What do you need for successful information provision?
In the end, only web stores that are able to provide the information needed by their customers will be successful. It is important to provide product details, technical specifications and images. However, to make your web store a true self-service portal for your customers, you need to incorporate the following information elements:
Imagine purchasing a camera online. When selecting your preferred camera, the web store will also show the battery, memory card and case which can be used with that particular camera. This is an example we all know from our day to day personal lives as a B2C customer. However this is also applicable to B2B ecommerce. The function of a wholesaler should be to provide a univocal service by combining all the different product ranges from various suppliers. This means that for example when a contractor is searching for boilers, the web store does not only show its boiler assortment, but also the connections necessary and suitable to install them. In this way, it covers the entire chain of products necessary for the installation of the boilers – potentially even selling it in as part of a package deal.
Real-time stock information
Another aspect of extensive information provision, is showing the inventory available in real-time and delivery times for products both in and out of stock. This is particularly important for B2B buyers, as they often use the web store to simply check whether a particular item is available and what the lead times are.
Consistent product tagging
B2B product catalogues are generally very large, varied and complex. Being able to sort and filter products based on for example price, color, size, brand, type, and other factors, make it a crucial element for easy navigation around the web store. This means all content should be tagged in a thorough, consistent way, so that when a product is shown as available in the color red, it is tagged as such. The availability of extensive search tools above your product catalog is intrinsically related to the capabilities for filtering and sorting within your catalog. This also depends heavily on the tagging of available product attributes and metadata.
Clear product reviews
As your product catalog consists of products with many variations, your customer will benefit from clear product overviews and selection mechanisms. This allows for user friendly catalog navigation. In other words, it is important that a B2B web store provides customers with a complete information package: technical specifications, visual drawings and images, live inventory, filter- and sort options, search tools, units of measurement, as well as any products which should be used together.