June 3, 2014, 1:38 PM

B2B conference preview: ‘Helping busy customers get stuff done’

In the B2B track at IRCE 2014, the world’s largest conference and exhibition on e-commerce, companies from various industries will offer tips on how to connect with and sell to business customers online.

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The best business-to-business e-commerce sites are designed to help buyers quickly find what they need, but also present products in a way that makes shopping fun and personalized—much like a retail e-commerce site, says Lance Trebesch, co-owner and CEO of TicketPrinting.com, which sells ticketing services and related items to event organizers.

“Business customers have a task to do, they are not whimsical shoppers,” he says. “They need to get stuff done.”

But often business-to-business e-commerce sites lack the shopper-friendly features common on many retail sites that make shopping both fast and fun, he adds. At next week’s IRCE, the world’s largest conference and exposition on e-commerce technology and strategies, Trebesch will join more than 200 other e-commerce experts in more than 130 sessions offering information on e-commerce trends and techniques supporting the ongoing growth in B2B and as well as retail online sales. IRCE will take place in Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center.

Trebesch, speaking in IRCE’s B2B E-Commerce Strategies track on Thursday, June 12, will address how to make online buying easier for business customers in the session, “Your Customers Have a Task—Help Them with B2C Tactics that Improve Workflow.”

Top B2B e-commerce sites, he adds, provide business shoppers with descriptions and images of a wide range of products likely to be needed by particular customers, a web design that helps busy business buyers quickly find more of what they need to successfully sell to their own customers. TicketPrinting.com, for example, designs its web pages to so organizers of concerts can purchase apparel and posters related to their events as well as ticket services.

“I’ll explain how we use workflow as our organizing principle but make it fun and personalized,” Trebesch says. “I’ll also showcase other great B2B2C sites.” E-commerce sites that operate as B2B2C, he notes, sell to business customers with online shopping features common on retail sites.

The B2B E-Commerce track at IRCE features 10 speakers across seven sessions. Other sessions include a review on performance metrics in B2B e-commerce by Andy Hoar, senior analyst specializing in B2B e-commerce at Forrester Research Inc., and presentations by speakers from companies including industrial products manufacturer 3M, camera manufacturer GoPro Inc. and Seventh Generation, a manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of eco-friendly household products including cleansers and baby diapers. Speakers will address several aspects of e-marketing, mobile commerce and selling online to both B2B and retail customers.

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