The Secrets to Increasing B2B Customer Adoption

Apr 29, 2024, 10:49 AM by User Not Found
When you launch a new ecommerce platform for B2B transactions, you need customers to use your platform in order to see a return on your investment. You may feel the pressure to get customers on your platform quickly—knowing the right strategies is essential to the success of your project. Luckily, you don’t have to do this alone. This guide will help you understand what you need for B2B customer adoption and provide several strategies to help you reach your goal.

What Is B2B Customer Adoption?

In simplest terms, customer adoption is converting your target audience into new—ideally loyal—customers. In a broader sense, customer adoption can look like getting customers to buy your existing products, drawing interest in a new product, or moving your customers towards a new product, offering, or service you’re launching. 

In the B2B market, customer adoption looks very similar to the broad definition. For example, B2B customer adoption includes attracting new customers, having them consistently use your store for products, and pushing current customers toward a recently launched online platform.

What Are the Challenges of B2B Customer Adoption?

Typically, we see three main challenges that hinder B2B customer adoption: 

  • Opposition to change
  • Lack of trust and communication
  • Missing key features or services

When left unchecked, these three things can drive away potential customers and decrease your customer adoption rate. Fortunately, knowledge is power in this situation, and being aware of these challenges can help you mitigate potential frustrations for your customers.

Opposition to Change

Opposition to change is one of the biggest challenges we see when launching a new B2B ecommerce platform. People are often comfortable with what they know and don’t want to change a process they understand—B2B customers are no different. Some B2B customers prefer the more traditional methods of B2B transactions and may hesitate or even actively resist switching to a digital platform.

Most of the time, these customers need to be reassured that the new digital platform will not complicate their process or compromise the quality of service. They resist change because they know what to expect from the old process—make sure the new one is just as predictable.

Lack of Trust and Communication 

If a B2B client has been in the market for years or even decades, they may be skeptical of how accurate inventory and shipping data can be on a digital platform. No client wants to deal with inaccurate numbers and data, and some may feel it’s easier to call directly to get answers to their questions. 

Ultimately, a lack of trust comes down to a lack of communication from the B2B provider. How is a customer to trust a new digital platform if they don’t hear from the provider in the first place? If you have strong client relationships and several channels of communication in place before you launch a digital platform, this challenge may not be as prevalent for you—if you don’t, it’s time to start building trust and open communication through your new ecommerce site.

Missing Key Features or Services

There are certain key features and/or services that both potential customers and current customers with digital ecommerce experience will expect from your platform. If these expectations aren’t met, you risk losing these customers to other platforms that do have key features and services. You can figure out what these key features are by researching your audience, their wants and needs, and what your competitors are offering.

5 Ways to Drive B2B Customer Adoption

Now that you understand the challenges of customer adoption, it’s time to implement some proven strategies to drive your customer adoption rate. Here are five effective strategies we’ve seen work within the industry.

1. Provide Incentives for Using Your Online Ecommerce Platform

Sometimes, all your potential customers need is a little push in the right direction. You can do this effectively by offering incentives—in fact, incentives that promote your online ecommerce platform can increase sales by 30%. This is a great way to get someone in the door. A customer who may not normally use your digital platform is more likely to if they’re offered a deal or discount to do so. They don’t feel the pressure to fully commit yet, but they have a chance to see what you offer. After taking advantage of your incentive, they may find that they appreciate the ease of your digital B2B ecommerce platform and return as a regular customer—becoming a successful customer adoption.  

2. Create Email Campaigns to Target Questioning Customers

If you already have a good customer base but just launched a digital platform, you’ll want to start converting your customers to your new platform. Email campaigns are a great way to do this for an existing customer base. Make sure the emails focus on answering frequently asked questions, alleviating concerns, and providing information on how to use the new platform.

Email campaigns allow you to get ahead of any questions or worries your customers may have before they bring them up—increasing their confidence in your business foresight and new platform. You can even use these emails to offer and promote the incentives mentioned above. 

3. Listen to Feedback from New and Loyal Customers

You’ll want to make sure you’re listening to what feedback your customers are giving you in order to retain your customer base. Direct customer feedback is the best way to know what’s working on your ecommerce platform and what’s not. To encourage feedback, you can do the following: 

  • Ask new customers why they decided to use you. 
  • Ask loyal customers what has made them stay. 
  • Provide a space for dissatisfied customers to state their piece. 
  • Ask customers who haven’t yet converted to your digital platform about their hesitations.

Asking for feedback lets your customers feel heard—but remember, this strategy only works to your benefit if you’re flexible in changing your process or site in response to the feedback you receive.

4. Prioritize Your Target Audience’s Needs and Wants

A successful ecommerce digital platform meets the needs and wants of its customer base. You need to understand your target audience and know what they’re looking for in a B2B site. Certain features are a given for success: personalization for purchases, intuitive UI/UX, responsive design, real-time data, and more. You want your site to be an extension of your commitment to quality customer service. For more information on this strategy, read our guide on what features are essential for a successful B2B ecommerce site. 

5. Have Open Channels of Communication and Use Them Frequently

Whether it’s for customer support, feedback, troubleshooting, or customer experience, communication is an essential part of B2B transactions—and this shouldn’t change with a digital platform. Remember, open communication builds trust with your customers. The more trust you build, the more loyal customers you’ll gain. Having several communication channels and touchpoints gives your customers the ability to reach you when needed. Some examples of important communication channels include: 

  • Customer support email
  • Call center
  • Chatbots 
  • Social media platforms

Maximize B2B Customer Adoptions with SmarterCommerce’s JDE Solutions

In any new ecommerce site, a good customer adoption rate is essential for the success of the project. Luckily, there’s an all-in-one JD Edwards solution for B2B customer adoption with SmarterCommerce. From B2B ordering and technology implementation to account management and administration, our B2B ecommerce solutions are comprehensive and flexible to work with your business and customer needs. SmarterCommerce also provides market-leading capabilities and out of the box integration to JD Edwards that ensures your customers can trust the data in the ecommerce platform because it is the same as the data in JD Edwards.