Whether it be from supply chain disruption, a global pandemic, and/or major workplace changes from personnel to procedures, digital transformation and more specifically e-commerce continue to be at the forefront for B2B companies across all sectors, including the industrial space.
Principal B2B Visionary at Bloomreach, Jason Hein, took to the stage at IFE 2022 to present The 5 Ideals of the Ecommerce Experience. Jason compared e-commerce to riding a bike and more personally, teaching a child to ride a bike. There are a lot of B2B industrial companies who have been in business for a long time, they have “mastered riding a bike and can even do tricks”, but how do those who don’t have as much experience, get started and compete with companies who may have more skills and years in business?
Jason had the audience think of their development and continued digital priorities as a set of training wheels on their bike. What do training wheels look like in digital? They take shape in the framework of the 5 ideals and key takeaways outlined below from Jason’s presentation.
The 5 Ideals of the Ecommerce Experience:
- Make Choices Easy
- Fastener products have lots of different specs, standards, and attributes. Businesses can’t just give a broad range for solutions, like sizing or price, commonly used on ecommerce channels.
- Look for opportunities to simplify choices and the overall customer’s experience. Start by observing customer behavior on your website – what are they searching for, what are they clicking on, what are they buying/adding to their cart? Use these observations to help scale and optimize your website and help with the remaining ideals.
- Remove Unnecessary Choices
- A salesperson is the filter of 20 years of trash ERP data. This is often presented to customers in raw, unaltered forms, providing meaningless choices for users which in turn make customers leave your site and can make you appear as if you don’t know what you are doing.
- Filters matter! Make sure your filters apply to all options. Jason presented a great example during the session; the full recording can be found on the IFE Match app for 30 days post event.
- Educate (Only) When Needed
- There are 2 kinds of buyers in B2B – Those who know their solution and are using your website for order entry. They know what they want and are ready to place an order, 2. Those who know their problem. These buyers want more info to learn about products before they decide to buy.
- Technical products, like those in the fastener and industrial industry, often require training. Use this “how to” product knowledge to educate your customer in the form of educational content. This content should only be shown when needed by users, eventually they will have all the information they need and as a result, will become like buyer #1 mentioned above.
- Instill Confidence in the User
- Those type 2 B2B buyers from Ideal 3 don’t know as much about the product line and don’t want everyone else to know that. As a distributor, you can not only give info to that user so that they can look and feel confident in front of their boss and peers, but you can also build loyalty and trust from the user by helping them expand their knowledge, comfortability, and confidence. Show your expertise to inspire trust – this is the greatest competitive advantage to distributors!
- Solve the Whole Problem
- B2B problems normally require more than one single product and can be complex in the items needed. To give customers a great experience online, you need to remove the noise and get buyers the rights options immediately.
- Use your website real estate with purpose, this includes meaningful recommendations, most popular vs. most relevant and more.
Jason concluded this presentation by explaining that using these ideals will help you make better decisions and strategies for your technology. The ideals are that of a checklist to raise the bar on your organization’s customer experience and grow business.
Great examples of actual website searches, dos and don’ts, and the full session recording with slides are available on the IFE Match app for 30 days post event.