A few years ago I was in New York City for the B2B eCommerce World Seminar. The conference was a few miles from my hotel and I had to decide the best way to get to the convention center – taxi or Uber? I knew there would be dozens of taxis zipping by the hotel, I could easily hail one down and be on my way in a couple minutes. Ultimately, I choose not to raise my arm and hail a taxi, I pulled out my phone and requested an Uber.
Why did I choose an Uber?
There was a solitary deciding factor. I wanted to step out of the car at my destination without hassling with payment. If I would have selected a taxi, I would have had to wait for the driver to find an optimal place to pull over, the system likely would have declined American Express and I would have had to wait in the cab while my payment was processed. An inconvenience.
My choice to use Uber for a frictionless payment is not unique. Daily purchase decisions are made based on the ease of the transaction, which is especially important to B2B eCommerce buyers. When they are making purchasing decisions online they want to quickly determine if the retailer has the item they are searching for, verify price and determine shipping time. At checkout, they want payment options that are frictionless too. While credit cards may seem frictionless, many B2B buyers prefer to purchase online just as they do offline; by invoice with 30, 60 or 90-day terms. By creating a credit relationship with easy purchase options, you establish stickiness and therefore loyalty with that customer. The result increases reoccurring sales and you become the vendor of choice.
While many of us haven’t set foot anywhere outside our homes over the past year, we have become conditioned to expect B2C-like ease and convenience with our B2B purchases. So I have to ask, does your B2B eCommerce offering have a frictionless, Uber-like payment transaction process or are your customers still stuck impatiently inside the taxi?