Four tips for b-to-b firms to avoid website abandonment

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When it comes to online purchases, b-to-b marketers are often faced with poor cost-per-lead metrics relative to their b-to-c counterparts. B-to-b abandonment rate is measured at the registration form – equivalent to the consumer-based online shopping cart.

On average, b-to-b businesses have a 2.5% conversion rate for online leads. Much of that loss comes from a lack of customization based on interests – most companies offer the same website for every visiting organization.

Chris Golec, CEO of Demandbase, a marketing software provider, says b-to-b website abandonment can be avoided if companies follow these simple steps.

Offer trusted and secure payment options. Site visitors are looking for a “badge of approval,” before they pay. The goal of any site should be to reduce risk and build brand credibility. Visitors want assurance when giving credit card information and verification for secure payments. “Buyers like to buy, and they don't like to be sold,” says Golec.

Reduce form fields. “When asking a visitor for information, reduce the number of questions, or form fields, they need to fill out, because too many fields are often a barrier to online registration,” says Golec. “The more you can minimize those questions, the more people you will get to participate and convert.” Golec adds that this can be a balance between sales and marketing: companies want to collect enough information about the visitor without losing a good lead.

Personalize and customize. Although most b-to-c companies have customer personalization down to a science, b-to-c marketers often are given mass information when they enter a website and have to fumble around to find what they want. “Give them more information when they want it, and you will be more engaging online,” says Golec. Don't forget the element of time, he warns. Customers want to interact with the company almost in real time, such as through an online chat system. A chat system is a great way to keep visitors more engaged and is also good for lead generation. “This is a big difference from a few years ago,” he says. “Visitors used to get an automated e-mail as a reply because they filled out the forms. But now the real-time interaction has a lot more impact.”

Keep it simple. Offer a single action when asking a visitor to accomplish more than one activity on a page. “Too many options can create confusion and frustration,” says Golec. Try to offer products and services that are only relevant to the particular kind of company, whether by size or industry, he says.

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