What B2C Ecommerce Practices B2B Marketplaces Should Adopt?
A growing number of wholesale B2B marketplaces are borrowing design, marketing, and user experience practices from B2C marketplaces. The fact that most users are accustomed to B2C e-commerce sites that offer engaging and easy to use design, as well as fast checkout, is forcing B2B outlets to adopt the same practices.
Actually, the first online marketplaces that came to life were B2C marketplaces, with some of them developing into huge businesses worth billions of dollars. Evidently, a wholesale B2B marketplace can lean a lot from retail B2C marketplaces such as Alibaba or Amazon.
But what specific B2C practices should an online B2B marketplace follow and why?
Improve Overall User Experience
A growing number of B2B marketplace is borrowing some user experience (UX) practices from their B2C counterparts.
Old-school B2B marketplaces were inclined to stick to a more “corporate” look and ways of buying but the reality shows that a simplified and more appealing design works for B2B marketplaces as well. This is due to the consumers looking for experiences they are already familiar with and features they know from their B2C marketplaces usage.
The same applies to the introduction of shopping carts in some B2B marketplaces, a feature that is copied from the B2C e-commerce model. Shorter purchasing process consisting of no more than two or three steps is another borrowing along with the so-called Easy-buying. Gradually, the existing B2C vocabulary and terms are expanding into the space of B2B e-commerce.
Sychronize Inventory in real time
B2C e-commerce is performing because they are able to manage properly and automatically stocks. It is the point that is even more important in B2B because of the large number of products that are sold. That is why the possibility to coany B2B marketplace should have options for connecting to business systems like a CRM or an ERP as well to synchronize Inventory in real-time.
Establish Targeted and Engaging Conversations on the Platform
A wholesale B2B marketplace should enable customers to actively converse with clients and prospects regardless of where they are in the sales funnel and rhythm actions with alerts such as waiting orders and orders confirmation.
Moreover, as consumers tend to pay great attention to reviews a new trend in the B2B space is to allow comments on their platforms.
By enabling a B2C-like marketing strategy of ongoing and targeted conversations, you demonstrate that you do care for the specific needs and preferences of each of your B2B customers. Thus, your users will be able to engage in ongoing communication, which in turn enables them to build trust with their prospects and existing customers.
Furthermore, a growing number of B2B platforms are integrating multiple communication channels, such as social networks, into their open platforms, which in turn equips the vendors with powerful tools to reach their current and prospective customers.
Develop Your Marketplace Communication
Online B2B marketplaces are also increasingly adopting the widespread B2C e-commerce practice with platform accessible with no access in order to communicate with clients using multiple channels and enabling communication outside the platform.
Thus, a B2B marketplace enables their clients to familiarize with the products and services on offer, which was impossible with the older B2B platforms that required login credentials to communicate with a vendor.
Any online B2B marketplace can benefit from adopting B2C e-commerce practices like the ones listed above. In any case, you should not implement these practices blindly but carefully research what will work for your specific marketplace and target audience.
You should always have in mind that while some B2C practices are applicable for most B2B marketplaces there are still areas in which the two types of marketplaces differ a lot. For instance, you should definitely have more integration options than the average B2C marketplace and offer more payment options as well as customization features. In any case, it is worth exploring what B2C practices you can implement in your B2B marketplace.