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B2B ecommerce: best practices in 2009-2010

If you’re looking for practical, best-practices marketing advice on what works and what doesn’t, you can’t beat MarketingSherpa’s research. Nothing but tried-and-true findings straight from the trenches. The recently released 2009 Ecommerce Benchmark Report is full of new information to help drive sales. Here’s why I’m a fan…

We’re loyal followers and avid readers of their products – and also affiliates. That means you can purchase new reports at a discount from our site. Very cool.

Zero in on what matters to you

I especially like how MarketingSherpa acknowledges that not all organizations are created equal and what works in one industry doesn’t necessary work in another. That’s why they’ve separated out lessons to be learned from “High Knowledge” organizations that are making use of advanced web analytics and automation. And why they’ve broken out data for B2B vs B2C products and B2B vs B2C services.

That means, as a B2B marketer, I can look at products or services data and zero in on:

  • Trends, benchmarks, and challenges
  • Metrics for cart abandonment, tools and promotions, and shopping cart tests
  • Free and paid media tactics and tests
  • Email, offline, search, and social media tactics
  • Conversion rates

Think beyond pricing

Knowing we’re all coping with lean economic times, the report also highlights tactics and tools that can increase revenues without further chipping away at slim margins, such as:

  • Limited time/inventory promotions
  • Loyalty programs
  • Customer reviews/ratings
  • Product videos


Find answers to top questions

Most importantly, the report answers questions that are top of mind for many ecommerce marketers, such as:

  1. How can I lower shopping cart abandons?
  2. What percentage of repeat customers should I expect?
  3. What motivates online shoppers to buy?
  4. What marketing tactics bring the best ROI?
  5. What’s the average ecommerce search click conversion?
  6. How does my site’s search presence stack up against our competitors’ visibility?

We’re conducting a shopping cart audit next week. As an e-retailer, it’s too easy to lose touch with your customer’s experience. Having an objective third party test the waters can help ground you in the user’s perspective and answer questions such as:

  • Is it working the way we expect?
  • Where are the leaks?
  • What is causing friction?
  • How can we make it easier?

Help a marketer out

Here’s where you can do your part for the greater good. We’ve likely all had a bad online shopping experience. If there was one thing – or two or three – that you’d change to make a process easier, what would you suggest?

My pet peeves are 1) being asked to enter my shipping address, even if it is the same as my billing address. Couldn’t you just give me a checkbox: “Use billing address as shipping address”; 2) wiping out all my data if I try to submit without filling in a required field; 3) not letting me change the quantity ordered once I’m hit with the grand total.

What are some of your online shopping rants?

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Topics: Performance Lead Generation