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What Any Ecommerce Marketer Can Learn From A B2B Marketer

Ecommerce has evolved in such a big way along the years. B2B eCommerce marketers have started borrowing principles from B2C and the two became more alike.

The both types of eCommerce business models have started taking lessons from the B2B industry.

Plainly put, eCommerce marketing and B2B marketing haven’t always been close allies. However, as Meg Lister, the senior conversion rate expert at WordStream puts it:

 

Meg Lister

“We are all in one family. We’re all  focused on conversions, online sales, and making an impact.”

 

As an eCommerce marketer, you can pick up a few lessons and tips from the B2B field. Let’s dive in.

Lesson #1: Integrate Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is an important aspect of lead management. If you want to eliminate assumptions or guesswork from your lead generation efforts, you need to score the leads.

According to Meg Lister, “Lead scoring is used by B2B marketers to determine which interested leads should be handed over to the sales team to complete the sale process (and nurture the leads to buy again).”

B2B ecommerce

HubSpot sees lead scoring as…

“A methodology used to rank prospects against a scale that represents the perceived value each lead represents to the organization. Job position, number of social media followers, or company size may be information valuable to your business about a lead.”

In reality, not every business needs to adopt a lead scoring program. If a business decides to go with it, the lead scoring best practices must be in place, too.

Sure, a lot of online businesses are thinking about lead scoring, but a recent study from MarketingSherpa shows that only 21% of B2B marketers have actually established a lead scoring program.”

In summary, HubSpot recommends that you can easily evaluate whether or not your business needs to score leads when:

  • The sales team already has enough leads to call or follow up
  • The sales team usually complains about bad leads (leads that don’t convert)
  • You have got the demographic and behavioral data based on how a lead engages with your website.

If the three criteria above are met, then, there’s a good chance your business would benefit from lead scoring.

Most of the time, B2B marketers usually ask for a lot of information from the customer.

B2B marketers want to know a lot of things about the customer: from the number of people in their team, how old they’re with their job position, and how satisfied they are at their current job.

On the other hand, both B2B eCommerce marketers and B2C eCommerce marketers may not have that much information about first-time visitors. Therefore, it’s a good lesson and approach that they need to adopt.

Once eCommerce marketers begin to leverage lead scoring in their campaigns, it can really help in behavioral segmentation and run more targeted testing campaigns.

And that brings us to three basic components of lead scoring:

i) User-location fit: When people visit an online store, the question that should come to mind (with the purpose of further scoring the lead) can be summarized like this:

B2B ecommerce

Making sure that your store is the right fit for your user is critical in lead scoring.

For example, if you only offer free shipping to various states within the US, by the time a shopper from Peru gets to the checkout page, you want to give them a negative score.

ii)  User-product fit: This is a similar question like the first, but this time you want to know if you accept payment in your user’s local currency.

B2B ecommerce

If you don’t accept the user’s currency, (e.g., Australian Dollar), you might want to exclude the user or give them a negative lead score.

iii)  User-language fit: This time, you want to make sure that the language on your website or store matches the language preferences in the user’s browser.

B2B ecommerce

If there’s a disconnect in the language, when users encounter technical problems during checkout, it will be hard for them to contact your customer support.

Consequently, this would lead to a negative user experience.

Meg Lister recommends that you should disconnect the users who fall short of the above three components of your lead scoring programs, or A/B split testing campaigns.

To wrap up this aspect of lead scoring, if you’re sure that your website users are targeted and ready to buy (e.g., they’ve added items in the cart), or they simply abandoned the cart, then you know you’re ready to score them.

In case they don’t buy at first, you can send them a SUPER targeted offer, which they’ve indicated interest. For example, if you’re targeting marketers from SaaS companies, you could send an offer that’s similar to this:

B2B ecommerce

Lesson #2: Start a long-term relationship with your eCommerce customers

People want to buy from brands they know and trust.

As you already know, there are several ways you can establish a long-term rapport with your existing customers. Probably the most effective is creating loyalty programs.

i) Create a loyalty program with Real Perks: Nothing motivates a customer more than the thought of a reward at the end of their purchase. In your relationship with your customers, you never want to stop selling to them.

In fact, a recent study reveals that customers are 82.4% more likely to shop at stores with loyalty programs.

B2B ecommerce

Do you really want your customers to trust you?

If yes, then you need to create loyalty programs. The aim is to build a strong brand identity, and give customers a core reason to stick to your brand – and not your competitor’s.

Loyalty programs can effectively lead to increased sales.

B2B ecommerce

In his classic book, “The Loyalty Effect: The Hidden Force behind Growth, Profits, and Lasting Value,” the author Frederick F. Reichheld said that when you make loyalty out of 5% more customers, on average, it can lead to an increased profit per customer – between 25% and 100%.

A good product plays a key role in building your brand, but it’s not the only thing you need to create loyal customers.

You want to make VIP out of your customers. These people want to be noticed by and treated as kings than other customers.

They want special recognition and rewards. They want to be involved with what your brand is doing; make their opinions count.

But for this to work, you need to offer real value in your loyalty programs. For example, early access to a new stock, offering discounts and coupons.

Sephora has a loyalty program, called the VIB Rouge.

B2B ecommerce

Customers who participate stands to gain:

  • Free shipping on all others.
  • Unlimited access to the Beauty Studio.
  • Exclusive VIB Rouge events & gifts.
  • All other benefits and much, much more.

Loyalty programs that offer real benefits often keep the customers coming back, instead of switching to your competitors.

A B2B Marketing Study Report shows that customers who take advantage of perks (benefits of a loyalty program) stay longer.

B2B ecommerce

To get even better results with your loyalty programs, request for customer’s testimonials.

Then, use them in your landing page, sales copy, or product checkout pages to make positive impact on current and future customers.

Lesson #3: Ask your customers how they feel

“There is no substitute for actual user feedback,” says Meg Lister.

Most B2C and B2B eCommerce marketers are so concerned about how to increase online sales and ignore this aspect of looking out for the good of their customers.

B2B ecommerce

But remember this: each time you reach out to a new or old customer, you open up new opportunities to generate more sales from them.

Customer’s assessment of quality and value of your product are influenced by emotions.

Emotions drive purchase decisions.

This is why it’s important to reach out to these customers and ask some open ended questions, such as:

  • What is your experience with X product?
  • How confident are you to refer friends to our store?
  • What do you hate about our customer support?

And so on.

As an example, over the past couple months, WordStream has spent over 20 hours on the phone with customers, and getting feedback on the homepage.

During the call, the customers complained that they’re confused and would like a homepage the communicated value with clarity.

Guess what?

And those conversations helped WordStream redesign their homepage. They added a few elements, but also removed unnecessary elements.

B2B ecommerce

Conclusion

In times of decision making, whether it’s related to redesigning the online store homepage, the product pages, or following up on customers who abandoned the shopping cart, these 3 lead generation tactics can help.

Above all, start building relationships with your customers through email. And be keen to incorporate email personalization, because it’s going to improve your relationship with your customers.

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