Online B2B customers are not very different than B2C customers. While order sizes are typically larger, they expect the same ease of finding products and swift deliveries. Forrester estimates that B2B e-commerce will reach $1.2 trillion and account for 13 percent of all B2B sales in the US by 2021. As more businesses move online to cater to the digital consumer, offering B2C-like consumer experiences has become the gold standard. This means that just selling your products online isn’t enough. B2B product manufacturers and online distributors need to go that extra mile to provide a smooth purchase journey, whereby customers can easily find the products they are looking for and get all the product information they need to make informed purchase decisions.
Why insight-based product information?
1. Know the factors that influence customer purchase decisions
It’s easy to get caught between prose and value when creating digital product information. Often, what we prize as important might not matter much to our customers. Understanding customers at a deeper level can help in overcoming this challenge. For example, realizing that its B2B customers are now younger and digitally-savvy led the Cat brand into being more humanized, approachable and relevant. Similarly, conducting an online behavior analysis of your customers can help in identifying the search terms they use when looking for products, the purchase intent, the product attributes that matter most in their purchase decisions, and so on. Marketers can then use these insights to craft their product messaging in a way that provides a more customer-oriented buying experience on the B2B marketplace.
2. Assess your product content against the competition
Analyzing the way your competitors present their products online can reveal gaps in your own product content. What’s the level of product detail? What content formats are they using? How are customers getting to them (i.e. organic search, paid search, affiliate websites, etc.)? A competitor analysis can provide answers to these questions, helping you inform your own product content strategy.
3. Plug information gaps
Conducting a product-based research can also fix the issue of missing information. Online distributors often rely on several suppliers or manufacturers spread across the globe. Retrieving relevant product information from them can be extremely challenging, with issues such as missing, inconsistent, or inaccurate information. While communicating with suppliers can help overcome these issues to a certain extent, the information that they end up receiving is never quite customer-ready. In order to tie up these loose ends, marketers are turning to researchers to gather the required information from secondary sources such as manufacturer websites, online marketplaces, information about similar products on the market, and so on.
4. Meet country-specific standards
For international audiences, there’s no one-size-fits-all content. To be relevant, your content should align with customer needs, culture and expectations, which can vary significantly by country. As B2B companies expand into international markets via e-commerce, carrying out a market analysis can provide insights to tailor their content according to their target audiences. Country-specific nuances should be taken into account when crafting your content. For example, use contextually relevant images, use localized words to describe products, clearly address compliance with market-specific requirements i.e. FDA-approved, safety standard codes, halal meat, etc. If you want to sell your products to international businesses, your content should meet the standards of your target market.
Netscribes helps B2C, as well as B2B e-commerce companies, increase their visibility and sales by delivering insight-based product content. Our clients include global behemoths, online distributors, as well as small-scale manufacturers that have capitalized on the digital opportunity with a customer-centric approach towards crafting their e-commerce content. If you’re looking to apply the benefits of insights-based content to your e-commerce business, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.