You’re probably aware of how critical your website is for your business’s growth, but you might not be aware of the new trend toward web portals. They’re basically an enhanced, web-based platform (with the look and feel of a website) that create a new way for you, your customers, your partners, vendors, or basically anybody to interact.
Think of portals like a website on steroids.
The difference? Engagement and information. Custom web portal developers find a way to more heavily engage your audience by providing them the information and connections that they need. Add some professional design on top of that, and you’ll have created a key asset for your business.
So what can you do with custom web portals? Here are a few types of portals that we’ve developed for our clients.
B2C Focussed Web Portals (E-commerce)
We build custom web portals for businesses looking to create a better buying experience for their customers (this is typical in ecommerce—but can be applied in many industries).
For example, an e-commerce business may want to streamline the process of buying on their website, as cart abandonment is one of the biggest challenges facing online sales (7 out of 10 potential buyers abandon their cart due to lengthy checkout processes). Streamlining the steps in this process is critical for any e-commerce business—and web portals can help.
A B2C web portal could create a login for your users, capturing minimal information for them before the purchase and connecting with your email marketing platform to promote or save after a failed purchase. On top of that, it creates a place for your customers to log in, track their orders, work with customer support, manage returns (which could now be issued in store credit to save lost revenue), as well as connect with your inventory or shipping systems to reduce the workload on your employees.
B2B Focussed Web Portals
The B2B world typically means bigger deals, more complex products, and an elevated need to interact with your clients. Sometimes, a simple website chat box or email thread won’t cut it. You need something that’s professionally designed and creates an excellent support service for your customers—ensuring that your team never drops the ball. On top of that, you want to be able to offer real-time information contained somewhere in your systems.
We build our B2B portals with these factors in mind. You’ll want to make sure that key stakeholders can log in and access whatever information they’ll need. You’ll also want to provide a quick and simple way for your customers to either find the information they need (for example, with help base support articles) or get in touch with your dedicated support teams.
Managing threads and cases is also another key element of a custom B2B web portal, so that your employees can collaborate on cases and take them through to completion.. Tying these back into Salesforce is another expertise of ours. This enables your employees can work out of Salesforce and keep a comprehensive record of everything that happens with each of your customers. We could also do this with other CRM’s or build a custom CRM for you to use in conjunction with the portal.
Web Portals for Partners and Vendors
Certain businesses rely heavily on relationships with partners, vendors, resellers, etc. The purpose of a partner/vendor portal is to strengthen these relationships. Simply having a portal shows your dedication to the relationship, creating a strong impression right off the bat.
Here are a few ideas of what you could do with a custom partner or vendor portal:
- Manage shipments and orders (connecting back to inventory or shipping systems/services)
- Rewards programs. You could track the business you send to/receive from each party and reward based on that, creating a gamified and incentivizing system.
- Applications. Very effective if you have a large audience looking to work with you.
- Training. Your vendors represent your brand. This makes training and education a vital part of maintaining your brand presence. Make your content available via portal, and you can track engagement with that content (and offer rewards for increased engagement).
Building a partner or vendor portal is frequently about making information readily available. Take a look at the systems you have and processes that could be strengthened, and it’s likely a portal could combine a few of them and drive more business through these channels.
Combine Your Custom Web Portals for an Efficiency Boost
The majority of this article has been focussed from the outsiders perspective, explaining how custom web portals can create positive experiences with those outside of your organization.
On the flipside, however, are the benefits they create for you and your business—especially if you were to combine all of these portals to create a dynamic location out of which your employees can manage all of their work.
Our work with custom web portals frequently crosses with CRM development, as your CRM is another piece of software that’s core to your business. We like to see portals as an extension of your CRM and other systems. When done right, it will streamline your processes, adding an impressive efficiency boost for your entire company.