Rachel Rodenborg over at Insite Software has been writing some good stuff on B2B E-Commerce. She has an article posted yesterday that talks about how your B2B E-Commerce site should inspire, guide the user, and be authentic. I agree with all her points, but also think that all of these practices should have intent within a framework. For example, she states:
the B2B e-commerce site must inspire the visitor to take action much in the same way that a consumer-focused site would
I agree with this statement in general, but I also think that if you believe that your E-Commerce site should be Relationship-Centric and you have evaluated your sales process and are thinking of how your site can be an extension of your sales process, action may not be the goal of your site. Obviously, a goal of many sites is conversion and to generate more revenue, but make sure you are going through the process of setting goals and creating a customer experience that complements and extends your sales process.
But I think she makes some great points. I really enjoyed this quote
The reality is that today’s B2B consumer is unlikely to place his e-commerce order with a print catalog in hand or even place his order while sitting at a desk with a previous order to use as a guide. This means that your B2B e-commerce site must guide and assist the customer throughout the buying process.
BTW, Rachel – thanks for helping carry the torch on B2B E-Commerce and differentiating it from retail.
P.S. A final note on being authentic – I think it’s funny that the post stated being authentic meant”not copied” and yet this entire blog post is essentially a copy. At least I gave credit…