to find what I want”

✔  The average conversion rate reported by the B2B survey respondents was 10%, much higher than the 3% average reported by business-to-consumer executives responding to the survey. 10% is 10 out of 100. A lot!

✔  69% say they expect to stop printing a catalog within five years. Online catalogs are replacing print catalogs. Not a bad thing for our environment.

✔  The average order value was $491 for B2B respondents versus $147 for consumer-oriented e-commerce executives.

A super easy formula must be considered:


🗝 Key success factors 🗝

1.- Keep it simple.

2.- B2B is their job, if you make their job easier, they’ll come back.

3.- Allow visitors to set up user accounts and roles.

4.- Multi channel experience.

And above all: User Experience and content must support long term purchase decisions.


Justin King summarizes the basic customer expectations in the following list:

▪  Multiple-level category catalogs with filtering by multiple attributes.

▪  High quality images with multiple view settings, 360 degree views, zoom.

▪  Product relationships – cross sell, up sell, replacements, parts, accessories, warranty, etc.

▪  Bundling, product sets, kits, and assortments.

▪  Product availability information, shipping options.

▪  Search synonyms, auto-suggest, relevance ranking,

▪  SEO – rich snippets, static URLs, on-page SEO.

▪  Promotions – buy/get 1 free, X% over $Y amount, promotion codes, etc.

▪  Display support for multiple formats: 1920px wide desktop, smartphone, tablet.

▪  Shopping cart – save for later, email cart, stored credit cards.

Alright! So now that we know a little bit more, the next step will be analysing what are the must-haves for a great B2B E-commerce platform. We will demonstrate this with an example!

My example is Ferguson! Who are they? Ferguson is the USA’s largest distributor of residential and commercial plumbing supplies (pipe, valves, fittings, etc.).  Take a look at their website from the perspective of B2C E-commerce principles:

First of all: Trust: HTTPS to ensure encrypted connections to login, register or buy.

The base is the B2C E-commerce standards:

▪  High quality pictures.

▪  Easy of use platform.

▪  Mobile ready: take a look at the menu when the user scrolls down.

  • Great mix between content & products / services.

▪  A must in a B2B E-commerce: Navigation + Search = Results.

▪  Excellent Landing Page Results with the matching criteria:


▪  Filters applied.

▪  Pagination of results.

▪  The pagination itself.

▪  The content architecture under “Category” selector.

Search Result Landing Page details:

▪  The price, the CTA, quick view.

▪  Customer service always there. Need help?

SEO Strategy: Take a look at the keyword “bathroom accessories”

And…It looks like it works. SERP position: 1st

The Perfect Landing Page:

▪  Navigation bread crumbs.

▪  Need to print this page?

▪  The brand.

▪  Price ( per unit! ).

▪  Article Code.

▪  Specs.

▪  Shipping info just under the CTA.

▪  Product Description.

▪  PDFs available.

▪  Related products.

Customer care or Social Media? Let’s do both!

Not bad for a B2B Plumbing Company!


Social object

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