B-to-B retailers are in a constant struggle with cart abandonment. While sellers may be quick to point fingers at the product or blame customer indecision, it’s quite often outdated payment processes that leave buyers unsatisfied and running to the competition.
The fact is customer expectations are evolving. And even in the B-to-B space, customers want seamless buying experiences that provide personalization, ease and convenience. However, B-to-B companies face difficulties trying to meet these expectations: 90 percent of B-to-B buyers who make purchases once a week experience some sort of pain during the purchasing process.
B-to-B sellers looking to provide a modern, efficient purchase experience must first understand where buyers encounter friction. By doing so, B-to-B sellers can increase customer satisfaction, inspire loyalty and, ultimately, attract new customers. But first, they must know the most common buyer pain points and how to update payment processes in order to alleviate them.
Credit Cards Don’t Cut it — Offer Buyers Multiple Payment Options
Buyers expect their B-to-B purchase experiences to reflect the ease and personalization of their personal buying experiences. And for many buyers, using a credit card to pay for large, repeat purchases is a major pain point. Credit cards create several post-purchase issues with expense reporting and surcharges, not to mention insufficient lines of credit and potential for fraud. More than half of all B-to-B buyers agree vendors should offer additional payment options beyond credit cards to improve the purchase experience.
One way retailers can solve for this pain point is by offering an alternative payment method, such as extending payment terms across all channels. Offering invoicing at checkout with 30-, 60- or 90-day terms boosts buyer satisfaction and increases average order volume. When buyers have the option to pay on terms, they're more likely to return. In fact, over 80 percent of B-to-B buyers said they would choose a seller over others if that seller offered invoicing at checkout.
Streamline Payment Processes With an Omnichannel Experience
Today’s B-to-B buyers want access to their preferred payment option regardless of where they complete a purchase. An integral part of modernizing payment processes is ensuring that all products and services are available to customers at all touchpoints, from online to in-store. A streamlined, omnichannel payment experience secures loyal customers. Even more, omnichannel customers are 25 percent more profitable than customers who shop with exclusively “human-only experiences.”
An omnichannel purchase experience is more than just streamlined payment options — it must also be flexible. Buyers should have the benefit of leveraging various channels from whichever touchpoint they're currently shopping. That means the same experience as it relates to purchase controls, pricing, visibility to credit limits, integrations and order history. For example, B-to-B customers want to purchase on terms with the same contract pricing when ordering through a salesperson as when ordering online.
Consistency is key. Don’t let the quality of one channel lag behind the others. It’s critical that buyers receive the same level of service and options across every touchpoint. Meeting buyers where they want to make purchases and giving them the convenience that they've come to expect is sure to inspire loyalty and increase satisfaction.
Solve Cart Abandonment and Gain Loyal Customers
Modernizing outdated payment processes does more than just solve for cart abandonment issues. It also secures lost revenue and drives long-term customer loyalty. Multiple payment options and omnichannel purchase experiences keep B-to-B retailers ahead of other vendors that have yet to realize how damaging antiquated payment processes are to their bottom lines.
Brandon Spear is the president of MSTS, a global B2B payments and credit solutions provider.
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Brandon Spear is the president of MSTS, a global B2B payments and credit solutions provider. Brandon leads MSTS with expertise in managing large, diverse global teams. His strength is discerning and focusing on the most important challenges facing an organization at a particular point in time and unifying all stakeholders behind accomplishing a set of specific goals. Brandon has a unique ability to connect across all levels of an organization and motivate staff with diverse skill sets while ensuring common alignment and great results.