This post was contributed by Ciara Byrne
It is hard to pick the most significant technological advancement of recent times without mentioning the smartphone. Additionally, one of the biggest economic revolutions in recent years has been the advent of the mobile eCommerce industry. According to a study by Pew Research Center, “Roughly three-quarters of U.S. adults (76%) say they ever buy things online using a smartphone,” and this number is higher than the portion of adults in the US that shop on their computers.
Needless to say, mobile commerce is a pretty big deal. If you’re looking to enter the industry with a focus on B2B clients, here are some ways to improve the effectiveness of your sales and marketing strategy. These healthy business practices should give your mobile B2B eCommerce venture a solid beginning and a fruitful journey.
Modern standards of mobile commerce apps are quite high. Shoppers, and especially B2B clients, need mobile commerce apps to contain all the necessary functions in one convenient package. These functions include being able to browse through products and services, learn all there is to know about them, contact customer service, and request a quote all on one platform.
The fewer hurdles that clients must jump to perform the most fundamental functions to access the services of your business, the more likely they are to accept whatever it is you offer. Imagine how much more difficult it would be if you were shopping for something online and had to navigate several platforms to find, purchase, and pay for a single product.
Update your current eCommerce software to include all the necessary functions for your clients to learn about, choose, and order your services, and the next time you fill out a sales forecast template, expect more positive results.
Accessibility in commerce is an umbrella term that encompasses several key stages of a B2B sale. A very simple example would be an app that supports different languages and is easy to navigate even for those who are not tech-savvy, that includes the ability for its mobile commerce app to function on devices with different screen types and resolutions.
Look through your CRM system to see what sort of clients you’re working with to understand how you can improve the accessibility of your mobile commerce platform. Add new features or improve existing ones based on the needs of your clientele to make it easier for them to utilize your services.
You’ll be dealing with all manner of demographics on your B2B business venture, so your platform must be accessible to as many potential customers as possible. Perform mobile app testing on your platform to see how the user interface looks and functions on different screens.
Clean UI and Seamless UX
Your eCommerce mobile app and website must have an interface that provides a seamless browsing and purchasing experience for your clients. This requirement is especially relevant if you’re looking to close large deals with B2B clients since a professional-looking interface subtextually communicates the quality of your products and services to them.
But there’s more to UI and UX than just a professional or functioning interface. The user experience of your B2B eCommerce platform is essentially your elevator pitch to prospective clients; if the time they spend browsing through your platform is seamless and uninterrupted, they’ll surely visit it again. On the other hand, a few bugs, glitches, and long loading times can hinder their experience, lowering the chances that they’ll return to the app or have any trust in what you have to offer.
Design a user experience and user interface that communicates to your clients that what you’re selling is just as good as the time they spent on your app, if not better.
Flexible Payment Systems
Another important aspect of software functionality and a smooth user experience is having a variety of payment systems. Stay up to date with all the newest payment methods so that clients can easily pay for your products or services regardless of what payment system they use.
This approach is not only a matter of creating a more convenient platform but one that can support a larger clientele. Look for all the most trusted payment methods that are being used in eCommerce and incorporate them into your app or webpage as soon as you can. Look through the demographics of potential B2B customers to determine what part of the world they are from.
Knowing this very important detail helps your B2B eCommerce business expand into an international market and opens up your products or services to a much larger audience.
Client Feedback and Testimonials
A business succeeds or fails through its clients, and in more ways than one. B2B commerce, mobile or otherwise, heavily depends on client feedback, both positive and negative. By incorporating customer feedback services into your mobile commerce operation, you give yourself valuable insight into the strength and weaknesses of your product, service, and overall business.
Client feedback will help you improve on the things that your business already does well, and more importantly, learn about your mistakes and grow from them. While the notion that “the customer is always right” is somewhat obsolete these days, there is still value in listening to clients, be it their positive feedback or complaints.
Additionally, positive customer feedback can serve as testimonials, which are a fantastic form of marketing. Testimonials are effective in building trust with prospective clients, something that can be a deciding factor in whether or not a sale is made. Include positive feedback in the form of client testimonials somewhere that is visible and accessible.
It’s also important to make it convenient for your clients to leave feedback, so incorporate a fully-functional feedback system into your app or webpage. This way, your clients will have no trouble letting you know what needs to be improved. This feedback can be completed via a little survey or an instantly accessible customer support chat which your clients can use on your eCommerce platform.
Be Mindful of Visuals
The majority of the content we consume is visual. It is a proven fact that human eyes remember visual content much better than written. So, not only do we prefer to see images, but they also leave a more lasting impact on us to the point where simply including images on your eCommerce platform can have a positive impact on conversion rates. This fact is why it’s so important to not only use visual content but to use high-quality visual content effectively.
Using images will make it much easier for your clients to visualize what it is they could invest their money into and can be more convincing than a wall of text describing it. This isn’t to say that good copy and product or service descriptions aren’t important; they very much are and can be used effectively in their own way. Much like with data standardization, where convoluted statistics can be made more legible and understandable, images can summarize paragraphs of text describing a product or service into a single photo or infographic.
Remember to use visual content where possible to communicate what your product or service is to your clients. The quality and consistency of the images are also crucial, as it communicates that you are detail-oriented and put care into the presentation of your business. It’s another small detail that can help you garner the trust of many prospective clients.
SMS advertising for mobile eCommerce may seem like a no-brainer since messaging is a fundamental function of modern phones. But many tend to overlook this very effective method of marketing. SMS text message marketing has existed for decades and has proven to work for many eCommerce businesses.
According to SMS Global, SMS ads have an open rate of a whopping 98%, far greater than that of emails which tends to be around 20%. To this day, even with so many communication platforms, it seems as though people still instinctively open almost all of the SMS messages they receive.
This high chance of reaching clients makes SMS a very effective medium for eCommerce marketing. If you’re in search of expanding your brand’s recognition, this method may be the most effective way to reach a wider audience.
Learn as You Do
While there are tons of great practices and tricks out there to optimize your B2B mobile commerce operation, at the end of the day, the most you can learn is through your own experience. Consider the tips we’ve mentioned above and see which of these fit your business.
If there’s one practice that is universally true with running a B2B eCommerce business, it’s to learn from your mistakes. One way or another, every business, regardless of how big or small their operation is, will make a mistake. However, what differentiates a successful eCommerce business from a failing one is its willingness to learn from old mistakes and use these lessons to grow into something better.
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