Give your B2B customers exactly what they need and you will win
Find out what B2B buyers expect from you
You Moved Your B2B Business Online. Now What?
At this point in time, most B2B companies have moved their businesses online. B2B sellers are seeing a significant volume of business activities moving from offline to online, so they’re adjusting to the trend. And that will continue to increase in the next few years. Luckily, the costs of serving customers decrease by migrating them online.
But there’s still a gap between what they offer and what their customers need. Businesses struggle to meet expectations because they rely on outdated, inflexible systems.
They’re losing customers to competitors that provide robust eCommerce capabilities.
Setting up a website isn’t the only thing you need to make your customers happy.
Your business has to go beyond traditional eCommerce tools. You have to understand your customers’ expectations, buying habits and preferences.
Different Industries have Unique Problems with eCommerce
Many B2B businesses still rely on outdated commerce systems. They have a hard time meeting the needs of their clients. The processes are mainly manual - imagine the burden on sales reps, old fax systems and inflexibility - and they limit the potential of the digital platforms to make an impact on revenue.
The pressure for the use of digital channels is increasing. But there's a disconnect in investment priorities for B2B companies. Most fail to integrate customer information with eCommerce technology. There’s a gap between what they can offer and what buyers demand.
There are pain points for businesses they still have to overcome. Commerce system pain points made businesses miss out on revenue and sales. For example, feedback shows:
- 70% lost a deal
- 31% missed out on at least $2M in sales
Having a modern web application also helps if you are on some types of markets where design and presentation are a must.
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This is visible across industries: manufacturing, retail, healthcare, and software. They all face problems with eCommerce:
- B2B retail industry: It has the advantage with its mobile and user-friendly offers but can’t keep up with complex capabilities, such as the need for guided selling or multiple store orders.
- The manufacturing industry: It’s better at accommodating B2B complexities. Yet, they can’t lower costs.
- Healthcare and software: There are unique challenges. They have complex products and relationships with customers.
Even with different issues, B2B businesses still have the same pain points. The biggest being:
- Cost-efficiency - 37%
- Can’t provide a seamless, omnichannel customer experience - 35%
- Gaining a holistic view of the customer - 31%
- Effectively using commerce data - 30%
- Employee IT knowledge for platform management - 28%
What do B2B Customers want?
Today’s B2B customers expect a modern eCommerce experience. And they’ll remain loyal to the businesses that offer it.
B2B buyers want what’s more advantageous for them:
- 55% - Mobile access
- 52% - Convenient payment processes
- 50% - Advanced payment features
- 44% - Customized pricing
- 38% - Quick connection to a sales rep
- 36% - Guided selling
B2B customers expect more complex features from eCommerce systems.
Source: "The B2B Digital Commerce Imperative"
There’s a gap between customer expectations and current offerings. Buyers want more advanced and personalized features. Businesses can’t provide them. This is because they don’t integrate their systems with customer information. They also rely on outdated platforms.
- 83% of B2B buyers will spend more on suppliers who offer a robust eCommerce experience.
- Nine out of ten procurement officers (89%) are buying more online now then they did last year.
- 97% say a customer portal is a critical factor when choosing a supplier.
Buyers spend more overall when interacting with multiple channels. They’re also more likely to become repeat and long-term customers when that need is met.
What can You do to Meet Your Customers’ Expectations?
To put in place an eCommerce experience you need flexible architectures. Then, you can adjust your strategy based on customer needs.
You need to make fast adjustments to your strategy based on customer preferences you discover. Amazon is an excellent example since it evolves faster than most. 65% of B2B buyers make their purchases in Amazon because of their digital offerings.
B2B buyers search for products online on Google and Amazon. Only 15% will visit your website and 6% will pick up your catalogue.
If your website doesn’t offer the content they’re looking for, they’ll go elsewhere.
Quality content gives your customers confidence they’re trading with the right vendor to make purchases, which gives your business the advantage.
Make your customers feel more confident in buying your products with elements like:
- Rich and relevant content that improves your competitiveness.
- Provide buyers with the information they need to make informed decisions, such as images, detailed product specifications, videos and use cases.
If your site gives buyers the information they need to answer all their queries, you’ll win them over.
Not sure how to get started?
You Already Have the Tools - Now Use them.
To offer the personalized features your customers expect, integrate eCommerce with customer data.
B2B businesses have to put the customer as the focus of the eCommerce experience. A CRM that does that, is exactly what you need: a solution to help you understand your customers' needs and how to make it happen.
But, it seems businesses aren't using CRM information to their advantage. Only 27% of businesses have CRM and eCommerce integrated.
They treat eCommerce as a separate channel. Still, the businesses going for a more integrated approach are seeing advantages.
Not only that, companies rely on outdated eCommerce systems.
More than half of the surveyed companies made updates to their systems more than two years ago.
Here are four things you need to do:
- Find a system that is easy to adapt to changing ordering needs. From multi-accounting ordering to walleting, it’s all important.
- Connect your CRM and eCommerce platforms. Use everything you need to help them make informed decisions.
- Offer personalized promotions, customized pricing and order and browsing history.
- Invest in systems that don’t need a lot of maintenance or technical labor to work. This will improve the sales process and reduce costs.
Customers must be able to self-serve. They should easily access information they need and get personalized pricing and promotions.
You’ll spend less on enhancing customer engagement and minimizing errors.
Your eCommerce platform and strategy have to be agile. Make sure your business meets customer expectations. You need enhanced customer insights and analytics to understand their feedback. Invest in actual customer needs, not on a “build it and they will come” approach.