Working with B2B part 1: Mismanagement of catalogue

Anders Holmberg Lange is the Co-Founder of Entername, a company with the core belief that strategy should be simple, understandable and evolving. Designing 360 digital campaigns and leading selected clients from digital transformation to digital excellence in Marketing, business and sales.

Anders has been working with major global brands the last 15 years, taking them from digital transformation to digital strategy to digital excellence and delivering double digits growth rates across the board. He worked in industries like fashion, banking, entertainment and for leisure companies. No matter there were fortune 500 companies or startups, Anders was always building around a gamification approach creating win-win strategies.

In a series of materials for AdHugger, he shares from his experience accumulated during over 15 years of working in B2B e-Commerce.

I think the time has come to share my 15 years of experience with B2B E-commerce. B2B E-Commerce has change and become a completely new world. As B2B E-Commerce experts, we need to address the change occurring to B2B and learn a lesson from the B2C world.

Let’s address some of the mistakes that need to be avoided from the very beginning.

Here is my advice!

  • Product Contract Management – With the rise of B2B E-Commerce, new tasks of contract management have come to life. You might have clients that are not allowed to buy your whole catalogue or might have different payment terms. There is one thing often forgotten when going from KAM to E-commerce: the “under the table” deals. You either must address this within the platform or to still have KAM connected. The Client may leave or want to change the terms if the “Under the table” deals disappear.
  • Price Contact Management – Pricing can be every complex and it is easy to make mistakes when it comes of setting the right price for the right client. Today it is not only about setting the right price to encourage sales, but it is also about building in the gamification of a price structure.
  • Landing page management – In general, B2B E-commerce forgets to work with landing pages in all its aspects. Landing pages have been a claim for the B2C e-commerce, but the same triggers used in B2C need to be used in similar ways also for B2B. All your work is about leading the client to a certain place, so design the optimal place for optimal sale. Also, remove any option that, currently, does not represent an option for the client, just to make a cleaner landing. Landing pages are extremely relevant to B2B E-commerce!
  • Outgoing products’ management –  The products are important for your clients; it is what they have built their business on. As a B2B E-Commerce, you have the optimal conditions to automate the outgoing products, like setting up the e-mail flow to handle this. It is simple and easy to do, but so often forgotten and the clients get disappointed and might look other places.
  • Multi product Management – Personalization has become the standard within B2C and it should be the same B2B. Cross selling or Multi product Management is a forgotten thing within B2B. Remember, it is still a person that is ordering the products. It also allows you do address products that are often forgotten during the ordering process, as some clients might not have a shopping list based on data from previous orders, so they shop what they see.
  • Customer Experience management – The B2C consumer is already demanding a designed Customer Experience without preset rules, driven only by the need of the customer. The advantage of being a B2B E-Commerce site is the Client Experience can be designed around the contact and what has already been agreed upon. Then you can go beyond if you want, but design at least for the layout of your contacts.
  • Performance Management – B2B is similar to B2C in many ways. But some elements of B2B can slow down the process. The high complexity in Product, price and payment management slows the performance. The more focus you have on this during the development, the better performance you will achieve. This means you must understand the rules that are driving your Product, price and payment, and it might mean that you will have to implement standards you do not have right now. This is not a bad thing!
  • Cross border management – This represents the growth market. Just like with the B2C, you need to localize your actions to address the specific markets. English will get you far, but it is always better to deliver in the local language. Remember, being local is more than just using the language, it is everything from writing the date the right way to ensuring the right format of numbers!
  • Gamification management – By having everything on display, you have the option of building in gamification triggers. This is something often forgotten in B2B! Simple elements in doing this could be displaying of what steps the clients are currently on and what advantage they have. Combine with what comes on the next step to push them to buy more!

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