Merely turning to ecommerce and registering on an online B2B portal is not sufficient to catch the attention of global buyers. Like everything else, a first good impression of the business storefront can lead to sales. Here’s how small businesses can make the most of the internet and effectively differentiate themselves online.

Update your company profile

Whether you have a website for your organization or are a member of an online B2B portal, the first step that you must take is updating complete, relevant information about your company. This works as a company profile online, giving prospective buyers detailed information about your business operations. The company profile can include information such as product offerings, experience with domestic and international trade, company certifications, manufacturing units and capacity, number of employees, awards & recognition, major markets and lastly, company contact details. All these details help highlight your strengths as a company vis-à-vis your competitors. Updating your company profile should be an ongoing activity.

Khalid Isar, Country General Manager, Alibaba.com IndiaDefine your product offerings

Once a comprehensive background about your company has been defined, your focus should move to drawing your potential buyers’ attention to your products. It is crucial to understand which products and/or product categories are popular and fast-moving. These can then take precedence on your online storefront. You may choose to list all your products or highlight prominent product categories. Essential information that should be provided includes product features, pricing, expiration dates, usage guidelines and availability. To help buyers better understand your offerings, you can provide complete details for weight of product, raw materials and ingredients used, colour of product, method of processing, flavour, additives, etc. Another critical point is recognising whether or not to use technical jargons in product descriptions. The key is to ensure that while pertinent information is within the reach of prospective buyers, they are not overwhelmed with data.

Product Pictures

Along with product descriptions, product pictures are a major attraction for online buyers, as they may not have other parameters to judge your products. Your product pictures must be clear and simple, preferably below 3 MB in either .jpg, .png or .gif formats. This is to ensure that images load easily and quickly, without consuming too much of bandwidth. It is prudent to ensure that the pictures used must be of your own products! Any company and/or product branding should be visible in all product pictures. A contrast background is preferred when the pictures are taken as this better defines your product shape and colours. In case you want to ensure that your product pictures are not misused, you may also watermark your images with your company logo. Also, it may help attract more attention by highlighting the product itself, rather than its packaging.

[Related: Khalid Isar’s interview with Inc42 Magazine over Alibaba’s initiatives in India.]

Organize products

To make it easier for buyers to browse through your product picture galleries, you can further distinguish and organize your product pictures into categories and sub-categories. For example, if you are a manufacturer of various food products, you can create broad categories like food grains, spices, frozen food, beverages, etc. and post your products in each of these categories. This creates a clutter free browsing experience for the buyer, and makes it simple for you to upload your products as well!

Choose the right keywords

Keywords, simply, are identifiers to illustrate your product in a few short words or terms. 80% of buyers search for products using keywords on the Internet, which the search engine recognizes and matches with web pages, tossing up the search-results. On many B2B portals, product searches are similar based on keywords.

Always think like a buyer while you shortlist and use keywords for your products. Like, biscuits in India are called cookies in US. So if “biscuits” is one of your products, it is recommended that you use the keyword ‘cookie’ as well. Another important aspect is to ensure that you spell the keywords correctly, with no spelling errors.

When you do the right things, the right way, managing your e-commerce business becomes not only simpler, but also more effective than managing a physical business. Cleverly deploying and mixing elements to best suit your business needs will help build and sustain a valuable network of business partners.

Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.

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