6 Powerful B2B Ecommerce Marketing Strategies (And the Supporting Tactics)

December 2, 2022

B2B Ecommerce Marketing Strategies for 2023 b2b ecommerce marketing strategies

Ramping up your marketing in B2B ecommerce looks like:

  • Driving new traffic to your site,
  • Increasing B2B site conversions (from marco: i.e. purchases, to micro: newsletter subscriptions), and
  • Building engaging shopping that keeps customers returning.

For all of the above, you need to build strong B2B ecommerce marketing strategies that encompass the right tactics.

To help, we rounded up the must-have components of a modern B2B marketing strategy to propel your business forward in 2023 and beyond. Let’s get right to it.

6 must-have elements of a B2B ecommerce marketing strategy

Marketing your B2B store comes in many forms depending on your vertical, but no matter what you sell, there are some must-have elements to find success.

1. Craft a more engaging site experience

Your owned online channel is an excellent opportunity to differentiate. Unlike other channels subject to changes outside your control, you can fully customize your storefront to convey your brand’s expertise and quality.

Plus, B2B shoppers now expect a digital shopping experience mirroring what they’re used to with B2C brands. 86% of B2B buyers now prefer buying or paying through digital commerce. Moreover, 60% of B2B buyers say mobile was a factor in a recent purchase. As B2B preferences and needs move online—and mobile becomes more of a factor for this buyer—you need to invest accordingly.

A major portion of your B2B marketing strategy should be dedicated to re-evaluating your ecommerce channel to tell your brand’s story and serve up mobile-first navigation.

Tactics to try

Invest in particularly good ecommerce merchandising throughout your site

Think bold visuals, sleek background videos, and a site design that keeps eyes moving down the page.

For example, B2B ecommerce brand ICE Cobotics features several background videos, micro animations, and other engaging design elements that help potential customers continually see the product in the context of use.

ICE Cobotics commerce marketing strategies 1 b2b ecommerce marketing strategies

ICE Cobotics ecommerce marketing strategies 2 b2b ecommerce marketing strategies
The ICE Cobotics team can easily add high-res visuals with their Shogun Frontend-powered storefront. Source: ICE Cobotics
Upgrade legacy ecommerce systems (to optimize site performance)

Many B2B brands outgrow traditional ecommerce platforms. You may find you scale enough to need an enterprise commerce solution—to exceed performance and design limitations.

To diagnose your store’s current performance, run a Google Lighthouse audit.

If you find your Lighthouse score is trending in the orange and red ranges, consider whether your store’s legacy tech might warrant future-proofing with an upgrade. Many ecommerce platforms are headless commerce-enabled, allowing you to transition to running a highly-performant progressive web app (PWA).

PWAs built with headless architecture are more performant than monolithic sites and offer uncapped design and content management potential.

#cta-visual-fe#<cta-title>Go beyond the standard B2B storefront<cta-title>Unlock your growth with Shogun Frontend—the all-in-one platform revolutionizing how brands achieve headless benefits. Learn more


2. Invest in zero-party data to create compliant, more helpful B2B shopping

With rising ad costs and increasing limits to personal data collection, B2B brands need to get creative with sourcing data.

Many are turning to zero-party data—wherein customers intentionally opt-in to proactively offer personal data to companies they shop with. As Bloomreach shares, this data can include “preference center data, purchase intentions, personal contexts, and data on how an individual wants to be recognized,” and it’s typically given by the customer (not inferred through on-site behavioral data).

Zero-party data helps your brand take back a direct line of communication with customers. It also helps you identify improvements across touchpoints, what customers want to see from you, and more.

Tactics to try

Send recurring surveys

Surveys can help you better understand what shoppers are looking for, what they like (or dislike) about shopping on your site, and more.

Tim Peckover, senior manager of marketing and community at Smile.io, says working from customer data achieved via zero-party data collection methods, can help you give shoppers more meaningful resources:

“Use data to give customers what they actually want. What questions do they ask sales and support? If you have a subscription model, [find out] why they churn. What rewards in your loyalty program do customers save up for the most?

Look at your most loyal customer segments and ask them what they love most about your brand. Use that info to create valuable resources for existing and soon-to-be customers.”

— Tim Peckover, Smile.io

It helps to incentivize the survey, too, and thank participants for completing it.

  • When considering survey questions, choose ones that will give you actionable learnings.
  • Ask: What answer will I get as a response to this question, and how will the answer help me improve the site experience?

As an example of third-party data collection via survey, Herman Miller—who has both a B2C and B2B arm—sent this email to shoppers for a chance to win an Eames Hang-It-All in exchange for their thoughts.

Herman Miller B2B Ecommerce Marketing Strategies b2b ecommerce marketing strategies
Source: Really Good Emails

Bonus points to Herman Miller for allowing email subscribers to unsubscribe from this list. While this may seem counterintuitive, it prunes the list down to subscribers who are genuinely interested in engaging this way.

Create fun, engaging quizzes

Like surveys, quizzes are a great way to collect zero-party customer data while offering value.

In fact, Jones Road Beauty increased their AOV by 50% with quizzes.

Not only will you learn a ton about your customers, but the resulting owned data can help inform your business decisions, site content, marketing campaigns, and more.

#cta-visual-pb#<cta-title>Zero-party data collection is easy with Shogun<cta-title>Easily create conversion-driving quizzes and surveys with our Shopify Page Builder app. Get Started


3. Go all in on building a community around your B2B brand (and yes, it’s doable!)

People are turning to community more than ever in an uncertain economic climate. So much so that shoppers may even embrace it from B2B brands.

When you think of “community,” you might think of B2C brands who’ve amassed huge followings, like TULA Skincare, or smaller brands who’ve built a dedicated safe space for shoppers to be their authentic selves (looking at you, Halfdays).

But meaningful communities for sharing expertise can be hosted by B2B brands, too. Take the LISA Community, a community for marine professionals, and MindBody One, a community for wellness business owners using Mindbody to run their businesses, for example.

Both communities are super niche and facilitate conversations for like-minded folks to share, learn, and discover.

LISA Community B2B Ecommerce b2b ecommerce marketing strategies
Source: LISA Community
Mindbody One Ecommerce Marketing Strategies b2b ecommerce marketing strategies
Source: Mindbody One

Even if your target audience wants to discuss something like shipping and freight, this is a viable B2B marketing strategy! The topics might surprise you, but consider what your B2B brand does that your audience of professionals is passionate about. If you can bring that community together, you can win.

Tactics to try

Invest in social media

Social media is a lot of work. But it’s an A+ way to build lasting customer relationships.

For example, Good Start Packaging (​​a B2B restaurant supplier) does a great job of sharing product updates, company news, and user-generated content on their social media channels.

Good Start Packaging B2B Ecommerce b2b ecommerce marketing strategies
Source: Good Start Packaging on Facebook

Tagging the B2B customer they’re featuring in this post opens up the opportunity for dialogue and is a chance to connect.

Create a referral program

Referral programs are a tried and tested b2b marketing tactic for turning first-time buyers into lifelong customers. These programs can be community builders and revenue drivers for your brand.

Take Packlane, a sustainable packaging B2B brand, for example. Packlane built a referral program—PackPerks—complete with VIP tiers, rewards, and micro actions (like “Share Packlane on Twitter for 25 Boxcoins”) to lower the barrier of entry.

Packlane B2B Ecommerce Marketing Strategies b2b ecommerce marketing strategies
Source: Smile.io

After rolling out their referral program with Smile, they built a community of 28k members, saw a 28.4% repeat customer rate, and saved nearly $500 per month on ads.

4. Align your content initiatives with your target audience

As customers turn to communities among brands, having content to support is key. Strong content marketing positions your B2B brand as an authority and trusted figure.

And content marketing isn’t just for trendy DTC brands on the ecommerce scene either. More B2B brands are investing in content to grow their business.

In fact, 83% of B2B brands report content marketing has helped increase their brand awareness, and 77% say it has helped them increase credibility and trust.

As an example of effective B2B content, ICE Cobotics, the automation machinery manufacturer we mentioned above, has an excellent blog covering their product updates, industry insights, how-to’s, and more.

ICE Cobotics B2B ecommerce marketing strategies 3 b2b ecommerce marketing strategies
Source: ICE Cobotics

Another great example of B2B content marketing comes from Majesty Coffee, a commercial espresso machine, grinder, and roaster company.

Buying an espresso machine—especially those clocking in at $12k+—may feel overwhelming. Majesty Coffee takes the guesswork out of deciding which machine is right with their in-depth guides, like this one on the best espresso and coffee grinders:

Majesty Coffee B2B ecommerce b2b ecommerce marketing strategies
Source: Majesty Coffee

This post breaks down not only their most recommended grinders but product terminology like “burrs” and “burr types,” which can help customers determine their needs.

From trends coverage to in-depth guides for product discovery, B2B brands are tailoring their site content to the needs of their audience.

Tactics to try

Refresh your existing B2B content

Have you built up extensive content already? Instead of focusing on net-new, revisit existing posts, ebooks, and other assets and see what could be refreshed.

Results from this Semrush study found that refreshing content is predominantly positive for companies:

SEMrush report updating content b2b ecommerce marketing strategies
Source: SEMRush

According to Nunzio Ross, refreshing Majesty Coffee’s content allowed them to audit what was moving the needle:

“Producing volumes of content is challenging, and most teams focus on creating new to keep up with marketing needs. Instead, we looked back at our existing content, identified our best pieces, and used their benchmarks for future content.

We republished outdated content with new information and better visuals, and improved post structure. Taking the time to refresh our content helped us study our content quality and fix the assets that needed fixing.”

— Nunzio Ross, Founder of Majesty Coffee

Publish case studies that speak to your ideal customer

A good case study will summarize the problem, solution, and results. A great case study builds a compelling narrative around the problem, helping the reader see their own business needs in the story.

For example, this case study from PWC profiles an industrial products customer who wanted to upgrade legacy systems and create a better customer experience.

It clearly states the problem, solution, and results but in a narrative, which is not only more engaging but centers the customer as the hero.

5. Infuse personalization into customer touchpoints

Customers crave personalization. And yes, that includes your B2B buyers!

From a B2B ecommerce lens, opportunities for personalization can be found in your pricing, catalog, site search bar, and more.

Tactics to try

Define touchpoints that would excel when tailored to particular segments

Where are your customers experiencing the most friction or disconnect with your online presence? Your website? Your email sequences?

Determine where along your customer journey you might infuse personalization to enhance your customer experience and remove that friction.

Plant-based food brand, Daring Foods, is a great example of tailoring store content to a particular segment of their audience in a personalized way. Daring knew a large chunk of their site traffic was from chefs wanting to learn more about their products and where to buy them.

Daring segmentation B2B ecommerce marketing strategy b2b ecommerce marketing strategies
Source: Daring

Their redesigned, Shogun Frontend-powered site now speaks specifically to restauranteurs and chefs as a segment. Their site content for this segment discusses why sustainability and meat alternatives need to be top of mind.

Daring segmentation b2b ecommerce marketing strategies 2 b2b ecommerce marketing strategies

Daring includes bold, on-brand imagery showing what’s possible with Daring (how restaurants can serve it) plus context chefs want to know, like nutritional information, how it can be cooked, where to purchase, and more.

Because the site was transformed into a progressive web app with Shogun Frontend, it’s incredibly performant. Moreover, the Daring ecommerce team can make changes without relying too heavily on developer resources for day-to-day updates.

Daring segmentation b2b ecommerce marketing strategies 3 b2b ecommerce marketing strategies

6. Improve your approach to SEO

For customers to find you online, you’ve got to be discoverable in search. While 83% of B2B customers prefer to buy online, making it easy for them to find you is step one.

A big portion of your B2B ecommerce marketing strategy needs to be set aside for implementing SEO best practices across storefront content.

Tactics to try

Improve your technical SEO

Search engines deploy bots to “crawl” your site. Checking all the technical SEO boxes via especially good schema or site structure ensures your site will be crawled.

Here are a few technical SEO practices you can spot-check right away to help:

  • Double-check that all site content contains keyword-rich meta tags: Meta tags are information included in the HTML of a webpage. This information isn’t shown on the page but is read by search engines and bots as they crawl. Meta tags help search engines understand what your page is about, which is used for ranking purposes. Audit each page of your site (don’t forget blog post pages!) and check that your metadata includes relevant keywords.
  • Ensure you serve up your site securely via HTTPS: Ensuring your site is secure is the first step in gaining customers (and Google’s!) trust. Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP, which is used to send data between a browser and a website. To enable HTTPS, you need an SSL or TLS certificate installed on your website. HTTPS is a confirmed Google ranking factor, so make sure your site is served up this way.
  • Direct bots and searchers with Robots.txt: Robots.txt is a test-based file used by bots when indexing a page. This file helps bots avoid irrelevant content and sends Google (and thereby customers) to the pages on your site you want them to see. Depending on your CMS, you might not need to do anything to your Robots.txt file. Consult Google’s documentation before making any edits.
Optimize on-page SEO

Once your technical SEO is covered, review site content for opportunities to double down on on-page components.

For example, let’s say you’re in the sustainable packaging industry. If a customer searches “Best eco-friendly packaging,” you’ll want to include this keyphrase (and variations) across your site and on core pages (in the H2s and page text) to signal relevance.

Here’s a quick list of on-page SEO areas to check on each page and post on your site:

  • Pack headers on store pages with relevant/intentional keywords: Make sure your page headers (and subheaders) are appropriately named for the content reflected on the site and contain keywords intentionally chosen as targets for a given page.

ICE Cobotics search engine result b2b ecommerce marketing strategies

  • Compress your visuals: Compress images, gifs, and videos to the smallest file size possible without compromising quality. Smaller visual files weigh less on a webpage, helping with site speed, which is a ranking factor!

#cta-paragraph-pb#Want to get some more tips? We’ve put together 13 powerful marketing strategies for Shopify to help you start scaling.

Borrow from B2C, but adapt for B2B

While B2B focuses on “business,” brands can’t forget about the people that comprise B2B buyers. The above marketing strategies—while focusing on business—keep the humans behind B2B top-of-mind.

Refine your B2B ecommerce marketing strategy this year to take a human-centric approach, similar to what your B2C neighbors do.


#cta-visual-fe#<cta-title>Go beyond the standard B2B storefront<cta-title>Unlock your growth with Shogun Frontend—the all-in-one platform revolutionizing how brands achieve headless benefits.Learn more

Kaitlyn Ambrose

Kaitlyn works on all things content at Shogun. ⚡

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