Provide Information Digitally
Since B2B ecommerce customers are increasingly using digital information channels to research companies before committing themselves to purchase, it’s important to make comprehensive product and company information readily available online. If previously it was the salespeople who initiated all the communication, following the “push” logic, now it’s the other way around and it’s the customers who start the ball rolling. If companies don’t upload the necessary information, chances are they will never be discovered. Since the first gateway to business is the company's website, it makes perfect sense to start there.
The website’s design, usability, and accessibility are the company’s outward expression of its digital potential. Yet, from our experience, not many industrials take full advantage of that first and foremost digital channel and provide at least basic ordering functions or tracking capabilities. Many B2B companies still use their website as nothing more than a business card with a handful of press releases and an outdated product brochure.
The most important step is to understand that the status quo needs to change. The best way to do so is to map the customer journey and model the website in such a way so that the structure and content of information presented in digital form reflect the pathway the customer takes to complete the purchase. Companies need to think through all the possible customer touchpoints and customer-related shopping scenarios from initial attempts to research the company to after-sales support and regular product maintenance. Instead of showing the company’s organization chart or history, industrials should cater to the customer’s needs first by trying to foresee their questions and provide the expected answers. Special care should be taken to make the information easily accessible from any device, be it a smartphone or desktop. Additionally, companies should invest in search engine optimization to improve the website’s search rankings and help customers discover the company.