Knowing the state of your business and the success of your processes is vital if you’re going to grow and remain competitive. One of the best ways to gauge your success is with the strategic use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
The Value of B2B E-Commerce KPIs to Your Business Strategy
KPIs can vary from business to business; it all depends on what you want to measure and track. You can set up your KPIs to include metrics for traffic to your site, successful conversions, average order values, customer retention rates, etc. You select the KPIs that best align with your business goals.
Also, by setting KPI targets for your employees and teams, you’ll be sure that they focus on the goals you’ve set, and the entire organization will be moving in the desired direction.
For e-commerce businesses, current research on the B2B buying process indicates that B2B buyers are most interested in cost savings, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. So, your B2B e-commerce KPIs could be set to measure how well you are doing in those areas. For instance, if you want to
Companies that sell to professional buyers online can benefit from targeted, B2B-specific metrics centered around such goals as boosting revenue, retaining customers, increasing efficiency, etc.
We’ve identified 6 KPIs that can contribute to the success of your e-commerce strategy:
KPI 1: Buyer Retention Rate
Measuring your success in retaining customers who have viewed your online site is important. A B2B e-commerce platform is an online alternative to other sales channels, and customers often shift between channels after seeing what each has to offer.
For instance, if a customer buys online more frequently than before, it’s an indication that your e-commerce store is fulfilling their needs. But if customers shift back to offline ordering after the initial use of your B2B e-commerce platform, it might indicate that your e-commerce site is falling short and needs improvement.
KPI 2: Repeat E-Commerce Site Visits
It’s important to know if customers are coming back to your site and making additional purchases. You’ll want to know the percentage of B2B customers returning so you can gauge how well your sales portal is meeting needs beyond just placing orders.
There’s a difference between selling to consumers (B2C) and selling to professional buyers (B2B). B2B buyers are not just casual visitors surfing the web; they are motivated buyers looking for a site that will meet their needs long term.
Your customers are looking for a web store that can provide product details, company policies, and complete order histories, 24/7.
KPI 3: Buyer satisfaction with your B2B e-commerce site
Measuring customer satisfaction among wholesalers, manufacturers, and distributors is not as easy as with retail customers. B2B companies can stay ahead of the competition by implementing online tools that allow them to measure customer satisfaction effectively.
Relationships with B2B buyers can be more personal than with B2C. You can conduct in-depth interviews to learn more about the why and how of the online shopping experience and what you can do to improve it for your B2B customers.
KPI 4: Online Order Frequency
Tracking online order frequency lets you see the efficiency of your sales and customer support teams. The success of your e-commerce site depends on how comfortable customers are placing their orders online rather than over the phone or in the presence of a sales rep.
Although small orders combined are the bread and butter of many businesses, they take a lot of time to process offline and therefore tie up a large portion of your employees’ time. When orders are placed online directly by your customers, the workload of your sales and support teams will be reduced. A viable B2B e-commerce platform frees your sales team to attend to other client requests, including assistance with larger orders. The automation of the e-commerce site allows you to increase the number of orders you process without increasing your staff.
To determine the profitability of your e-commerce site, you’ll want to measure online order frequency and compare it to your total orders.
KPI 5: Average Order Value of Online Sales
Find out if your online sales portal is changing your buyers’ behavior. B2B sellers not only have the ability to compare this critical B2B e-commerce KPI with other points in time but also on an individual level and in comparison with offline orders placed by the same customer.
This KPI should indicate whether you are capitalizing on the cross-sell and upsell potential of your e-commerce platform. It will also let you know whether you are helping your customers find not just the products they’re looking for, but also other products they need.
KPI 6: E-Commerce Orders Placed Outside Business Hours
Tracking orders placed outside business hours lets you know if your e-commerce site is offering customers all the information they need to complete a purchase.
An informative metric is the average order value of customers who conduct online research before placing their orders offline. By comparing the average order value of these orders with the average order value of offline customers who don’t do online research, you can determine whether your B2B web store provides the right information about your products.
The Benefit of Monitoring B2B-Specific KPIs
With these targeted B2B e-commerce KPIs for online sales, it should be easier to keep an eye on both the details and the bigger picture. Keeping track of B2B e-commerce metrics not only lets you see the return on your investment, but it also helps you recognize trends that you can then capitalize on to get more customers ordering online, and with increased frequency.
If you’d like to know more about B2B e-commerce trends, buyer behaviors, and challenges?