Business-to-business (B2B) cart abandonment remains one of the main challenges for B2B sellers.
A staggering 57% of B2B buyers did not complete a purchase for their companies because the vendor checkout process took too long.
Research carried out by TreviPay to investigate B2B sellers and buyer payment preferences produced some valuable insights into some of the challenges faced by B2B sellers.
Read on to find out why B2B cart abandonment is an area of B2B eCommerce and sales that is so crucial to get right.
What is cart abandonment?
B2B cart abandonment is an eCommerce term refering to customers adding items to their online shopping cart but not completing their online purchase.
Broadly speaking, it’s a significant issue for many different kinds of online businesses all over the world.
For example, in North America, the average online shopping cart abandonment in 2022 was 79.14% of all shopping carts. In Europe, this figure was almost the same (79.28%).
And in the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean, this figure was 88.1%, 85.15%, and 92.18% respectively.
Finding – and solving – what’s causing abandoned carts at checkout matters. It can significantly influence revenue and customer retention.
Examples of potential causes include, but aren’t limited to:
- Unexpected costs
- Complicated checkout processes
- Incorrect or unclear product labeling
- Lack of preferred payment method
B2B cart abandonment (& why it’s unique)
The differences between B2B and business-to-consumer (B2C) businesses in general covers multiple areas. It is particularly relevant to cart abandonment and how it relates to the importance of the B2B buyer journey.
Today, the tools and technology, choice of payments partners, and features available to B2B vendors, are at an all-time high.
So, it’s hard to imagine that businesses selling to business would see cart abandonment levels this high…
The good news is there are solutions and some very real ways that businesses can lower their B2B costs, increase sales, and improve the chances of securing business customers for life.
B2B cart abandonment problems and solutions
Problem 1: Payment methods
B2B payment terms and B2B payment methods are often quite different from B2C ones. However, they are still very important to customers.
The research found that 90% of customers investigate the seller’s payment options before buying.
It also found 74% of B2B buyers will purchase from a competitor if a vendor’s eCommerce store can’t meet their purchase expectations.
“B2B eCommerce transactions today are often limited in how customers can pay. The payment mechanisms typically found online are credit cards, which are expensive for sellers and difficult for buyers to reconcile once the statement arrives. Invoices are hard for buyers to find and download, and the ability to apply procurement processes is fraught with complications or entirely absent. These factors combine to make eCommerce for B2B transactions much more painful for customers when compared to their B2C purchasing experiences.”
– TreviPay President, Brandon Spear
Solution 1: Increase preferred payment method availability
86% of B2B buyers use credit cards to make purchases from online retailers on a weekly or monthly basis.
The key thing is that this may not be their preferred way to pay. So, offering alternatives could increase the conversion rate of your sales.
In fact, more than three-quarters (77%) of all B2B buyers agree vendors should offer additional payment options beyond credit cards to improve the buying experience.
And 48% of B2B buyers did not complete a purchase for their companies because their preferred payment method wasn’t an option.
These findings should really shape your notions about what can cause B2B cart abandonment and even how the B2B market works…
Non-credit card solutions
It was revealing that 50% of buyers prefer a payment method other than a credit card. This includes options such as automated clearing house (ACH) payments when purchasing for their company.
“A payment option beyond credit cards that businesses may want to consider offering is ACH. Credit cards are often declined due to suspicion of fraud or expired cards and ACH minimizes those failures. In addition, ACH typically has low or flat rates and offers more controls on payment dates.”
– TreviPay CEO, Brandon Spear
Local payment preferences and cross-border payment methods
The payment options gap is even bigger if you’re selling across borders or on other continents.
A common phenomenon is that payments preferences are often local or very different from the preferred North American payment method of credit cards.
For example, Chinese B2B customers prefer WeChat Pay and Alipay. Not having these options available risks turning away business buyers from about 1/5 of the world’s economy.
There are also the issues of different currencies, languages, and regulations. Eliminating these complexities requires expertise and integration with your existing inventories and accounting software.
Problem 2: Financing options
Most B2B buyers want trade credit. 82% of B2B buyers would choose a particular vendor over others if it offered invoicing at checkout with 30-, 60- or 90-day terms.
Because of the delayed trade credit payment, B2B lending options are often seen as an extension of payment options. Having net terms or buy now pay later (BNPL) available to B2B online shoppers can reduce cart abandonment. And it can increase average order volume (AOV) and customer loyalty, too.
B2B financing has distinct features from B2C versions. These are primarily related to larger transactions and specialized B2B financing solutions as factoring and invoice financing
B2B financing is used by businesses for various practical reasons, including:
- Cashflow management
- Payroll funding
- Technology investment
Solution 1: Find an alternative lending partner
B2B financing is typically provided by banks or alternative lenders.
Alternative lenders can offer significant benefits over traditional banks, including:
- Easier access to funds
- Faster and simpler approval processes
- More flexible terms
And they often leverage technology for quicker decision-making, as evident from companies like TreviPay, which offers credit line decisions in just 30 seconds.
B2B financing options vary and include business loans, lines of credit, venture debt, net terms, invoice discounting, and invoice factoring.
Solution 2: Look at embedded finance options
Embedding B2B payments works in the same way embedding B2C payments does.
And the emergence of embedded financing, which is about where companies offer their clients financial services, further streamlines transactions. After all, each lending type serves specific and is suited to different business stages and structures.
This frictionless to payments approach facilitates immediate and repeat purchases. This ultimately bolsters cashflow and fosters positive trading conditions.
For instance, TreviPay allows clients to provide their business customers with embedded finance solutions based on lines of credit, invoice payments, and different net terms.
Problem 3: Onboarding process
Onboarding is the first – and therefore potentially most important – interaction many buyers will have with your business.
The research found that 77% of B2B buyers say it takes a day or more for a new vendor to onboard them before they can make purchases online.
And 27% of B2B buyers agree the amount of business hours it takes to complete onboarding for payment on terms can create frustration when they attempt to make purchases for their company.
Solution 1: Automate onboarding process
Onboarding business buyers should be done seamlessly and quickly.
This gives customers good first impressions, which can contribute to them actively engaging with your business early on and avoiding lost sales.
It might also make them more responsive to requests for feedback. You can effectively capitalize on their early interest and engagement to gather useful data that can inform your marketing and sales strategies.
Solution 2: Guest checkout availability
Guest checkout is a simple checkout process. It allows customers to purchase goods and services without needing to create an account or sign in. They greatly simplify and speed up the purchasing process for one-time purchase or infrequent shoppers.
Whilst this option is often not appropriate for larger orders, it can be utilized for smaller ones. In the long run, it could generate a lot of new business.
Problem 4: Other checkout issues
There are many different checkouts available, each with its own checkout flow.
For example, some checkouts might enable customers to increase or decrease quantity at every stage of the process. Others might not.
And other checkouts might not show the payment information and methods available ‘above the fold’ (visible without scrolling when a webpage first loads).
Solution 1: Adjust Checkout positioning and appearance
Every eCommerce website is unique. This includes your product offerings, design, and the language you use. In all of these areas, attention to detail matters.
The appearance of your CTAs might not be optimal. Size, shape, and color might all play a role in keeping customers engaged and influencing buyer behavior.
For example, if your CTA’s color is too blended with the color-scheme on the rest of the page, users might not be able to easily find it. Choosing a distinct and clear color will save them effort – and possible save you an abandoned cart.
You should also consider adding icons of payment methods you accept (Visa, American Express, etc.) to your checkout. The trust associated with these companies will reassure most users.
Solution 2: Experiment with call to action (CTA) wording
A CTA is the text on a button or banner on a website that encourages users to take a specific action. This action might include, for example:
- Completing a purchase
- Claiming a discount code
- Adding items to a basic order
- Opening an account
- Joining a newsletter
Effective wording of CTAs on your checkout page can directly influence buyer engagement and conversion rates. For example, ‘securely continue to checkout‘ might increase conversions in comparison to ‘proceed to checkout‘.
Experimenting, either by directly changing CTAs or doing A/B testing can help improve the online shopping experience of your B2B customers and low their shopping cart abandonment rate.
Problem 5: Shipping costs
Unexpected extra costs can cause lost sales revenue in eCommerce. One example of this is shipping costs.
Unclear or expensive shipping information can make customers abandon their B2B cart. This will lose you a sale and trust in your B2B eCommerce brand.
Solution 1: Be upfront about shipping costs early
Clearly and prominently displaying shipping information (costs, delivery times, delivery options, etc.) in your online store will reassure clients early on and help them understand the total cost.
Solution 2: Offering free shipping
Offering free shipping could help you increase conversions.
This isn’t always practical or easy to do yourself. So, partnering with a shipping specialist could help you significantly increase the effectiveness and decrease the costs of your shipping process.
Elevate your B2B payments strategy
TreviPay specialises in helping B2B retail businesses optimise crucial sales channels by delivering a seamless, frictionless purchasing experience that meets buyer requirements and reduces disputes.
Our B2B payment platform enhances customer spend and loyalty with trade credit and net terms options. In addition, our easy-to-integrate APIs connect to your eCommerce, accounting, and payment platforms.
This means that your customers enjoy a consistent and distinct experience that builds trust with your brand, as everything is covered from omnichannel purchasing capabilities to invoices.
B2B buyers were clear about their payments preferences and their answers provide a path to solutions for B2B sellers.
The research on B2B cart abandonment indicated that it is a significant problem for businesses. 57% of B2B buyers abandoned a purchase due to a lengthy checkout process.
Broadly speaking, major causes of cart abandonment include:
- Unexpected costs
- Complex checkout processes
- Unclear product labeling
- Lack of preferred payment methods
The B2B customer buying journey and payment preferences are different from B2C. There are very different average order volumes, payment methods, payment terms, and financing options to take into account.
In short, payment options are important to the majority of B2B buyers, with the majority indicating they wouldn’t complete a purchase if their preferred payment method wasn’t available.
To remedy this, B2B businesses need to offer multiple payment methods, including non-credit card options like ACH, and cross-border payment methods.
Financing options, such as loans, lines of credit, and invoice discounting are also valuable options to offer buyers.
In addition, automating the onboarding process, offering guest checkout options and providing clear shipping information can also help.
Finally, adjusting checkout appearance and experimenting with call to action (CTA) wording can also all contribute reducing cart abandonment rates.
You can read more about the report mentioned in this article on PaymentsNext.com.