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Leveraging Kentico to deliver B2B e-commerce

B2B - It’s More Complicated

Trade Accounts
Multiple buyers, multiple addresses, roles restricted buying privileges.
Contract pricing
Specific and negotiated customer specific prices and discounts. Can be time bound.
ERP integration & order fulfillment
Complex order fulfilment, stock management, accounting rules and management.
Order process
Quick order, quotations & estimates. Complex delivery and customer specific delivery charges.
Product catalogue
Complex filtering, real-time availability and pricing, bundling.

 

The first and most fundamental requirement is to be able to handle the many additional relationships demanded in a B2B relationships. As well as multiple buyers, addresses etc. it can include the requirement to provide restricted access to trading and financial history like statements and copy invoices.

And then we need to handle the contractual relationship – for example pricing or deliveries.

Often complex and very specific many B2B customers still expect to see their own pricing on the site content pages as well as in the basket. Most B2B business use multiple price lists, sometimes 100s and relate these to specific customers or customer groups.

For some businesses availability can be critical – for others a ‘no no’ as they don’t want customers to know when they are out of stock – either way you have to cater for both.

Leveraging Kentico CMS

Whilst multi-language, currency and tax are valuable to B2C outlets – B2B is also hungry for these facilities:
# Multi-language is a key requirement for those trading internationally
# Tax handling is especially important when trading across boundaries in Europe with VAT numbers etc.
  # No B2B customer expects to hand over VAT when they don’t have to!
# And multi-currency pricing whether exchange rate based or individual to the product is just a given

Roles really come into their own in the B2B environment allowing many levels of user on a site with many permissions.
And lastly multi-site is especially useful for those wanting to trade efficiently and effectively with their traditional B2B customers whilst reaching out directly to end users providing the very different end user experiences required AND maybe hiding their own brand inside another.

Leveraging Kentico EMS

# The need for good analytics is core to getting the best from any site – especially if you want to explore the power of EMS
# Segmentation with B2B is much more granular – you are trying to differentiate between existing well known customers to enable you to lead them to buying new products and services and also to get a better personalised experience
  # Segmentation into marketing personas
       # Group core buyer and other persona types
       # Upsell, cross sell or frequent tasks presented to each group
      # Thus then allows you to Personalise the onsite experience and email marketing for these groups
# Once segmentation is in place then Lead and engagement scoring come into play – again the need for B2B is to be a little more sophisticated and subtle than perhaps you are used to seeing in B2C
  # Custom activity analytics and user lead scoring
       # Track specific user actions to drive lead scoring and personas
       # Identify power/ high-value users, or users you want to re-engage 
      # Identify most popular content and products, tied to users and persona groups to make intelligent decisions with the insights gained
# A/B testing as ever is a useful tool often underutilised
  # Test and optimise
        # A/B testing allow you to make continuous improvement to the site
        # Email content
        # Calls to action
        # Banners and special offers
# With almost half of B2B researchers being Millennials, there is an expectation that buyers and researchers can have a self-service experience in B2B just like in B2C.
  # But with more depth
 # This means increasing pressure for ‘anytime, anywhere, any device’ access to websites and apps.
  # Different usage contexts require optimised experiences. E.g Mobile could be used more for on-the-go research or product comparison? versus desktop, order management?
# Moving away from a one size fits all approach to a more dynamic unique experience for each customer across channels will help drive higher adoption rates and increased customer satisfaction.
  # As well as different usage patterns, the type of user is also very important. Procurement, day-to-day administrators, infrequent buyers, regular customers all have different needs
# The biggest benefit of personalisation for B2B online shoppers is the ability to find the information relevant to the products and services they’re interested in, quickly and easily and for the business/marketing teams to upsell and cross sell related products or add content to increase order values or site engagement.
# From personalised content, offers and product recommendations, EMS allows B2B buyers to spend less time re-ordering and less time seeking out new items that help them to do business.

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