Over the last 20 years, it has become conventional wisdom that a business must offer an e-commerce component to have any hope of success. The reason for this is simple: Convenience is king. Being able to browse through an entire inventory and place an order at virtually any time and from practically anywhere has become an entrenched expectation for most consumers. It is no different in the world of B2B, although many companies in this space don’t take full advantage of the potential of selling online.
If you are considering moving your B2B marketing operation into the digital realm, it’s time to stop thinking and start doing. Offering your clients the level of access and convenience e-commerce can provide is no longer a perk or a differentiator. Customers today expect you to have an online presence and will seek out alternatives if you don’t. This is why it is imperative that B2B marketers know how to establish an e-commerce operation.
For example, one of the most important requirements is ensuring that your site is scalable in order to provide a seamless experience across all platforms. It should run just as smoothly whether it is viewed on a desktop computer or a mobile device. You want your clients to have the best possible experience using your site, so it’s also important to make sure your content is well organized and easy to search. Hiring an outside SEO expert to boost your company’s position in search engine results can be another necessary step to ensure that your customers can find you.
When it comes to keeping your clients’ sensitive information secure, there are a number of steps you must take. Being upfront and transparent about how your website will utilize the details users provide is essential. This includes providing information about your security measures for handling credit card data.
The future is now, and any B2B enterprise that has not yet ventured into e-commerce risks being left in the dust. For more tips about how you can successfully make this transition, see the accompanying checklist.
Author bio: Marty Acks is Senior Director of Product Management for CDI Technology, which focuses on delivering intuitive payment processing, e-commerce, point-of-sale and supplier collaboration solutions to enterprise-level organizations. Acks’ experience and authority with SAP, Oracle and IBM has made him a sought-after speaker and editorial contributor.