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Three PPC tips for B2B e-commerce companies

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Vertical Leap on improving the post-click experience around the needs of your ideal customers

Consumers aren’t the only ones doing more of their shopping online. According to The B2B Future Shopper Report 2020, 46% of all B2B purchases in the UK are now completed via online channels, with 87% of medium-sized businesses purchasing more online since the Covid-19 outbreak.

This opens up an opportunity for B2B e-commerce companies to capitalise on the uptake in online spending. And in this article, we’ve got three PPC strategies that will help you do this by getting your products to the front of the queue in Google Search.

1: Focus on product specifications

B2B buyers are typically more informed than regular consumers. In fact, research from Forrester shows that up to 90% of the customer journey is already complete by the time a B2B prospect lands on your website because they’ve done their homework and understand what they need.

Let’s imagine a construction company has just won a contract for a new industrial estate and is looking to order bricks in bulk. It’s not looking to buy a handful of bricks from its local hardware store or build a little wall in someone’s garden. This is a contracted job where the company needs wholesale materials built to specification.

Your ads and product descriptions need to match these specifications to show buyers that you can deliver what they’re looking for.

Keep in mind that it’s not always easy to find B2B products or bulk items on Google Search – a platform that’s built with the B2C consumer in mind. By focusing on ’bulk’ and ’wholesale’, you’re making it easier for your target customers to find your products and distinguish your ads from those selling consumer products.

2: Optimise bids for bestsellers and high-profit products

Google Shopping is a great platform for B2B e-commerce companies, but a lack of keyword targeting makes it difficult to control how your ads show. With Search campaigns, you can use keyword targeting to determine who sees your ads and optimise bids for high-intent searches or best-selling products.

With Google Shopping, you have less control but you can still optimise bids for bestselling and high-profit products by adding custom labels to your product feed.

With custom labels, you can group products together, based on any criteria you like (eg selling rate, profit margin, etc.), and optimise bids to get your most important products seen more often.

Let’s say certain products sell particularly well during the summer months. You can add custom labels for the seasons and selling rates to increase bids during the summer and gradually bring them back down for the rest of the year when sales volumes drop.

3: Optimise for the B2B buyer

As mentioned earlier, Forrester research suggests up to 90% of the customer journey is already complete by the time B2B buyers land on your website. This means you’re dealing with a very different type of user from the average consumer and you need to optimise the post-click experience accordingly.

The good news is that purchase intent is significantly higher but you still have to prove to users that you are the business to buy from.

It’s important to understand how the B2B e-commerce experience differs from B2C online stores. As we explain in our 12 key features of a B2B e-commerce website article, you need to provide detailed products descriptions, bulk purchase options and functionality that addresses the needs of B2B buyers – such as a VAT toggle switch.

One issue you may come across is a lack of third-party data available for B2B buyers specifically and, where it is available, you’ll often find conflicting reports.

For example, there are plenty of studies suggesting that, while the majority of overall traffic now comes from mobile, most B2B activity still takes place on desktop.

Source

This is a common takeaway from B2B user reports, but we also have studies where 60% of B2B buyers say mobile plays a key role in purchasing products or services.

So don’t let small-scale surveys dictate how you optimise your website. Collect your own data and find out what matters most to your target customers. Are they ordering online from the comfort of their office on a 32-inch HD screen or trying to order parts from their mobile phone in the middle of a construction site in the countryside?

Build the post-click experience around the needs of your ideal customers and remove every possible barrier standing in the way of that next purchase.

Callum Coard, PPC specialist at Vertical Leap.

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