You’ve started your B2B eCommerce journey- excellent. Choosing the right software is a key decision, but B2B companies can face a variety of challenges before your eCommerce site goes live.
While every project is different, common mistakes, and often expensive ones, resurface time and again. Are you making one of them?
1. You’ve underestimated the content requirements and effort.
Your site is more than just a sales platform, it’s a means for customers to get all the information they need about your products, particularly as they won’t be able to physically touch your product. Ensure your products are described in detail, with all the specs, images and information they could possibly need. Your catalogue should also be easy to navigate and allow for an easy purchase process.
Go even one better and optimise your web store for search engines so that your categories and product groups are equipped with text content and metadata.
In short, you’ll need a lot of content before you launch, often more than anticipated. When building your site, find the right professionals (with the right knowledge and understanding of SEO) to create your content. Remember, if your site is linked with your ERP system, product descriptions and images stored in your ERP can be automatically displayed on your site.
2. Too many customizations and features.
So often, when building your site, you can get caught up in building lots of functions and fully customising everything to suit your business model. And while doing all that can be exciting, oftentimes testing, waiting and evaluating is the best solution. Often companies aren’t even aware of all the functions that their standard eCommerce solution already offers.
Give your site time to develop. Give your customers time to use and get feedback from them on what works and what can be improved. You’ll quickly work out what’s essential and what’s simply nice to have.
3. You don’t have clear project goals.
As with any major project, you’ll need clearly defined objectives or you won’t be able to measure results. While this might seem simple, it’s important to have goals beyond simply hitting ‘go live’ on your site. Look to track the influence the site has on your sales.
Other measurable goals can include things like how well you are attracting and retaining customers, order management processing times, relief on customer services through using self-service functions like order and invoice tracking, etc.
Having clear and measurable goals and set project milestones on the way to each goal, so you’ll have a reason to celebrate once you get there.
4. You’re focussing more on your business than your customer.
At Sana Commerce, our customers will often have a basic idea of how they want their site to look and feel, but haven’t really considered what their customers need. Rather than focussing too much on the functions you might want, consider what’s important to your customers. B2B customers often have very specific needs and the success of your site depends on having the function they need in place, sometimes these things can be different from what you might have in mind.
5. You’re not involving stakeholders in your planning.
Your digital upgrade should be a team effort, so involve the team from the very beginning. It’s the easiest way to avoid resistance, hiccups and misunderstandings. This includes everyone from your ERP partner to anyone whose processes would be affected by the project (sales, marketing, logistics, etc.)
Oftentimes, getting feedback from other aspects of the business helps with better planning as they might raise an issue that concerns that you may not have considered.
Again, there’s no standard formula for every project and every company has its own structure that needs to be considered, but working closely with your eCommerce provider and systems integrators means you’ll get tailored advice specific to your needs.