An early adopter of B2B e-Commerce, online specialty light bulbs seller Atlanta Light Bulbs recently saw the need to differentiate itself from a market that was starting to overflow with newer competitors. Within a year of implementing the BigCommerce toolkit of apps, the B2B wholesaler:
Increased orders 29.4%;
Reduced abandoned revenue 96.85%;
Expanded to 8,700 products; and
Grew online revenue 70%, with 25% driven directly from BigCommerce apps.
Atlanta Light Bulbs launched its first online presence in 1998 on a Yahoo forum and built a web site shortly after. But as more wholesalers developed their own online sales presences, the brand needed a marketing platform to deliver new experiences specifically catered to Millennial B2B buyers.
“B2B is the place to be; we’re already good at that and we know how to distribute product, so marrying that to our web site is our goal — to make it the place that the commercial lighting buyer goes to purchase the lighting products they need from professionals that know what they’re doing,” said Doug Root, CEO of Atlanta Light Bulbs in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We’re a small business. We’re not some monster company that can go out there and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a web site.”
In selling to a B2B audience, Root believes that transactions have to be personal and focus on more technical questions, making the e-Commerce experience that much more important.
“In my opinion, the world is exploding, and the Internet of needs is getting bigger, with the large platforms such as the Amazons and eBays that are non-personal and non-conversational and very predictive,” said Root.
With those sites, “you order the stuff and it shows up,” Root added. “I feel this works really well for B2C, but I know that it doesn’t work well when you have a person that’s an engineer in a building who is looking to retrofit his lighting and has a question about the lighting. If they’re a younger shopper, they often don’t use a local supplier and would rather shop online. The problem is that they don’t often feel too safe about ordering from eBay because they’re not sure if that’s the product they need.”
PriceWaiter App Lets Consumers Negotiate Price
BigCommerce enables Root to make quicker decisions on sales and promotions. For example, he created a flash sale on the site in 15 minutes without having to rely on programmers or developers.
With the partnership, Atlanta Light Bulbs can access the platform’s app marketplace to find apps that can integrate seamlessly into the e-Commerce site experience. With a 30-day free trial included with every app, the team can periodically test to decide whether they are a proper fit for the company’s goals and go from there.
For example, the brand has leveraged the PriceWaiter app, which lets the buyer name a price, on its product pages –– . The buyer can go to the Atlanta Light Bulbs site and place a recommendation to buy 50 bulbs at $2 per unit. On the back end, the brand loaded up its pricing rules into the PriceWaiter system, so the app is aware of the minimum order value for each transaction.
“At the end of the day, we figured that we can’t be everything to everybody all the time,” Root said. “People are shopping out there and I don’t exactly know what price point they need. There’s always a fight with pricing — how do you price it, and what do you do? Is it right for this one, or right for that one? So I always loved the idea of ‘name your own price.’ Let’s negotiate. You’re willing to pay ‘x’ and I’ll sell it for ‘y,’ yet I still haven’t seen a whole lot of sites embrace that. It fits with us because we like to work with people and say, ‘We like working with you. If we can work with you, we feel you’ll come back to us later.’”
Apps Combat Cart Abandonment
The selection of apps has helped Root and his team build a more nuanced strategy to reduce cart abandonment rates. The PriceWaiter app’s Exit Intent provides an automated call to action with an offer pop-up. When a buyer is leaving the page, the app will pop up a message that says: “Don’t leave yet. Make us an offer on this item. Maybe we can work with you!”
Additionally, the strategy includes email trigger messages that include coupons based on recent visits and purchases, as well as ads placed throughout the rest of the shoppers’ online journey.
“We use Google Advertising and other platforms so that when someone visits the site, it keeps their information and reaches them on a web page that they may be visiting,” Root said. “If a consumer did abandon a cart and they get reminded later, maybe they forgot about my email but then they might have seen our ads pop up on Weather.com.”