As technology grows at an ever-increasing rate, it can be hard to keep up with the changing times, especially when operating in a B2B eCommerce space. The mobile customer has shaken up the B2C world, and its time to welcome them into B2B as well. B2B sites account for 16% of mobile traffic, and 52% of B2B customers user their smartphones or tablets to research products for their business. The audience is there, but how do you take advantage of this opportunity? The following are some tips and tricks for maximizing mobile commerce for B2B organizations.
Optimize the Buyer’s Journey
As with any eCommerce experience, you need to optimize the buyer’s journey from beginning to end. While this means having things like an intuitive user interface and easy-to-use checkout process, mobile brings up some additional concerns.
When developing the site, design with the various dimensions of mobile devices in mind. An easy way to do that is to employ responsive format during the development process. Otherwise, you may end up with a display that cuts off key information.
Additionally, keep in mind that those people browsing your site via a mobile device are still looking for a site that performs well. Site speed and performance can make or break a sale, so make sure that your site is in top condition. One easy way to speed up your site is to keep image sizes below 50 KB to cut down on load time.
Utilize B2C Best Practices
Your B2B customers that are in charge of purchasing during the day are the same people shopping from B2C sites in the evening (or occasionally at work when they have a spare minute). While it is unrealistic you are going to get to the “Add to Cart” stage on a mobile device for a B2B sale; it is highly likely that the B2B decision makers may be conducting research on your company and product on a mobile device.
Given that reality, they have come to expect a flawless and user-friendly experience regardless if they are on a B2C or B2B site. It is critical to translate those expectations into your B2B mobile site as well. This can be accomplished by the ensuring that your site:
- Is easy to scan
- Has been formatted for the screen size
- Is intuitive and easy to navigate
- Has user-friendly search functions
Being mobile ready is about more than just responsive design. Make sure that your mobile site is appropriately formatted for everything from SEO to image sizes.
But, Remember that B2B and B2C Have Their Differences
For all of the B2C best practices for mobile, there are some significant differences that must be considered, and some specific issues that arise with B2B that must be addressed separately.
One of the most obvious differences is that the sales cycle is longer in B2B than B2C. Rarely is just one person involved in the decision-making process. Often there are multiple people from different departments and at different levels who need to be in on the final discussion and decision. Additionally, the product or service itself is often more complex than those offered in B2C. These added layers of intricacy contribute to those B2B consumers that research on mobile, but don’t purchase. Today’s mobile technologies are equipped to handle those complicated orders, as long as they are being utilized correctly. Be aware of your company's needs and prepare for them.
Additionally, most B2B purchases are considerably more expensive than the average B2C purchase, also making it less likely that a purchase would happen on a mobile site. However security is always a concern no matter who the customer is, so it is important to stress PCI Compliance and other security standards on a B2B mobile site.
If your company does not yet have a mobile strategy, now is the time to create one. Google recently announced that they are making changes to their search algorithm for ranking mobile search results starting April 21. The new mobile ranking factors will label sites as mobile-friendly as well as use that information to determine how high a site ranks in search results. Google does not have a scale of mobile-friendliness; your site is either mobile friendly or it is not. These changes mean that not having a mobile-friendly site will soon directly impact the performance of your site. You can check if your site is mobile-friendly here, and learn more about the impact of Google’s changes here.