How to Decrease Friction in the Buying Process

Aug 26, 2022 3:39:59 PM | B2B eCommerce How to Decrease Friction in the Buying Process

The quicker you can diagnose and treat the pain points in your buying process, the quicker you'll start to sell more, sell faster and maintain less.

It’s a shopper’s world. 

Though the seller’s market is more saturated than ever, with legacy industries transitioning into digital platforms and existing eCommerce presences rapidly advancing, they’re all fighting a hard battle to earn limited buyer business.

The sheer volume of choices leaves buyers wanting for little when it comes to options, putting them in a position where only the most competitive, enticing and accommodating of sellers earn their patronage. 

Configure, price, quote software has been a fan favorite for buyers and sellers alike as these digital sales environments evolve. CPQ technology provides many B2B vendors with the basic structure to fulfill buyer needs.

Manufacturers, though, have unique considerations to make when it comes to architecting an eCommerce environment that can accommodate the caliber of attribute-based product configuration, sales and manufacturing BOM generation and order submission buyers have come to expect.

These buyers no longer have the patience for email-based order forms or weeks-long turnaround times on custom renderings for their desired buy – instead, they’re looking for the easiest, quickest, digital experience they can find. They are the result of an increasingly “consumerized” market, in which B2C sales environments influence expectations in B2B arenas to favor self-guided, personalized paths.

We commissioned a survey of 250 leading manufacturers to gauge their success at fulfilling eCommerce buyer expectations. To see how they did, download our free State of B2B eCommerce for Manufacturers report at

When over 80% of buyers are coming back to say they’re not having an easy time making a purchase through available manufacturing eCommerce environments, though, something clearly needs to change. Marks are being missed across the board, which means money is being left on the table and the sellers who are excelling make up the overall market minority – at least, for now.

So, making changes to improve the way buyers navigate your sales funnel can help separate you from the rest.

Wondering where you should start?

At, we’re committed to keeping our finger on the pulse of all things manufacturing so we can come back and share our most important finds with you. Here are our recommendations on how you can immediately start cooling hotspots responsible for friction in your business’s buying process and start selling more, selling faster, and maintaining less.

Honestly Assess

Before you can find the prescription to your business’s core problems, you’ll first want to clearly identify what they truly are. Understanding exactly what it is your current audience expects from the buying process is the first place to start. 

Consumerized buyers have had their customer experience prioritized by B2C eCommerce retailers for years, compounded by the recent shift away from traditional sales channels into omnichannel or digital environments spurred by global events.

Recent Gartner data shows that buyers are engaging with traditional sales reps less and less, instead favoring experiences that use guided selling software to help optimize their cart. 

They’re looking for product configurators that offer real-time updates – with bonus points for anything offered in 3D – and don’t want to have to scavenge around multiple pages for pricing details.

While it may seem daunting to try and please such a discerning audience, starting small to align with their expectations can have more of an impact than you’d think. No one eCommerce environment is going to have every single feature a buyer could dream up, so architecting a perfect experience is out of the question. Removing that amount of pressure from yourself allows you to more honestly assess your limits, your buyers, and your goals. 

Then, you can begin to prioritize updates that will have an impact on those key aspects of the experience, like pricing transparency, dynamic configurators, and guided selling. Though these may seem like givens for sellers to have incorporated, data gathered through our Sinclair Customer Metrics survey shows remarkably low numbers when looking for them in live environments.

If you can’t say you’re one of the few that does have these anchor points, there’s never been a better time to upgrade.

Want to know what mystery shoppers collectively ranked as the three most important aspects to a successful customer experience for B2B buyers? Check out our list, and accompanying analysis, at the Blog:

Leverage Your Tech Stack

Your tech stack should make your life, and that of your buyer, easier. It’s not a radical statement, but one that supports the larger mission – to provide a commerce logic engine that helps you sell more, sell faster, and maintain less. 

Environments that make it hard for shoppers to find the right products, understand and engage with all possible configuration options, finalize payment or confirm orders leave little incentive for them to seal the deal and convert to a buyer.

For manufacturers, figuring out how to unite the guidance of a real life sales rep with innovative technology that puts agency back in the hands of those buyers starts with the right tools.

Not only do your buyers deserve the well supported, intentional environment that comes from a proper tech stack, the developers and IT teams responsible for back-end maintenance and updates shouldn’t have undue burdens to bear. 

Headless configuration, like that provided by our own CLE, can elevate existing structures while reducing reliance on code-heavy, tethered integrations. We’ve seen, time and time again, how headless commerce that stems from such software outperforms traditional commerce setups and helps future-proof your overall tech stack for the long run. VP of Product, Fazal Gupta, highlighted the importance of future-proofing in a recent webinar, saying “2 years from now, or 3 years from now…people whose cost curve is much lower because they started investing thoughtfully in online channels today will have a strong advantage” as compared to those that stall in the face of rapid market acceleration. 

Like we mentioned earlier, there is never going to be a perfect sales funnel or buy process – but, the earlier you start making moves in the right direction, the earlier you can troubleshoot, refine, and solidify your environment. 

A guided selling solution with just one or two questions to point buyers in the right direction, or pre-populated logic that automatically bundles eligible items together for free shipping is still more than what most businesses are offering. is designed to handle the complexities and nuances of manufacturing in ways others aren’t. We can make it easy to consumerize the way you sell, meeting modern buyers exactly where they are. To see in action, check out the video case studies for manufacturing clients at

Blake Grubbs

Written By: Blake Grubbs

Blake has successfully helped several high-growth tech startups build and scale marketing over the past 10 years. Held marketing leadership roles at Seismic, Drift, Alyce, and Simplr, all who successfully doubled and tripled ARR bookings during his tenure. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Management from Boston University's Questrom School of Business.