The future of Industrial B2b e-Commerce

Research states that high digital-quotient (DQ) companies generate five times the average compounded annual growth rate and 8% higher shareholder returns as their lower-performing competitors.

B2B customers now expect a B2C experience but have less time to spare.

Personalization of your service goes a long way

The last couple of years has seen a paradigm shift in the customers’ requirements and B2B companies’ investment priorities. More and more B2B companies have started to provide a personalized experience to their customers.

Account specific storefronts- Customers want to see their purchase history

Dynamic B2B pricing, digitized line sheets that prioritize reordering, and customizable orders are some of the recent trends amongst.

Customers now expect accessibility of transaction history, payment methods and delivery options when specific products are clicked.

Product recommendations in the same window

When you buy one specific product, it makes sense to present another product that can be used along with the product being viewed currently. This could enable bunch selling and increase sales.

Customized price list for every customer

Customers like to be given preference over others. Customized price list could reflect the no. of products being bought, price with discount, delivery charge and the amount being saved by the customer.

Some organisations work on app as well. The same can be reflected in the app as well.

Customized catalogs based on preferences

Every buyer is unique and different. Customizing your catalog as per the buyer’s industry and needs may prove beneficial for you in the long run. The customer feels valued and reflects well on your brand image.

Dynamic content- what do you stand for?

Content is key in any website. Your website content should reflect for who you are, what you do and what you stand for. Most customers will buy a product from you and not from anybody else, because of the kind of brand you reflect to be.

Customers can do it all on their own, all the way, on their time

Customers today do not want any assistance when they step online to purchase their shopping list. They like to do their research, look for the right product, at the right price and make the purchase.

They do not like to be handheld to the checkout. Having a fast and reliable self-service feature plays an important part in your brand experience.

Valuable content for every purpose

Customers are always in different stages of the purchase journey.

  • Awareness-stage buyers-they require preliminary information about the problem they’re currently facing, and solutions they can rely on. These prospects will be looking for blog posts, white papers, and eBooks.
  • Consideration-stage buyers – they know their options and are now comparing and guaging People at this stage want to see product comparison charts and infographics, as well as product demo videos.
  • Decision-stage buyers – they want to know that your company is the one they should purchase the product Here, you will need to convince them that you give them more value for the product that they intend to purchase—and any information that you want them to know about your company.

You need a team to be working on your content all the time. Emails, chatbots, social media posts, blogs, whitepapers, case studies, articles etc., is the way to increase your brand value amongst customers.

Voice of the customer in AI

As Abbie Griffin and John R. Hauser explains in a report from MIT:

“Voice of the Customer provides a detailed understanding of the customer’s requirements, a common language for the team going forward in the product development process, key input for the setting of appropriate design specifications for the new product or service, and a highly useful springboard for product innovation.”

Today in most cases customers type what they are looking for. In the next few months/by 2021, you will see customers talking into computers looking to purchase products.

With AI being used abundantly by Amazon and Google in the products, the same experience will be expected during B2C and B2B shopping as well.

Data is everything

As you track your customer’s behaviour through your website. You learn them and create content they love.

  • When you see a certain blog or content that is being ‘LIKED’ or “READ” multiple times, you know the content/subject is getting traction. You create more content around the same.
  • When you notice that more and more support tickets are being raced regarding a specific feature, you develop more informational content for your customers.
  • If your wait time for live chat support is abysmal compared to industry standards, you look for alternatives.

Product performance is key in any business

If your product is no good, you tend to lose a customer. Selling a top performing product will make you’re a top seller as well. Keep in mind you need to keep a moving stock.

Hoarding non-performing products in the warehouse will only cost you. Keeping seasonal sales in mind, you need to figure your inventory accordingly.

Shorter sales cycle=more time for your sales team

The shorter the sales cycle, the more time your sales team gets to nurture new leads and work on generating more sales. Many B2B companies struggle to integrate their collected data into their various systems and processes.

Specifically, only 47% of companies consider their ability to integrate data into their CRM system to be “intermediate” or better. Hence the sales cycle is interrupted with incomplete / obsolete data.

Don’t alienate your trust signifiers

Your “About Us” page, privacy policy, and legal page (also known as the terms and conditions.) are very important for every B2B e-store.

While these often won’t be looked at until later in the process, they help confer legitimacy. Having the minutest details mentioned in these pages could take you a long way.

Use and update buyer personas

Different parties within the same organisation could be coming to your e-store to search for products. Make sure you speak a language all of them can understand.

Also, since we live in an evolving consumer world, it is best to stay abreast with all market studies that reflect your buyer personas.

Follow up proactively

With B2C using cookies to understand and track buyer behaviour, the same can be used in B2B as well.

Many a times, products a customer may have seen few days back may pop up in social media platforms as he is looking at the page wall. The same can be applied for B2B as well.

2020 is here in a few months. It is time you started to work on a plan that could make you stand out from the rest of the B2B crowd. Vision a future for your company that is customer centric and customer inspired.

Looking for more inspirations, get in touch with us.

eCommerce Strategist helping with effective eStore Product Data and increase conversions at Altius Technologies

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