B2B eCommerce and secret pricing

Most B2B businesses would say they don’t have an e-Commerce website … they don’t have a shopping cart and for good reason; B2B purchases are often high value items or service contracts.

I propose that most B2B sites ARE eCommerce sites, it’s just that the final transaction takes place off-line. The site plays an important role in a longer sales process. For this reason research and complex decision-making dominate the B2B user experience rather than a shopping basket and checkout. B2B sites have to offer in-depth information that you’d never normally find on a B2C site.

So B2B sites are just another form of eCommerce, but, there’s one big contrast between B2C and B2B – pricing. You rarely find it on B2B sites. In recent B2B research by the Neilsen Norman Group, wanting to get pricing (or an indication of cost) was rated as the most important information needed by B2B site visitors (29% higher than product/service availability which ranked 2nd).

The research shows that in order to make a decision to further the buying process, B2B visitors want a basic knowledge of products and services from their initial research that includes an idea of the cost.

So what’s your excuse for hiding your price?

About the Author

Jeremy Graham-Cumming

Managing Director, Ice Blue Sky Ltd

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