The world of B2B ecommerce can be overwhelming. Mistakes are easy to make, and it is even easier to misjudge how crucial certain services are to your potential customers. According to a recent report by Temando out of the 1080 retailers and 5161 online shoppers surveyed, the data shows that shipping-related issues forced about 60 percent of shoppers to abandon their carts.
This presents a big problem even in B2B, where multiple orders, often spanning different locations, can make the shipping process even harder. Thankfully, with the latest version of Magento 2 – custom developed to excel at B2B – shipping and carrier selection has been made much simpler. In the following piece, we share 6 tips for optimising your shipping and carriage.
1. Set Up Multiple Carriers
Different carriers excel in different types of delivery services and locations. Having the ability to tap into these will help boost sales and streamline operations. Thankfully, with Magento 2, you have access to a wide range of carriers straight ‘out of the box’. Within the core of the platform you can set up flat rate, free shipping, table rates and online rates. In addition, Magento 2 comes preintegrated with some of the world’s most popular shipping providers such as DHL, UPS, FedEx and USPS, while even more rules and carries can be added with the many carrier extensions on Magento Marketplace.
Using any of the above methods to set up multiple carriers you should succeed in shortening your lead time and driving down carrier-related costs. This, as a result, should leave you free to allocate new resources on other important aspects of your business such as R&D and marketing.
2. Streamline Shipping Options
In Temando’s report, it was found that almost all retailers surveyed acknowledged the value of shipping to enhancing customer experience. Close to 40 percent of retailers stated they saw a customer experience uplift when they introduced better shipping options. Despite these stats, under a third planned to invest in improving customer experience in the next 12 months. This slow-footed approach prevents retailers from providing the shipping experiences that shoppers seek. To meet this ever increasing demand, Magento has implemented a comprehensive order management system in the most recent version of Magento Commerce.
New shipping rules allow you to view all orders in one view and click on each separate order. In addition, the order system in Magento 2 allows you to completely customise the status of your order fulfilment to keep it specific to your business. Invoices and order updates can now be sent to customers, keeping them up to date on their shipping status, all the way through the process.
3. Implement Shared Accounts
With Magento Commerce you have the ability to run separate accounts on a single installation. By running separate admin accounts in this way, you can create user hierarchies and assign different user roles and permissions between team members and company divisions. Meanwhile, the company admin can control user activity including payment methods, pricing levels, negotiate prices, requisition lists and custom catalogs.
B2B customers also have access to shared account controls and shared catalog. Historically, customers have had a single purchaser account for making purchases. But now, Magento allows multiple buyers to share an account as a native feature. Account owners and webstore admins can define account roles and adjust buyer permissions for individual users for a variety of scenarios e.g. where orders are submitted by one account user while final order approval is granted to another user from a different department. The Magento option.
4. Adopt Flexible Shipments
Managing high volume shipments can pose a problem for busy buyers continually juggling deliveries from multiple customers throughout the day. Providing them with information of when to expect shipments with tracking updates, alongside advance shipment notice (ASN) messaging, goes a long way. More than half (53 percent) of B2B buyers state that “excellent customer service and post-purchase support” are the main drivers of supplier loyalty.
Businesses who have the ability to curate the last-mile shipping journey with options such as time-slot booking and tracking alerts are much more likely to see increased custom. Understanding the need for this sort of dynamic approach, Magento makes it simple to specify all aspects of the delivery stage: if the shipment requires special freight services, such as heavy haulage, or requires priority handling, all of these can be implemented from the outset – minimising delays and any excess fee the shipment may encounter along the way.
5. Enable Quick Quote
In the past, if a B2B webstore wanted to offer a quote request form, it had to use a third-party extension or plugin; likewise for similar ecommerce platforms like Shopify. Magento 2 saw the addition of quote requests where B2B customers can submit a request for a quote from within their shopping cart. That quote request form includes the ability to add documentation or additional comments with the submission. This native function is more than a form submission tool.
On the admin side, Magento store owners have a quote management panel that provides access to: Quote details, Historical logs, Communications data and Quote negotiations. These negotiations features are a huge step forward for B2B on Magento, enhancing buyer relations and building relationships. Through the management interface, a merchant can offer price changes and shipping offers, recommendations for alternative products, and set expiration dates for quotes that apply a sense of urgency to any proposal.
6. Assign Tiered Pricing
Last but not least is tiered pricing. Simply put, with tiered pricing, you offer your customers a greater discount when they buy more items from you. The more they buy, the less they pay. Tiered pricing works by establishing preset ideals for thresholds. Once a customer reaches a specific purchase quantity threshold, they then become eligible for lower pricing. For example, if you sell socks and have a tiered pricing system in place, customers might only become eligible for this once they’ve spent a certain amount. Undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of any successful ecommerce website, it is especially important in B2B where you are often selling products in large volumes.
Within Magento 2, implementing tiered pricing to your store is simple. Price can be managed using customer group pricing so that certain customer groups get different tiered price point breaks. You can easily offer quantity discounts for specific groups of customers, changing the customer group parameters according to the amount of attention the discount attracts, In this way, your site should be much more able to attract a wider audience where customers can buy based solely on what they can afford at the time.
Based in London since 2011, 247 Commerce is a Magento design and develop- ment agency. Bringing together 26 Magento certifications across 3 offices including Bangalore and San Francisco, in addition to our main London office, 247 Commerce offers a full ecommerce service. Via a dedicated team of developers, designers, project managers, QAs and analysts, we are able to guide you through every step of the customer journey.
Covering full site builds, migrations and integrations, we excel in all aspects of Magento development. From payment gateways, sales channels and inventories to cloud-hosting, onsite kiosks and API deployment, we are experts at creating seamless ecommerce experiences for client and customer alike. Having brought dozens of companies to market in education, heritage, technology and retail, we are leaders in our field and forward-thinking in everything we do. More information can be found at: www.247commerce.co.uk
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