See why it is important to have a Shopify customer account page on your B2B ecommerce store.
The eCommerce industry is evolving by leaps and bounds. It has seen the addition of different types of business models—one of them is B2B (business-to-business).
The global B2B eCommerce industry is valued at more than $12 trillion.
According to Forrester, B2B eCommerce will account for 17% of all B2B sales.
With the number of B2B eCommerce brands increasing, the competition is getting stronger. And businesses need to ensure they offer a top level purchase experience to their customers.
If you’re a B2B eCommerce business, this blog will tell you how you can use the Shopify customer account page to enhance customer experience and grow your business.
B2B eCommerce is business to business sale of goods and services through online transactions between businesses. These could include businesses that sell physical products and services, digital products such as software, wholesale sellers, distributors, etc.
B2B online transactions could be between a manufacturer and a wholesaler, a service provider, a wholesaler or retailer, etc. Most B2B brands are transacting online because it has many benefits.
Some benefits of B2B eCommerce:
- Businesses can transact 24/7
- The sales process gets automated
- There’s less need for intermediaries
- Product discovery becomes easy for customers
- Businesses can reach a wider market
- Reduces overhead and infrastructure costs
Owing to these advantages of the B2B eCommerce business model, its preference is growing among businesses, manufactures, suppliers, wholesalers, etc.
Consider these statistics:
- 65% of B2B companies across industries are transacting online
- 18% of B2B revenue is coming from eCommerce, which is higher than phone, email, and video conferencing
However, B2B eCommerce businesses have a long way to go. 52% of buyers are frustrated with their experience and expect eCommerce stores to keep up with their needs.
In the same way as B2C, B2B eCommerce brands, too, can create better customer experiences for businesses that transact with their store—think personalization, customization, targeted marketing, higher customer engagement, etc.
And this is where the Shopify customer account page comes in.
For any B2B business, it is a must to have an updated database of customers. Details such as customer name, postal address, email address, etc., should be updated and readily available.
This is where the Shopify customer account page helps. The companies (your customers) that transact online with you will ensure they update their business details. This can easily help you manage your business customers well.
For example, you can easily find information you require about your customers.
Here are a few ways updated business details help:
- You can send email notifications regarding orders, updates, etc.
- You can share email campaigns
- Customers’ postal address can be used to send gifts, etc., to build stronger relationships
- If there’s a contact person name, it helps you get in touch with them easily during times of emergency or when there are urgent updates
- The customer account page helps businesses that are scaling and expanding streamline the management of their customers
The customer account page is the best place to track orders for B2B eCommerce websites. You can see all the orders placed by customers—current, ongoing orders, and past orders.
As B2B eCommerce businesses grow, it can be challenging to track the orders placed by customers. And that’s where the customer account helps.
Each customer would have a customer account. The eCommerce business can easily track the order history details of all customers.
Here’s how tracking orders can help businesses:
- You can share timely updates to your customers
- You can identify order patterns and push more sales
- Craft personalized marketing campaigns based on order history data
- Measure metrics of different customers, for example, Average Order Value, Lifetime Customer Value, etc.
Let’s look at an example:
Say customer X is a regular buyer. And you want to give them special treatment to enhance their purchase experience on your site. So, what could you do with the data from the customer account page?
You could go to the order history and identify patterns—the interval between orders, order value, etc. Then, you could create personalized campaigns to engage this customer.
For example, send them reminders around the time they usually make purchases or notify them to tell them about new stock arrival in your inventory, etc.
This way, you can make your customers feel special and give them a more personalized experience.
Most B2B eCommerce businesses get reorders—recurring orders of the same items. For example, businesses might be reordering raw materials, supplies, services, etc., as they need them to fulfill their business requirements.
Having a customer account page makes reorders easy. Customers can click on the reorder button to place new orders. Or they can go to their order history, find the item they want to repurchase, and easily place an order.
Here’s how reordering helps B2B businesses:
- It boosts customer retention by making it easy for businesses to reorder
- Reorder data can help you create personalized campaigns
- It enables you to identify how much of your business comes from reorders/repeat customers
Let’s look at an example to understand the benefits of reordering:
Customer Y often places reorders on your B2B eCommerce website. To retain the customer and to build a stronger relationship, you could offer an incentive for reordering. For example, you could offer discounts, store credits, faster shipping, etc.
A customer account page for your B2B eCommerce website is one of the best ways to maintain updated customer addresses. It’s almost like your customer address book.
Customers who regularly order from your website would ensure they update their address in case it has changed. Having customers’ business addresses helps in many ways:
- You can maintain your inventory based on the top-ordered locations
- You can ensure you don’t run out of inventory and lose business
- Create location-based targeted marketing campaigns
- There’s less friction or delivery glitches
Let’s look at an example:
Say you have storage facilities in different locations—A, B, and C. You receive the maximum orders for a particular product from location B.
This data is enough indication for you to ensure you always have enough stock at location B. Moreover, when you have extra stock to clear out, you can run personalized marketing campaigns, such as discounts and offers.
There might be products that customers are interested in buying but have yet to. Unfortunately, there are many instances where this can happen.
For example, you might have added new products in your inventory that the customer wishes to try at some point.
Or you have opened pre-orders for a product that customers want to try once the item is physically available—they may want to see some reviews before they place their order.
These are cases where wishlists can provide many benefits.
- Customers can add items they are interested into their wishlist
- You can assess customers’ response and interest in your product
- You can upsell and cross-sell based on the products in customers’ wishlists
- Create personalized promotional campaigns on wishlisted products to increase sales
Here’s an example:
Say company X is a B2B eCommerce website. It adds a new product to its website. Customer A is interested in the product and adds it to their wishlist. However, the customer isn’t buying it. So, company X offers a discount to motivate them to buy it, and the customer finally buys it.
Unlike business-to-customer (B2C), B2B sales can take much longer to close. This is because B2B sales involve multiple decision-makers, so completing a deal can be time-consuming.
In the process, customers may lose interest in your product, or they may start exploring the products of your competitors. And you wouldn’t want to lose your potential customers to your competitors.
During this time, you need to keep your customers engaged. Customers remember good experiences and are more likely to return to your store.
One of the best ways to keep them hooked to your site is store credits.
Here’s how you can engage your customers via store credits:
- Make store credits a part of your Shopify customer account page
- Encourage new customers to sign up to earn store credits
- Create personalized campaigns around store credits. For example, to encourage customers to buy your products and offer store credits in return.
And there are many benefits of having a store credits program for your B2B eCommerce website.
- It helps retain customers. Selling to existing customers is much easier than converting new customers
- B2B eCommerce businesses have fewer deals as they are primarily large orders, and hence it’s more important to retain customers
- You can provide services; for example, if you sell B2B software, you could provide training that customers can avail of by redeeming store credits
You can use the Flits Store Credits app to set up this feature.
B2B eCommerce businesses face many challenges in identifying their ideal customer persona. For a B2B eCommerce business, the target customer and ideal customer persona is bigger than an individual.
Multiple factors play a role. For example, many of your customers may be operating in different verticals, and the companies may be of varying sizes, have various annual revenue, and be at different locations. This makes identifying the ideal customer persona more complex.
This is a big challenge that your B2B eCommerce customer account page can help solve.
The customer account page can give you various insights about your customers—their buying patterns, interests, average order value, order frequency, etc.
These can help you build your ideal customer persona. Moreover, you can accordingly create promotional and marketing campaigns to engage and hook them.
eCommerce is becoming the primary way B2B businesses operate. Wholesalers, retailers, and businesses are increasingly preferring to make purchases online, speeding up the process.
To provide a good customer experience, B2B eCommerce businesses must invest in the right tools that help streamline their digital approach.
You need a tool such as Flits to set up an efficient Shopify customer account page on your B2B eCommerce website.
Flits customer account page app provides comprehensive features to drive success.