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B2B must follow the same user experience rules as consumer payments

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Enhancing the B2B purchasing experience isn’t just crucial for keeping current customers satisfied, it’s an essential strategy for gaining new ones.

B2B buyers are now accustomed to the simplicity and convenience of B2C purchases and expectations follow suit: More than 80% of B2B buyers agree that personal buying experiences affect expectations for business purchases.

With buyers expecting more from B2B sellers than ever before, sellers must focus on updating outdated business processes — with enhanced payment options topping the to-do list. In fact, 90% of B2B buyers research sellers’ payment options before making a purchase, and 74% would switch vendors if their preferred company failed to keep up with purchasing expectations.

Keeping these key metrics in mind, B2B sellers must work to increase buyer satisfaction, strengthening the loyalty of current customers and attracting new ones to drive additional revenue. Here are two key ways to successfully modernize the B2B purchasing experience:

Offer More Payment Options. Giving customers the option to pay with 30-, 60- or 90-day terms introduces flexibility and encourages future purchases. With low credit lines and tight fiscal schedules limiting how much businesses can purchase at any given time, the chance to pay on terms is a welcome option and more suitable to a wider range of business cycles.

Sellers can also extend credit to their customers. Many companies struggle with cash flow and might find it difficult to pay cash for large B2B purchases — and credit card limits are often insufficient or introduce accounting headaches. In fact, more than three-quarters (76%) of B2B buyers have encountered an issue that prevented them from completing an online purchase with a credit card. Extending credit to buyers is essential for attracting new target customers, building trust and increasing average order volume.

Build an Omnichannel Payment Experience. Offering multiple payment options is just one component of providing a better customer experience. Step two is ensuring these payment options are consistent across channels and offer flexibility, like custom pricing. Nearly all (98%) of B2B buyers agree it’s important to have the same purchasing experiences across all channels (in-store, sales, online). Customers are accustomed to speed and convenience in their personal buying experiences and will expect the same when it comes to professional purchases.

Specific to online purchasing, alternative payment tools that seamlessly integrate into e-commerce sites allow sellers to provide buyers an efficient and streamlined experience, since these tools provide quick credit-decisioning (some in under 30 seconds) and allow for immediate account setup. Sellers must make it a priority to provide this type of seamless experience across all channels, extending from onboarding to repeat purchase.

Sellers should also take advantage of the available integrations and purchasing tools that provide insight on customer behavior to influence future strategies, such as ERP, POS, CRM and eCommerce data. Then, with the above tips in mind, sellers can continue winning business, purchase after purchase.

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