B2B selling is all about building long-term relationships with customers. A web store provides an opportunity to develop close customer relationships and provide a completely personalized experience. This personalization is based on the history of the customer relationship including previous interactions, order history, agreed pricing and contracts etc.
A self-service portal or My Account provides dynamic and relevant content that allows business customers to customize their interactions. These user-friendly features can include:
- Allow customers to log in with their e-mail address
- Provide access to a complete order history
- Include details on every previous order
- Easy repeat purchasing based on order history
- Create custom shopping lists of favorite/ frequently bought products to speed up repeat purchases
- Track order status and shipments
- Access account balances
- View invoices
- Make payments online.
This portal should be customer-centric and include both online and offline customer interactions and transactions. The value to the customer only occurs if the web store and self-service portal provide a truly accurate and up-to-date version of their entire relationship history with your company.
Relevant product suggestions e.g., additional or related products and spare parts can be presented to customers. These suggestions can be based on their previous order history, their business type, browsing behavior and items that are currently in their shopping cart. This helps your customers to discover new and better products, and importantly enhances your crosssell and upsell opportunities.
Customized pricing and company discounts are frequently used in B2B selling. Your customers will expect the web store to reflect the same personal prices and discounts they receive from a sales rep. This is possible to achieve online by establishing price levels for products depending on each customer’s negotiated price and volume discount and works really well if the web store is integrated with your ERP system.
Create views for different roles within your customer’s organization, which allows you to customize self-service capabilities. For example, a person who works in a retail shop may be able to select products, but only their manager can actually authorize the order. This can be arranged by limiting the authorization of his or her online account to preparing an order. Likewise, segmenting customers by their role enables more targeted marketing campaigns and promotions, as well as more relevant product suggestions and price agreements specific to their role and department.