Top 5 Questions To Ask Your Customer When Building a B2B Website for Them

by Rick Levine on June 13, 2016

iStock_20255553_SMALL.jpgBefore you start building a B2B website for your customers, there are many things you’ll need to know about their business specific to their needs as a uniform provider. As such, it’s important to make sure your vision for the project is aligned with that of your customers when you build them a website to place orders with you. 

Just because you build a dedicated and responsive site, it does not mean your work is done; you’ll need to make sure the user experience directly matches your customer’s requirements! To save you the headache, we’ve outlined our top 5 questions to ask your customer when building a website for them:

1. Will buyers be allowed to purchase only required items, or are there discretionary decisions such that a selection of similar products is appropriate?

This is incredibly crucial information to have when creating a more positive experience for those going through the ordering process.  Does the company have strict requirement for certain items? If so, allowing employees to make discretionary decisions would not be an option you’d want to offer this group — that’d just end in a lot of returns. Think about how you’d want to present this group with exactly what they’d need to order so they can get through the process easily and avoid purchasing products they aren’t authorized to wear.

2. Will buyers be allowed to use corporate payment methods only, or will buyers be allowed to use personal credit cards in addition, or instead of, authorized payment methods?

On this front, every company is different and as a result, you’ll absolutely want to understand how an organization plans on handling payments made through their site. With this information, you’ll then know what options will need to be available to employees during the ordering process.

3. Will buyers need to be pre-registered to login and make purchases, or would a secure mechanism for buyers to self-register using appropriate verification procedures be required?

There are three main ways to setup your B2B website for shoppers:

  1. Public Access - this method allows anyone who comes to the website to shop and set up an account themselves.
  2. Limited Access - allows only those visitors who know the password to enter. This is a medium-security login process that a company uses to pass out a general password. Once a website visitors enters the general password, they can shop, setup an account for themselves, and place orders.
  3. Restricted Access - This high-level security option allows only those shoppers who have been set up in advance with a username and password to access the website in order to place orders.

4. Will management and/or corporate supervisors be provided access to manage the online accounts of employee purchasers to run reports and adjust available credit or make purchases?

Based on the business model and security level described in the previous question, your customer may wish to manage the shoppers themselves. Some companies have a structure where supervisors need to control who can place orders within their company, and will need to set up shopper accounts themselves.  Having these authorities allow them to add new people, remove those no longer employed by the company, and control the credit limit or allowance that a shopper can spend within the company.

5. What specific decoration, custom options or upgrades should be offered and/or required for all products available to buyers?

For law enforcement or clients who require branded gear, you’ll want to note that items ordered will need to be decorated.  The answers to these questions determines how the website should look, how products should be displayed, how shoppers are organized, how payments are handled, etc. Make the setup about your buyers, centric to their needs.

Every company is unique. And with that, the business models from business to business will differ greatly. Public access might be a great fit for one of your customers, while another may require higher security options with the restricted access model. Additionally, some of your customers will require payment to be made via corporate cards and others might allow personal cards to be made when purchasing. These are questions you’ll need to ask your customer in order to build them the most effective and functional B2B website.

Creating a  positive user experience on any given website is an art and a science —  consider using B2B Program Manager for all your online uniform store needs.

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Topics: B2B Websites

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