Like death and taxes, change in customer expectations is inevitable. Your B2B wholesale business must keep up, or it will lag and scrape for survival.
Advancement in technology has raised the level of service that customers expect from a B2B wholesaler.
Your business must step up if you want to enhance your clients’ buying experience and keep them coming back. Indeed, a good customer experience buys in loyalty and attracts new customers, which keeps your business ahead of the curve.
1 — Use Special Offers and Coupons
Unique and limited offers are a tried and tested method to capture leads.
A one-time special, such as free shipping, increases the urgency to make an order. Once the first order goes through, the customers are more likely to make another one.
Follow up with coupon deals to motivate wholesale buyers.
Also, make them feel special through free shipping campaigns, conditional campaigns, and giveaways after achieving a particular target.
Use discounts and make the whole ordering process as simple as possible to encourage customers to purchase a bundle.
The complexity of the ordering process has long been the main difference between B2B and B2C eCommerce.
But you can take the road less traveled.
Make access to tailored pricing structures and special offers easier and laugh all the way to the bank with much-improved wholesale sales.
2 — Give Recommendations
Customers appreciate insights into their market.
As often as possible, give them tips on getting ahead of their competition and volunteer information on which products are selling more.
With recommendations, you demonstrate genuine care for the customer’s business, which establishes a relationship and builds loyalty.
They see you as a trusted advisor and, as a result, will likely order a wide variety of products from you.
3 — Fast Delivery
Fast shipping and on-time delivery are essential ingredients to a long and healthy relationship with your buyers.
Delivering goods on time saves the retailer from loss of revenue, and they likely return the favor with repeat orders.
Use accurate demand forecasts and plan the production in advance. This avoids delays that hurt the relationship with customers you have toiled so hard to establish.
An effective order and inventory tracking system will predict retailer buying habits. Leverage this info to always have the inventory available for them.
4 — Reach Out to the Key Decision-Makers
You may be working with a couple of retailers in the broader network of retailers. Extend your reach by approaching the decision-makers to secure the management buy-in.
With management buy-in, you can secure your place as the leading supplier and acquire better deals.
But sometimes, finding who to talk to can be an uphill task.
Don’t sweat it too much; LinkedIn is an invaluable tool.
- Go to LinkedIn and use the search function to find the company group.
- Use the People tab to get the relevant connections.
- Make contact and reap your rewards.
Establishing a good relationship with the decision-makers improves your chances with the retailer chain—so leverage on this relationship to increase wholesale sales.
5 — Excel in Customer Service
Once in a while, new prospects and current customers will need assistance from you. Be quick to provide it in a friendly and professional manner.
Train and empower your customer service agents to make decisions that prioritize the customers’ needs.
Unlike B2C, wholesale business can extend beyond the local time zone.
Provide round the clock customer service to take care of all the customers that need your assistance through:
- Integrated intelligent chatbots
- Sales reps working in shifts
- Remote customer reps in various time zones
6 — Focus More on the Top 20%
While all the wholesale customers are unique, they don’t all make the same contribution to your sales revenue.
Divide them into tiers based on value to the company and assign particular benefits and rewards.
Tiering your customer base helps determine the resources to commit based on their value—this is where the Pareto principle comes in.
The Pareto principle makes a bold claim about many outcomes, and according to the 80/20 rule, most of your revenue, 80%, will be from your top 20% wholesale customers.
Apply this principle to work with proven buyers to increase wholesale sales by:
- Using pricing tiers to incentivize them. This is where you lower the price for top buyers.
- Making the ordering process seamless
- Working closely with their marketing department to market your products
- Offering them goodies such as free shipping and minimum requirements
- Making regular contacts with them
- Coming up with unique ways to celebrate anniversaries of signing up with you
7 — Follow-up With Intent
A few bits of the marketing process can be pretty monotonous, and following up with customers sits at the top of the pile.
But as much as it is unmotivating, and understandably so, consistent follow-up can be the cog in the wheel that makes better wholesale sales.
Consistency is the key here.
Use tools such as the Trello board to systemize and achieve consistency.
8 — Effective Handling of Returns
For consumers, returns are a necessary evil.
Returns are seen as an indication of customer dissatisfaction for retailers, wholesalers, and producers.
However, returns are part of the package of selling products and services in the market—they will always be there.
The majority of B2B wholesalers handle product returns on an ad hoc basis, and most overlook the effects that returns have on the B2B wholesale experience.
Product returns are typical in the B2B space and vital for the wholesale experience. Therefore, make it easier for the retailer to return the goods returned to them by the consumer or which they couldn’t sell.
Effective returns management develops trust and loyalty with the wholesale retailers, and they’re more likely to stick with your brand as a result—they know they can count on you.
9 — Email Marketing
When it comes to the oldest marketing tricks in the book, email marketing is on the first page.
Email marketing is an excellent tool for marketing communication with wholesale buyers.
Use personalized emails with educational content.
Even though the emails may not be promotional, they’re part and parcel of a great wholesale customer experience.
10 — Exit Interviews
No matter what you do, there will always be customers that want out of the contract.
While you may not be able to do anything to salvage the situation, you can find out what went wrong and use this information to improve.
Exit interviews will guide the improvement efforts to prevent a similar incident from happening again.
11 — Case Studies and Testimonials
Testimonials establish trust, more than any sales pitch can achieve.
The channel comes as an unbiased voice from real people, with real experiences, and is most often convincing.
Leverage the success stories and testimonials from your most loyal B2B customers as a way of converting new visitors to your website.
In particular, stories highlighting how your product or service helped a retailer solve a problem are among the best advertisement forms.
Testimonials strengthen the relationship and trust and increase conversion, but you need to use them correctly to be successful.
Here’s how you can do so:
- Be selective and find testimonials that detail and explain a product feature that solved a pain point. In the B2B space, product features can be product bundle benefits for the retailers.
- Ensure the testimonials address some of the most common pain points for B2B customers. This way, the testimonial will be relatable and can then successfully convert.
- Add the testimonials everywhere; they will be of help. Talk to your web designer about the best places to add them.
- Add a face to the testimonials to make them more believable. A face next to the testimonial makes a claim more credible to the prospect, adding a very potent trust factor.
- Consider adding a video testimonial from some of your more personable B2B wholesale customers. Hearing and seeing a buyer talk about the product benefits resonate more than just reading.
12 — Mobile Friendliness
You cannot get to the other side of the river unless you cross the bridge.
It is the same these days with e-commerce websites. In the absence of mobile friendliness, achieving success is gradually becoming difficult.
Unlike several years ago, everyone, including the B2B customers, is transitioning to mobile. People are using tablets and smartphones to research and then buy their products online.
But the sad news is that the vast majority in the B2B space continue to overlook this vital channel, and the consequences are dire.
Most B2B e-commerce businesses lose sales and miss out on a vast growth market dominated by increasingly younger B2B buyers. In 2019, 9 in 10 people had a mobile device, and half of this population makes purchases using these devices.
socPub estimates that 57% of users who encounter poorly designed or non-optimized mobile sites will not recommend the brand to others.
But that’s not all.
Up to 61% of mobile device users are unlikely to return to the site if accessing the site through mobile was an uphill task.
Given these facts, a mobile responsive website will create a unique competitive advantage that keeps you ahead of the pack.
Pivofy: Your Go-To Experts for a B2B Wholesale Platform
As a Shopify Plus Partner, our staple is high-quality Shopify e-commerce website designs.
Our full-service expert team is ready to support your B2B wholesale marketing efforts.
Leverage on our Shopify Plus experience and launch your business to its rightful place at the top.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between B2B and B2C marketing?
B2B and B2C marketing have different strategies, applications, and different audiences and communication methods.
The table below summarizes some differences between B2B and B2C marketing: