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BizReport : Ecommerce : August 22, 2017

Top challenges facing B2B brands

As ecommerce and online buying options become more prevalent, more consumers - especially those buying for businesses - take their purchasing online, as well. But, all these shoppers don't mean B2B buying is a simple thing.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What are you expecting through the first half of 2018?

Evan Klein, Founder & CEO, Zaelab: B2B companies are becoming increasingly concerned that Amazon is going to take over the B2B market and start selling B2B goods online. If this happens, distributors, particularly those who sell less complex, commodity-like products, will need to significantly upgrade their digital commerce experience. Manufacturing and healthcare companies will also need to be careful and watch how Amazon is selling, and what products. Companies should prepare by creating an easy to use digital commerce solution of their own, with features unique to their products and customer base in order to maintain competitive advantage.

Kristina: What issues are B2B marketers facing now?

Evan: The most important issue B2B marketers face is solving transaction complexity online. The challenge of thousands of SKUs, thousands of component and replacement parts, 3-D product rendering, customer access permissions, visual search, security, product content management, customer-specific pricing, and back-end integrations are generally much more complex than those seen in the B2C space. Solving this challenge requires researching and using best-of-breed technologies and B2B case studies for each feature, as well tightly connecting the web site experience to human support such as ubiquitous live, online chat and direct channels to a sales person.
Kristina: What about the buying experience?

Evan: The second challenge B2B marketers face is that many customers expect a B2B buying experience to be virtually the same at B2C. Amazon has made it increasingly easier to buy online - think Amazon prime, with one click of a button you can reorder household goods, groceries, a new outfit for the weekend, and everything in between (and it will arrive at your door within 24 hours). To create compelling user experiences, companies need to do extensive user research--with internal and external customer groups--to assure each feature is designed and implemented properly, following UX best practices such as personas, scenario design, and customer journey roadmaps.

Tags: B2B challenges, B2B ecommerce, ecommerce, ecommerce challenges, Zaelab

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