eCommerce Tips

Efficient eCommerce Ordering for B2B and Wholesale Customers

By Josh O'Connell on April, 11 2019

When B2B and wholesale customers come to an eCommerce store to shop, they tend to seek a different experience from their B2C counterparts. Generally speaking, with larger orders and more specific knowledge about the products being ordered, most B2B purchases should happen as quickly as possible. As such, whatever ways you as a merchant can reduce the friction to a sale will improve your conversion rates.

Here are a number of solutions that can help you get your customers through the ordering process faster and with less stress.


 

Table View for Product Browsing

Product Page Table View Example

Before the Internet, many B2B and wholesale businesses relied on catalogs, which had some visuals and information but the table view of products, SKUs, pricing, etc. were generally front and center. For customers that need a bit of information before buying, it was the optimized approach for sales.

B2B websites are adopting this same table model to replicate that experience, while leveraging the niceties of a modern eCommerce website. Customers can click into a product to get more detail, but if they just need to skim variations before purchase, they can do so at a glance, put multiple variations into a cart at once, and checkout quickly. You can use this view in a couple of different options:

  • Category Page: This configuration allows customers to browse the various products in a category easily and add multiple category products to the cart. This is most similar to the traditional catalog approach. Zoey’s new demo store demonstrates this approach.
  • Product Page: Where you would normally see drop downs for options to lead to a choice, instead you can provide a complete list of variations and let customers select and add to cart all the permutations they need at the same time.

In the latter instance, here’s an example: If you’re selling T-shirts, you can show the small, medium and large options in red, blue and green, and if you’re selling wholesale to a store who may need all 9 variations (three colors x three sizes), they can do so in one action instead of going through each version one by one. Here’s an example of this approach in Zoey’s demo store.

 

Easy Reordering

Many wholesale customers are repeat buyers, stocking up as needed. To make purchasing those items easier, there are a couple of ways to ensure your customers can quickly find the products they want and check out:

  • Reorder button: For orders that rarely deviate from one month to the next, a reorder button may be all that’s needed. A customer should be able to drop a SKU or change quantities around, but a reorder button can quickly stage the cart with what’s necessary.
  • Quick Order screen: Customers can quickly enter or paste in SKU and quantity pairings that allow a cart to be built with speed and go right to checkout. For customers that know their SKUs or keep them handy, this is a useful tool. Or, add a smart search capability to make it easier for customers to find the products they want to put on the list. See an example.

    Quick Order
  • Recently Ordered screen: Show the most recent SKUs purchased in a browsable list, with a simple way to place them in the cart. Unlike Quick Order, which requires SKU knowledge or a search one by one, a recently ordered will display items ordered with newest items up top, so for commonly ordered items they can be found in a click. See a Zoey demonstration (you’ll need to follow the log-in steps to see this.)
  • Wish List/My Catalog: Finally, if all else fails, having a place your customers can save important SKUs on a list to find for easy ordering can allow for a way forward if the above aren’t available in all cases. It’s a more manual process, but once the list is built, it can be accessible anytime. Just make sure customers can save SKUs in a way that they don’t disappear upon ordering. See a sample (you'll need to be logged in to the demo store to see it).

Catalog Segmentation

One method that might seem less obvious, but can be beneficial if you sell different types of products, is catalog segmentation. What this means is you show different catalog presentations or products to different customer groups. Examples can include:

  • SKU Presentation: Showing different products or product types depending on the customer browsing. By trimming the catalog back to only show the pertinent SKUs for each customer type, you reduce the noise and clutter in your catalog presentation and keep buyers focused on their particular needs.
  • B2C vs. B2B: An increasing number of businesses are selling to both B2C and B2B customers through a single website. When doing this, it’s important to make sure both the products shown AND the presentation of those products are tailored to each audience. For B2B customers you might leverage the table presentation whereas with B2C you might take a more traditional, visual eCommerce approach more appropriate for that audience.
  • Pricing Presentation: Wholesale customers traditionally receive a different pricing offering than consumers, and some wholesalers may get preferential volume based on agreements or sales volume. Segmenting your customers into groups can help you manage what pricing each group sees more effectively.

Learn More

Zoey can help you make your B2B eCommerce sales by providing a platform that can make your customers more self-reliant while streamlining sales with a cost effective solution. Click the button below to get your own personalized demo of Zoey:

Request a demo


If you’d like more eCommerce tips, check out Zoey’s recently published eBook, “The Changing Landscape of B2B eCommerce,” which has more great suggestions and solutions like found here:

Get your free eBook: The Changing Landscape of B2B eCommerce

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