The world of business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce is all about efficiency, accuracy and speed. Do you focus on B2B sales? Then it is essential that you provide the best possible customer experience to compete in a crowded market. A customer portal specifically designed for B2B-related eCommerce can be a great tool for achieving this. Such a portal is based on the principle of self-service, so that customers can easily complete purchasing processes themselves and without assistance. A customer portal is a unified platform that offers customers 24/7 assistance and effective solutions to problems without the need for human intervention. It allows customers to place orders, view invoices, view information about products and services, and do much more. And all in one convenient place. In this blog article, we'll discuss the benefits of a B2B eCommerce customer portal, the key features it should have, and how to set it up and implement it to improve the customer experience and drive sales.
A self-service customer portal is not a replacement for a well-organized back office, sales or customer service, but rather a valuable addition to it. The added value of such a channel? Offer customers the option of arranging their own affairs online. Where customer service is only available by telephone at set times, a self-service portal is accessible 24/7. Wherever, but also when the customer needs it.
A good customer portal increases efficiency and enables B2B sellers to offer a better service. This not only has direct financial benefits for organizations, but also for the buyer. You can guess the result: more satisfied and loyal customers!
Business buyers nowadays expect the same level of service from their suppliers as regular consumers. After all, the B2B buyer is also a consumer in everyday life. The new generation of buyers has a strong digital focus and expects to see this reflected in their professional B2B role.
Once on the portal, B2B buyers can discover additional content related to their initial inquiry. In addition, they easily gain inspiration by viewing other products and services of your company. With a good customer portal you also relieve your service personnel. You free them from time-consuming tasks that are easy to automate.
There are several B2B services that are suitable for self-service. Examples are:
Do you want to be sure that your customer portal contributes strongly to a perfect B2B eCommerce experience? Then seamless integration with other systems is essential.
When you integrate eCommerce and ERP, you move data effortlessly between the systems. Send orders directly from your eCommerce system to your ERP? Automatically upload stock updates from the ERP to your eCommerce platform? And even extract master product data and customer-specific prices from your systems and present them to the customer? No problem at all if you have the integration of your systems in order.
With tight integration between systems, you create a closer relationship with customers and build more reliable relationships. Optimal integration of e-commerce and ERP for B2B sites provides customers with complete and reliable self-service capabilities.
The integration of ERP and eCommerce relieves standalone systems. eCommerce solutions that use the cloud and APIs ensure that your own teams spend less time and energy on system maintenance and can fully focus on their business-critical core tasks.
Using a good B2B customer portal brings many benefits. We briefly list the most important ones.
With a B2B eCommerce platform, customers can easily access the product catalog, prices, availability and other information without having to contact the seller directly. This can lead to faster and more efficient decision-making.
Transactions are now quickly arranged. There is no longer any need to e-mail extensively back and forth or to have to call regularly on the phone. This often has a positive effect on the speed with which a customer can solve questions and problems independently, thereby increasing customer satisfaction and the rapid resolution of questions or problems.
Self-service customer portals give customers more insight into the ordering process. Buyers can track purchase orders, view their order history anytime, anywhere, and receive updates on delivery receipt times.
Respond even better to the needs and wishes of customers? With a good portal you can and serve your customers with personalized product recommendations, targeted offers and loyalty programs.
A self-service platform allows customers to get support at any time through chatbots, FAQs, tutorials and other means. This can help resolve their questions and issues faster and improve the overall customer experience.
Modern customers expect excellent service and a user-friendly digital experience. They no longer feel like going through telephone menus or extensive email exchanges. Brands rarely distinguish themselves based on the product they offer, but much more on the level of service they provide. Companies that provide superior service compared to their competition usually enjoy a higher market share.
A customer portal helps you automate many B2B tasks. Less manual work reduces labor costs and allows your staff to focus on strategic activities that add value to your organization.
A self-service portal helps streamline B2B sales processes and reduce errors. Accuracy increases by automating data entry and other manual tasks.