Tech brands are on the cutting edge of everything new and innovative but, ironically, many have a fairly mediocre online presence, particularly in the B2B space. Online is everything in 2021, and brands that are growing the fastest are leveraging every tool they have in their toolbox to make a killer impression to buyers.
If the thought of getting there with your own brand seems overwhelming, you’re not alone. Creating a powerful online presence can take work, and it doesn’t happen overnight, but there are simple steps you can take to get started.
Here are five ways B2B tech brands can improve their online presence in 2021.
Pay attention to and treat Amazon like a real channel
Many brands treat Amazon like an afterthought. What they should be doing is making it a top priority. Amazon is the biggest ecommerce platform in the country, and it’s the fastest-growing channel for thousands of brands. In just the first quarter of 2021, Amazon made $837 thousand per minute. Their business sector is slated to bring even more success to the brand—Amazon Business has seen its gross sales grow 2.9 times faster than the total sales for Amazon, according to Digital 360.
Amazon’s growth is exciting, but it’s not the only reason brands should pay attention. The reality is that what happens on Amazon doesn’t stay on Amazon. You may not be in that space, but eventually, your product will be, and without a presence there, you’ll watch unauthorized sellers harm your brand image and your pricing across every other channel.
If you’re not doing so already, start assessing what opportunities exist on the Amazon platform for your brand right now and understanding the dynamics Amazon creates with your other channels. Think about how important Amazon was for your business two years ago, then think about how important it is now and may be in the future. It should be a central figure in your business planning.
When brands sell on multiple channels, they often end up having inconsistent brand messaging, especially if they have a wide distribution of sellers who are partially crafting the consumer-facing side of their business on marketplaces. Consistency across channels is key to excelling in the omni-channel space.
Your brand should be immediately recognizable in a lineup. That means your image quality should be the same on your Amazon listings as it is on your B2B site. Your copy should be compliant across all channels, you should have a clear, unified message about your brand, and your customer service should be solid no matter which channel or seller it comes from. This helps your brand stay memorable and trustworthy for buyers.
Improve your seller ratings/reviews
Good ratings and reviews are one of the most important elements of a stellar online brand presence. Over 93% of your customers will look at your reviews before making a purchase, and if your reviews stink, your growth is going to flounder.
It’s important to note that your Amazon rating is fundamentally not about your product, but about how your product meets the customer expectation. That means you either have to change the product or change the expectation.
Assessing reviews and customer Q&As can help you determine a) the quality of your customer service experience and b) what customers are expecting from you. What is the overall feedback on your brand? What frequent complaints keep popping up? How do customers feel about the customer service experience and what language do they use to describe your product? The answers to these questions can be leveraged and repurposed to create an experience or product that meets customer expectations, and met expectations will help your ratings improve.
Stabilize your pricing
Without proper policy in place and without control, pricing on marketplaces can fluctuate like a rollercoaster. When it does that, it harms every one of your partners and ultimately your own growth.
Brands that don’t have control online (their distribution is too wide or they aren’t monitoring marketplaces) almost always end up in a predicament we call the Profitability Death Spiral. When a VAR or other seller decides to drop their price on Amazon to beat out the competition, all of your other sellers are forced to lower their prices to compete. This can go on and on until your good-faith sellers are hurting from lost margins and your overall brand is hurting, too.
To prevent price erosion from happening, you must regain control. This is done by being picky about which VARs you sell your product through and limiting distribution. Control is also maintained by enforcing MAP policies so that sellers know you’re serious about taking them to task when they mess up.
Another way to stabilize your pricing is to maintain price parity across all channels. Consumers should be able to go to your webpage and get the same price on an item there as they’d get on your Amazon store and vice versa.
Use a VAR with substantial marketplace experience
One mistake brands make in ecommerce is to work with VARs that aren’t well-equipped to protect or manage the brand on marketplaces. These partners might be able to sell your product, but they don’t have the resources to improve your brand’s online presence, your advertising, or your customer service. Once pricing and distribution are under control, your ticket to success is to find a VAR that can fill in the gaps in your strategy and be dedicated to your brand.
Pattern can be that for your business. Pattern is an exclusive ecommerce seller who works side by side with brands to help them thrive. Our in-house Predict software can help you find and eliminate the distributors who are eroding your prices, provide you with the best keywords to improve your products’ organic ranking, and view up-to-date analytics about your brand. We make sure your image stacks and copy are slick and informative, and we provide shoppers with an exceptional customer service experience reflective of the brand experience you want to offer.
If you’re interested in learning more about an Amazon-experienced VAR or how Pattern can help your B2B tech brand establish a killer presence on the marketplace, request your demo today or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.