The Right B2B Ecommerce Digital Marketing Mix

Blog Post By:Aaron Gingras

More and more marketing leaders are being challenged with providing their business with a B2B eCommerce strategy. For many in the B2B space, this is foreign territory. This can also be a challenge, as customers have high expectations for eCommerce websites, thanks to years of B2C online shopping experiences. In fact, Forrester reports only “26% of B2B companies say that their current B2B eCommerce technology systems are capable of effectively supporting an "Amazon-like" customer experience.” [1] With Amazon being the role model for a seamless eCommerce experience, this insight does not bode well for those in B2B services.

A good place to start is by identifying the right eCommerce digital marketing mix for your organization. By approaching eCommerce with the right digital marketing mix, marketers can engage the right eCommerce services that will lead to a successful eCommerce channel.

Capturing Customer Insights

Without talking to your customers, how can you be sure you know exactly what is going to make them purchase your product in an eCommerce, or online, experience? One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is assuming they already know what their customers want and need. Taking the time to gather customer insights is a crucial step in any B2B eCommerce strategy. Below are the eCommerce services needed to make data-driven decisions about your marketing strategy.

Customer Research

When you invest the time to thoroughly research your primary customer segment, you avoid creating a strategy based on assumptions that could be incorrect. Collecting Customer Research and Insights through a trusted partner provides organizations with deeper insights into how their current eCommerce services impact customer attitudes, behaviors and expectations. For example, Overground leverages primary research along with company executives, internal stakeholders and former and current customers to gain a comprehensive understanding of your customer behaviors and attitudes in our Customer Research and Insights offering.

Survey Tools

After you have developed your eCommerce strategy based on customer research, there are several survey tools available to ensure you are continually getting customer feedback. Whether you choose to survey your customers at the end of the checkout process or via a marketing automated email after they complete a purchase, questions you might want to consider asking include:

  • What made you decide to purchase our product or service online?
  • Would you recommend us to your friends or colleagues? Why or why not?
  • Was your experience shopping with us a positive one? Why or why not?
  • How can we improve our online purchasing experience?

By coupling customer research with ongoing customer feedback, you are gaining the data you need to ensure your eCommerce services are evolving to create high-impact customer interactions.

Perfecting the Customer Experience

Perfecting the customer experience is an ongoing element in the ideal eCommerce marketing mix. With any eCommerce initiative, marketers should constantly be optimizing each customer touch point along the buyer’s journey. Major touch points that should be considered include relevant and targeted email communication, thank you messages and friendly post-transaction messages.

Emails

When providing your customers the option to shop via eCommerce services, there are numerous email touch points to consider. Here are the must-haves:

  • Registration emails: Confirmation sent to customers when they register for an online account. Ensure your company name is present in the subject and sender fields, so prospects can quickly identify your email.
  • Password reset emails: These are necessary as users often forget their login information. Make this process as seamless as possible in order to avoid customers dropping out right before checkout.
  • Order confirmation emails: Serve as your customer’s receipt, so they have a very high open rate. Use this as an opportunity to upsell and/or cross sell when appropriate.

Thank You Messages

Just because you completed a sale does not mean a marketer’s job is done. In fact, your job has only just begun. Many times, improving on existing relationships is a much easier, and more profitable way to grow business than gaining new accounts. Utilize eCommerce web design services to create thank you pages that encourage customers to engage further. For example, ask customers to…

  • Subscribe to your newsletter and provide an offer
  • Engage with your brand on social media
  • Reach out to customer service if necessary

Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing is the third and final part of the ideal eCommerce marketing mix. The two most effective forms of lead nurturing are marketing automation and retargeting.

Marketing Automation

Large organizations often have a long and complex sales cycle, which requires marketers to find a way to keep their product top-of-mind over a long time period. Marketing automation enables lead nurturing that keeps leads engaged with the right message at the right time. Ecommerce messaging is sent to prospects based on time intervals, actions taken on your website and other triggers, like cart abandonment. This form of personalization allows eCommerce messages to have greater impact, moving prospects through the sales cycle more efficiently.

Retargeting

Retargeting ad platforms such as AdRoll and Google Remarketing help marketers improve eCommerce conversion rates by displaying ads to prospects who abandoned the purchase process. These ads motivate prospects to return to your site and complete their purchase. Retargeting also allows marketers to target prospects based on the products they viewed, and what stage in the customer journey they reached before abandoning.

Reaching the Ideal Ecommerce Digital Marketing Mix

Once you have implemented customer insights, perfection of the customer experience and a lead nurturing eCommerce strategy, you have set your marketing team up for success. However, as with most digital marketing initiatives, the work does not stop there. As eCommerce web design and marketing technologies improve, so will your prospects’ expectations. By constantly evaluating and testing opportunities that improve the eCommerce services offered, you will be creating a loyal customer base that promotes your brand. Contact us today to learn more.

[1] Forrester Research, Inc. “The New and Emerging World of B2B Commerce.”

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