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As a B2B seller, the best way to stand out from your competition and make sure customers stay with you for the long-term is to provide effortless buying experiences that make customers’ jobs easier. B2B buyers typically want to spend less time and energy on researching and completing purchases, compared to retail buyers who are shopping for themselves.
We can leverage many features provided in the Liferay DXP platform to achieve further success and stand out in Industry. Below are strategic ways to achieve higher success.
- Provide a B2C site experience for a B2B customer
Your B2B customers are exposed to Amazon-like experiences every day, so it’s likely they will have some of the same expectations when shopping on your eCommerce site. However, that doesn’t mean your site needs to mimic their favourite consumer website; businesses and individual consumers make purchases for very different reasons and do business in different ways.
You can use Liferay themes to create a rich user experience. Here at AIMDek, we have created such a beautiful theme and it’s free on Liferay Marketplace Ecommerce Theme.
- Focus on Visibility
With more and more B2B companies focusing larger portions of their budgets on digital marketing, competition for businesses’ attention is rapidly growing. Unfortunately, increased competition leads to a decrease in visibility as customers are given more choices on where to take their business. Employing a strategy that sets you apart in the crowded B2B market is critical in ensuring that your company is being noticed.
Having constant visibility and consumer engagement is critical in developing leads for your company. As competition increases, focusing on creating relevant content, using marketing automation, converting your leads, personalizing your message, and being active on social media will help you stand out amongst your competitors.
Liferay offers a series of features out-of-the-box that will make life easier when you are optimizing your site for the search engines. For example, Google will check the metadata of your site to determine relevance to the user query. Liferay makes it easy to set all this metadata up quickly and easily. Add meta descriptions, keyword tags, page titles, and more with no hassle.
Liferay uses a special site map protocol to push your sitemap to Google, which significantly increases the chances of the search engine publishing this all-important “menu” on the search results pages. With Liferay, you can also easily customize URLs. Google likes clean URLs that include the keyword to help determine relevance. When using Liferay, you can easily change the default URLs to something that will be far better for Google and users.
- High-Quality Product Images
It’s no secret that including product photos on an e-commerce website is more than just an eCommerce trend, it can boost conversion rate. A study found that using high-resolution images, 360⁰ panoramas, and product videos helped increase conversion by almost 35%.
You may wonder — that sounds all well and good for B2C e-commerce sites selling trendy and exciting products. Is that going to work for a B2B wholesale e-commerce site?
The answer is yes, even if you think your products are less than glamorous. This online merchant who sold screws online increased his conversion rate by adding images of all the screws he was selling!
B2B buyers are showing an increasing preference for placing their orders online. Images give them the information they need to make their purchasing decisions while reducing refund requests caused by a product not being what they thought it would be.
Search Engine Optimization
Enhance Your Onsite Search Functionality to be discoverable.
When it comes to improving site search, marketers and website managers are often their own worst enemy. For a large website with thousands of visitors, even the most minuscule improvement in the number of conversions has an impact on revenue. Analyzing the data coming in from the website, blog, marketing automation, and CRM systems has become a science. So why aren’t more marketers utilizing their website’s internal search to move the needle?
Relevance is the backbone of any successful B2B marketing campaign. It can mean the difference between your prospects and customers feeling that you’re constantly and generically selling to them, or that you’re building a valuable relationship with them by truly paying attention to who they are and what they and their business need. As B2B marketers, it can feel like we haven’t yet cracked the code on exactly how to do this, but everyone else—from our competitors to our B2C counterparts—has. That’s not necessarily true, but it should be motivated to ensure we’re planning and acting now to make the necessary advancements, so we aren’t left behind.
We know Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is the gold standard in delivering personalized, relevant content to prospective B2B customer teams. ABM enables marketers to target the ultimate decision-maker and any stakeholders who have influence throughout the buying process, with messages and content that are tailored to that particular B2B customer.
Liferay Optimizing Advanced search based on properties of a product makes it easy to find from a huge DB.
Always tell your buyers where they are when navigating your site. You can achieve this through the use of:
- Breadcrumbs : Breadcrumb navigation works like a GPS, telling your buyers where they are on your website at all times. Plus, your buyers have a path laid out that tells them how they got there. Use breadcrumb navigation on your site, whether that’s location-, attribution-, or path-based
- Page headers : The page header should resemble a copy of the navigation items or links. This is a good practice not only for SEO but also for user experience. If the page header matches what the user clicked, the buyer will be reassured.
- Highlighting selected menu options : When you click on a navigation item, keep it highlighted, bolded, or underlined, so that your buyer gets instant feedback about menu options.
- Show progress bars : Include page-load indicators during page load. If buyers are trying to load a calculator widget or process a request, then a progress bar or notification of some sort lets them know what’s happening.
- Thank you pages : Thank you pages are great indicators of current status. If your buyer downloads an ebook or signs up for a webinar, the Thank You page confirms the action that was just taken.
If you skip these elements, your site will confuse buyers, who will wonder where they are—a completely unnecessary friction point. Make your navigation clear. Navigation in Liferay provides many patterns for horizontal, vertical, and more which makes a better UI without extra efforts.
- Intuitive Search
Intuitive Search Capabilities Promote Positive B2B Digital Commerce Customer Experience.
How easily can your customers find the products they’re looking for on your website? How are you enabling them to place an order quickly or repeat an order they’ve made in the past? Without intuitive search and order features on your B2B website, your company risks being perceived as disorganised, and that’s not providing your customers with a positive digital commerce experience when they do business with your brand online.
Common search features such as keyword search, logical product categories, and results that are arranged according to customer preference are fairly basic features that your customers know and expect from their B2C interactions. Suggested search capabilities further enhance online digital commerce customer experience by allowing users to start typing a word, then product suggestions automatically appear for them to choose from, maybe even with an image or other attributes to reinforce order accuracy.
An important thing to note about search features is that they are heavily dependent on the completeness and accuracy of your product content. Elastic search is also compatible with Liferay makes search faster than default search engines. Elastic search internal search within JSON format makes it faster than other search engines.
- Multiple Storefronts
Multi stores grow increasingly popular on world-class B2B ecommerce platforms for many reasons, but the primary factor that fuels the trend is customer convenience. Unique branding options, popular store-within-store applications, simplified ordering, easier-to-find product information, dedicated manufacturer catalogs, and creating regional stores are among the top benefits of creating multiple stores in one B2B platform.
Liferay has a concept of subdomains that can be further created as many sub-websites we want. It could also be an individual independent website as well.
- Provide customer self-service and administration.
An increasing number of businesses are recognising the benefits of reliable and dedicated self-service portals for improving the company’s overall brand image. Not only that, but companies that want to stay ahead of the game also need to adapt to the new ways of communication rather than just following the traditional rules that have defined customer service in the past. Self-service portals provide customers with instant access to information, allow personalization, and save valuable time and organizational resources. Consequently, 60% of businesses expect to implement self-service portals within the next 12–18 months.
A self-service portal is a collection of self-help functions that are open to the end-users (aka customers) and accessible through a company’s website. Self-service features include self-resolution of issues through the use of a knowledge base, password reset, self-logging of incidents, collaborative spaces, service requests and chat services.
They also feature end-users as the first line of support, and empower those customers to find information, request services, and resolve their issues. The portal provides customers with a fast and direct way of getting answers to a variety of questions and issues. Liferay has a control panel with role levels that make a portal for various logins or admin to get limited access.
2. Personalized Experience
- Focus on Personalization using Machine Learning.
With the global market as your target, getting personal may be a little difficult task to achieve but you can enhance this with a personalization engine. Your ultimate aim will be to target the content you deliver to your customers and prospects based on what you know about them and what you believe they might need.
Before embarking on machine learning integration, it’s essential that you refrain from mixing up personalization with customization. While personalization is carried out for the customer’s benefit, customization, on the other hand, is initiated by the customer in an effort to drill down to the desired content.
You can take a cue from the way Netflix does movie recommendations, music suggestions from Spotify, and special promotions on Amazon to really comprehend the effect personalized content is having and that it is not only becoming the norm but a consumer expectation. All these big tech companies are able to accomplish this onerous task by integrating machine learning, which is quickly turning out to become an essential and must-have tool in content personalization.
Interestingly, there are quite a number of personalization engine vendors. Evergage, Monetate, Certona, and Dynamic Yield, are some of the vendors out there in the market that offer this service. Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for Personalization Engines” 2019 report shows that personalization engine adoption is up 28% since 2016. Liferay is flexible to integrate the third-party module of ML. Which makes it easy for customers to deal with the various products.
- Segment customer experiences so everyone feels special.
Satisfying people’s needs and making a profit along the way is the purpose of marketing. However, people’s needs differ, and therefore satisfying them may require different approaches. Identifying needs and recognizing differences between groups of customers is at the heart of marketing.
It is very rare for even two customers to have identical needs to each other. In a perfect world, we would identify those customers that we deem to be profitable, and then treat each one of those individually according to their unique needs. In any market with a sizable target audience, even this is likely to require more resources than is practical or profitable. To reiterate, segmentation, like marketing itself, is all about the profitable satisfaction of customers’ needs. It is designed to be a practical tool, balancing idealism against practicality and coming up with a solution that maximizes profit.
This means we have to be clever in targeting our offers at people who really do want them, need them, and are willing to pay for them. Equally, we have to be strong in setting aside those who do not. We have to choose our target audience on the basis of our capabilities and strengths. In other words, we have to choose our own battlefield where we are confident that we are more attractive than our competitors. This early observation is fundamental, as it requires us to think as hard about where we don’t want to sell our product as to where we do.
By segmenting with Liferay our product with the list and various different sub-categories makes it easy to find what users want.
- Create custom price catalogs for individual customers or groups.
Partition your customer base into groups of individuals who share common characteristics. Reap the benefits of advanced customer segmentation.
Use Advanced Customer Groups to create unique classes of customers. Create categories such as “wholesale”, “retail”, “high-end purchasers,” “routine product buyers,” or “repeat customers.”
Reward your best customers. Design special pricing and ordering policies for each group. Provide incentives. Offer discounts based on frequency, type, or quantity of goods purchased. Specifically for categories and subcategories, Liferay by default provides category, filter options as well.
- Mobile friendly
Most of us will admit (begrudgingly or not) that we are somewhat addicted to our phones. In fact, people spend nearly four hours per day scrolling, texting, and interacting on the small screen. There is a huge shift in the way digital media is accessed and digital content is consumed — from laptops and desktops to mobile devices — yes, even in the B2B realm.
B2B companies that fail to optimize their websites and content for mobile consumers are going to miss out on a lot of lead generation and conversion opportunities in the near future. Creating a truly mobile-first experience requires a whole lot more than just creating responsive websites.
Liferay sites are mobile-friendly which is already a responsive website that acts as a web app. Liferay provides a dynamic website that contains dynamic pages such as templates, contents, scripts, etc. In a nutshell, Liferay websites display various content types every time it is browsed and acts as a web app. The web page can be changed with the reader that opens the page and adapts the character of the consumer’s interplay.
- Provide mobile tools for shoppers and staff
Best-in-class B2B suppliers use mobile to build customer loyalty, streamline back-office processes on both sites. Customers like mobile because they can track budgets and costs, and place orders from virtually anywhere. Suppliers like it because they can use the data to provide relevant offers and based on customer context.
Liferay also provides standalone android apps and ios apps. No need of creating apps from scratch Liferay provides a different approach for integration.
- Maintain real-time inventory levels and pricing accuracy.
On one hand, the e-fulfillment of consumer demands with respect to physical products has proven to be a huge opportunity for retailers and wholesalers to stay ahead of the competition. On the other, it presents certain logistical challenges for distributors and retailers who regularly sell or rent out their products through e-commerce channels, chief among which is that of inventory management.
Analysis of inventory and stock levels in real-time through an automated system makes it easier for sellers to pin down specific periods during a month, a year, or even at an exact time in the day when the demand for a product is high. Thus, with such a system in place, businesses can schedule the procurement of products and avoid stock-out situations as well as excessive inventory. For example, an online retailer can prepare for seasonal spikes in demand for products based on the data collected and analyzed, thereby helping them optimize sales and marketing campaigns for these periods.
Often, there are requirements to automate certain processes and execute them on a regular interval. Liferay Scheduler helps us with all such requirements. Schedulers are the process that triggers certain logic after every specified interval. So, In real-time the fluctuating price accuracy can be maintained using Liferay scheduler functionality.
- Offer intelligent product offers using machine learning.
Machine learning + intelligence + digital marketing = empowered customers.
The adoption of artificial intelligence in B2B marketing will not only help businesses, but it will also touch customers by empowering them by giving them more than they can expect. This is where marketers can reap insights from their intelligent software and transform it into smart purchase decisions for customers.
When predictive analytics blends with natural language processing, it becomes easier to predict customer’s future choices and shopping behavior.
As digital marketing executives can send AI-assisted marketing messages, customers receive the most relevant suggestions and purchase offers that can help them on their shopping roadmap.
Liferay Sync is a document sharing functionality for your B2B portal e.g. which allows users to capture photos with their camera and it will organize those pictures at the proper place(via Model Listener). Liferay: It comes with a document and media, can be virtually integrated with OOTB cloud or storage platform, highly customizable, omnichannel and allows you to use your mobile phone to create structured documents.
- Support PunchOut shopping.
B2B PunchOut catalogs solutions enable suppliers to reach entities that include the state, government, and larger buying groups for B2B e-commerce. PunchOut orders are produced online in a paperless manner for online procurement (e-procurement) through a buyer’s purchasing application
PunchOut is a complex integration. Some of the largest challenges a company will expect when attempting to develop a PunchOut integration internally are support, varying requirements, steep learning curve, and lack of testing applications to make sure integrations work. All this can be done easily with Liferay eCommerce.
Liferay Portal uses a document library store option called Simple File Store to store documents and media files on the file system (local or mounted) of the server Liferay Portal’s running on. The file system store was the first store created and is heavily bound to the Liferay DXP database.
- Integrate with all back-office technologies.
It’s astonishing how many companies are still working with separate systems for the front and back offices. Front-office features refer to the design, content, images, and features that customers routinely see on a company’s website and Web pages while back-office processes include ERP and CRM software, inventory management, fulfillment processes, accounting, and staff management. Back-office integration–along with front-office integration and automation–delivers improved management efficiencies and better customer experiences by giving each website visitor expanded options for researching products, ordering products and services, customizing orders, viewing account history, searching through past invoices and connecting to third-party resources.
Liferay provides a model listener that will be invoked when any changes appear in the Model object. As for the ORM concept, any database interaction is mapped to a Java POJO object that we can call it as a Model Object. Model listeners for custom model entities are useful in terms of integrating.
- Simplify logins
Many B2B and even B2C sites tend to lose a lot of customers due to tiresome login procedures. Customers are usually presented long forms to fill in as part of the login procedure. Many site users also find it tedious to maintain a separate username/password combination for an additional site. Comparatively, handling the login procedure using social login can make life easier for concerned users.
Liferay provides users to get connected with their social networks and makes it easy to log in.
- Quick & streamlined Checkout process
Modern B2B customers do not have the patience for a confusing checkout process involving multiple pricing details and a tiring registration process.
A transparent checkout process is less likely to result in cart abandonment. To avoid losing potential buyers, make your checkout portal compact, concise, and hassle-free.
Restrict checkout to a single page if possible and reduce distracting headers and footers. Offer both registration-based and guest purchasing options to avoid driving away consumers.
A significant way to boost customer engagement is by displaying checkout progress with interactive graphics. Delivery-related details, shipping costs, handling time, and “edit order” options are also recognizable features of the checkout page.
Liferay provides a single page application that makes many processes like checkout order easy and will keep customers stay longer on our websites.
- Humanize Your B2B through Social Media
Nobody wants to deal with boring, faceless corporations. Use social media as a way to humanize your brand. Follow in the footsteps of B2C companies and add some spunk and flavor to your social media to connect with your audience.
Using Liferay Web content we can display the social network post which makes the user more interactive to connect with our website.
When there’s a lot of user interactions on your site, Liferay’s social activity platform will be useful to filter out the users who are making real, valuable contributions. Users can be filtered by various phases in Liferay.
At AIMDek Technologies, we offer a full range of Liferay Consulting services that include development, Upgrade & Migration, Performance tuning, and support. With profound experience and consultative approach, AIMDek acts as your true business partner in your success than just being a service partner. Prepare your business for incoming changes with Liferay DXP.
Our expertise trap of Liferay will help you develop platforms for your enterprise portals, social networks, automation, agile development, performance testing, Liferay consultancy, support, and maintenance. Hire our Liferay developers for in-depth Liferay consulting services, integration, design and implementation of Liferay themes, technical training, design and development of content management systems. Get on a call with one of our experts!