Considerations for your online store

Yesterday I wrote about the advantages of having an online store for B2B companies, even if one doesn’t initially seem appropriate. If you’re heading down that path, what are the major considerations?

Many online stores are let down by not having enough information about the products. If you’re selling golf tees or chocolate buttons, a photo and one sentence may be all you need. If you’re selling an item of instrumentation for £1000, you need to have every last detail available, including the brochure and data sheet. For prospects who come into the store at that page, it also needs to be made easy to read all the background information about the company too. And for those who want to discuss things further or order by more conventional methods, it needs to be made quite clear that you’re standing by, ready to discuss things by telephone or email.

Also, don’t be constricted by online store software designed for other types of business. For example, some stores default to showing everything from lowest price to highest price, or vice-versa. Price is probably not the issue for your customers. If you must have pages with more than a small handful of products showing, they need to be sortable in a more appropriate way, perhaps by size, rating, or whatever.

Think about how you’re going to promote the store. Google Shopping is a brilliant opportunity in most B2B sectors, as it’s the only way to get pictures of your products at the top of the Google results page. However, Google Shopping does have some restrictive requirements, such as VAT-inclusive prices being on the page and sales being open to anyone, not just other businesses. Setting this up alongside the store can save some heartache down the line.