It’s no secret that the growth of the digital and mobile platform has changed the game for retailers, both online and traditional brick and mortar. But they’ve also been ahead of the curve when it comes to managing “big data.” Now that B2B companies across all industries are catching up, here are a few lessons we can glean from Social Media Explorer’s recent webinar, “How to Tackle the Biggest Challenges in Online Retail.”
Avoid Shopping Cart Abandonment – A whopping 75 percent of online shopping carts are abandoned, according to Monetate. While your company may not have a shopping cart, follow the advice of Barry Litwin, VP of e-commerce for Sears, and closely track your analytics to understand your customer’s pathways. Are your visitors going to 2 or 3 pages and then exiting before downloading an eBook or bouncing off the contact page without completing a form? That’s a sign of an inefficiency or road block you could correct.
It’s Not All About the Sparkle – As Jeff Mason, VP of Marketing at Velaro, puts it – a new website design is not a magic pill that will make you a powerhouse online retailer. Nor is a new site design (alone) going to have prospects lining up around the block to engage your services. A new site is great, but do you have:
- The operational infrastructure to make it functional?
- An editorial calendar of regular content to keep it fresh?
- Someone designated to respond to inquiries?
- A process for updating your news section?
Don’t be Afraid of an Informed Customer – The idea of posting customer reviews next to a product was worrying at first to retailers, but research finds that it helps consumers in the decision and purchase process – not to mention that it provides useful intel for both merchandisers and retailers. Consider looking for opportunities to feature case studies, client feedback or even live comments alongside your list of services.
Time is of the Essence – Brad Butler Jr. of Halloween Express says that 90 percent of their annual business is done in a few short weeks. They only have a short amount of time to engage and convert customers, and so do you. A B2B company may have a longer sales cycle from start to finish, but if your site is not intuitive and easy to navigate, you’re losing prospects.
What else can B2B companies learn from e-retailers? Let us know your thoughts, and for more insights on the webinar, check out the #SMEDigital conversation on Twitter.