Ask a Kensium Expert: Do I Need B2B-Specific Features?

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Ask a Kensium Expert: Do I Need B2B-Specific Features?

27/05/2021 Categories: Articles

About Our Expert: Ted Stenstrom is an ecommerce and digital solutions business leader with over 15 years of experience strategizing and implementing ecommerce platforms. As Kensium's VP of Client Engagement, Ted helps Kensium clients digitally upgrade their companies by advising them on the processes, technologies, and overall ecommerce game plan that best suits their specific line of business.  Above is Part 1 of our new Ask An Expert video/blog series exploring the changing landscape of B2B ecommerce. This time, the focus is on B2B/B2C functionality and the shift to treating businesses as consumers. In other words, the differences in the B2B customer experience and the B2C customer experience. Do I need specific b2B Functionality? The answer to whether you need these features depends on the customers you serve. B2B customers buy your product or service for commercial purposes, so the sale requires longer consideration time and logical cost/benefit analysis.  Put yourself in the shoes of a B2B buyer. You have an extensive requisition list for a project you need to execute. You are purchasing critical assets on behalf of your company, and therefore need to make sure that everything you are ordering is correct and fulfilled adequately. It is the opposite of an impulse buy. For this type of customer, a buying process utilizing B2B functionality provides a customer experience that better matches their preferences. Differences in Functionality and Features Anyone reading this knows the B2C process all too well. The customer comes to the merchant's site, looks at a product page, places a product into a shopping cart, selects a shipping method, pays for the order, and awaits fulfillment. A B2C ecommerce platform provides a straightforward buying process for consumers with features like: Intuitive site navigation  Streamlined customer checkout  Product catalog search functionality  On the other hand, B2B customers require slightly more sophisticated features, including: User permissions Order management systems Account pricing Business credit options Sit Down and Figure Out Your Customers As you can see, the buying process and customer

and implementing ecommerce platforms. As Kensium's VP of Client Engagement, Ted helps Kensium clients digitally upgrade their companies by advising them on the processes, technologies, and overall ecommerce game plan that best suits their specific line of business. 

Above is Part 1 of our new Ask An Expert video/blog series exploring the changing landscape of B2B ecommerce. This time, the focus is on B2B/B2C functionality and the shift to treating businesses as consumers. In other words, the differences in the B2B customer experience and the B2C customer experience.

Do I need specific b2B Functionality?

The answer to whether you need these features depends on the customers you serve. B2B customers buy your product or service for commercial purposes, so the sale requires longer consideration time and logical cost/benefit analysis. 

Put yourself in the shoes of a B2B buyer. You have an extensive requisition list for a project you need to execute. You are purchasing critical assets on behalf of your company, and therefore need to make sure that everything you are ordering is correct and fulfilled adequately. It is the opposite of an impulse buy. For this type of customer, a buying process utilizing B2B functionality provides a customer experience that better matches their preferences.

Differences in Functionality and Features

Anyone reading this knows the B2C process all too well. The customer comes to the merchant's site, looks at a product page, places a product into a shopping cart, selects a shipping method, pays for the order, and awaits fulfillment. A B2C ecommerce platform provides a straightforward buying process for consumers with features like:

  • Intuitive site navigation 
  • Streamlined customer checkout 
  • Product catalog search functionality 

On the other hand, B2B customers require slightly more sophisticated features, including:

  • User permissions
  • Order management systems
  • Account pricing
  • Business credit options

Sit Down and Figure Out Your Customers

As you can see, the buying process and customer journeys for B2C and B2B customers are exceptionally different from each other. Ted mentions the longer, more comprehensive B2B buying cycle. Another significant difference entails how B2C and B2B companies accept payment from their respective customers.

Consider your customers and their needs. The best way to stay prepared is by operating on an ecommerce platform that can support both B2B and B2C functionality. B2C functionality can be applied to business-to-business transactions, depending on what type of buying experience the customer is looking for. 

For example, your company may have dependable clients that rely on specific B2B functionality for recurring purchases. In that case, it may be essential to maintain that functionality while expanding into B2C sales. The most crucial objective is to figure out what your end consumers truly want within each sales channel and buying process.

Blurring the Lines between B2B and B2C

Don't take the acronyms at face value; it is the type of functionality your ecommerce store supports that defines whether it is a "B2C" or "B2B" business. 

Nowadays, we have many merchants conducting both B2C and B2B transactions simultaneously, so they must account for both types of buying processes and customers. Having an ecommerce platform that supports both B2B and B2C functionality means you can cater to each type of end customer.

Knowing that your technology will facilitate ecommerce for both types of markets gives you the flexibility to shift sales strategies. Don't let your ecommerce platform get in the way of digital adaptability - now or in the future.

We'll have more from Ted in our next edition, in which he talks about precisely what the buzzword "Personalization" means and how effective a strategy it truly is.
For more expertise and advice on all things ecommerce, check out more from Kensium and learn from the very best in the industry. 

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About Our Expert: Ted Stenstrom is an ecommerce and digital solutions business leader with over 15 years of experience strategizing and implementing ecommerce platforms. As Kensium's VP of Client Engagement, Ted helps Kensium clients digitally upgrade their companies by advising them on the processes, technologies, and overall ecommerce game plan that best suits their specific line of business. 

Above is Part 1 of our new Ask An Expert video/blog series exploring the changing landscape of B2B ecommerce. This time, the focus is on B2B/B2C functionality and the shift to treating businesses as consumers. In other words, the differences in the B2B customer experience and the B2C customer experience.

Do I need specific b2B Functionality?

The answer to whether you need these features depends on the customers you serve. B2B customers buy your product or service for commercial purposes, so the sale requires longer consideration time and logical cost/benefit analysis. 

Put yourself in the shoes of a B2B buyer. You have an extensive requisition list for a project you need to execute. You are purchasing critical assets on behalf of your company, and therefore need to make sure that everything you are ordering is correct and fulfilled adequately. It is the opposite of an impulse buy. For this type of customer, a buying process utilizing B2B functionality provides a customer experience that better matches their preferences.

Differences in Functionality and Features

Anyone reading this knows the B2C process all too well. The customer comes to the merchant's site, looks at a product page, places a product into a shopping cart, selects a shipping method, pays for the order, and awaits fulfillment. A B2C ecommerce platform provides a straightforward buying process for consumers with features like:

  • Intuitive site navigation 
  • Streamlined customer checkout 
  • Product catalog search functionality 

On the other hand, B2B customers require slightly more sophisticated features, including:

  • User permissions
  • Order management systems
  • Account pricing
  • Business credit options

Sit Down and Figure Out Your Customers

As you can see, the buying process and customer journeys for B2C and B2B customers are exceptionally different from each other. Ted mentions the longer, more comprehensive B2B buying cycle. Another significant difference entails how B2C and B2B companies accept payment from their respective customers.

Consider your customers and their needs. The best way to stay prepared is by operating on an ecommerce platform that can support both B2B and B2C functionality. B2C functionality can be applied to business-to-business transactions, depending on what type of buying experience the customer is looking for. 

For example, your company may have dependable clients that rely on specific B2B functionality for recurring purchases. In that case, it may be essential to maintain that functionality while expanding into B2C sales. The most crucial objective is to figure out what your end consumers truly want within each sales channel and buying process.

Blurring the Lines between B2B and B2C

Don't take the acronyms at face value; it is the type of functionality your ecommerce store supports that defines whether it is a "B2C" or "B2B" business. 

Nowadays, we have many merchants conducting both B2C and B2B transactions simultaneously, so they must account for both types of buying processes and customers. Having an ecommerce platform that supports both B2B and B2C functionality means you can cater to each type of end customer.

Knowing that your technology will facilitate ecommerce for both types of markets gives you the flexibility to shift sales strategies. Don't let your ecommerce platform get in the way of digital adaptability - now or in the future.

We'll have more from Ted in our next edition, in which he talks about precisely what the buzzword "Personalization" means and how effective a strategy it truly is.
For more expertise and advice on all things ecommerce, check out more from Kensium and learn from the very best in the industry.