A lot of ecommerce websites cater to other businesses who buy products from them and use them either in their manufacturing process or further sell those products and services as retailers. These sites are often called B2B and have different pricing structure, buying plans etc as compared to a usual B2C (Business to customers or normal ecommerce sites that sell products to end customers).
Since B2B sites have a more mature customer base (which are usually other corporate), there are some best practices that they can follow to make the buying process easier for their customers:
- Focus on search: Just like on B2C websites, B2B websites customers rely heavily on finding products using the search feature. The search box should be prominently placed on all the pages of the website. Search should allow auto fill feature where when the user types in a part of the word and is shown the matching variations to choose from, very much like the way Google search works. For companies that sell products that are parts which come in different sizes, search should allow the users to type in sizes in all possible ways. Like 23 inches can be typed as 23′ or 23 inch.
- Catalog: Mostly B2B websites have catalog hidden behind a log in area where only their customers can log in with the user name and password given to them and see the products. Instead of that the products should be available to be seen by all but their prices should be hid and only shown when the customers log in. This way a prospective customer is able to know about your full product range and also your products would be picked by up google.
- Configurations/Calculators: Most B2B products that are used in manufacturing or somewhere in production have to be configured before they are ordered. Like their size, specs etc., and see the quote and expected delivery time in real time. Using calculators and configurations increases the conversion rates on B2B websites. Rather people will stop using competitors site if your site have these options.