B2B BUYER BEWARE: COMPLEXITY BEYOND CONSUMERIZATION
For years now the trendy topic of discussion has been the consumerization of B2B commerce. But that was just the introduction to what we see now, which is the emergence of the true B2B experience. It requires a consumer-like ease of use that simultaneously respects and incorporates the unique complexities of a business-to-business relationship. B2B buyer engagement is earned through the experience that serves these interests – sophisticated buying requirements coupled with usability – and many buyers are willing to turn to competitors if suppliers can’t deliver both.
This is a critical moment in B2B commerce, and suppliers need to take note if they’re going to stay in the game. Suppliers face fierce competition for B2B buyers’ online businesses. The near-universal reach of Amazon and Google, coupled with buyers’ call for mature eCommerce experience, drive the stakes to unprecedented highs. Those who can’t keep up suffer significant loyalty and financial consequences.
INNOVATION CAN SAVE DIGITAL LAGGARDS
There is good news: Innovation offers B2B suppliers a lifeline to better eCommerce operations. In fact, consumers demand innovation, with 99% of those surveyed expecting suppliers to prioritize innovation across a range of eCommerce areas. To deliver on this customer need, suppliers must develop strategic plans for creating innovative digital experiences.
Innovation needs to be driven through data-supported strategy, because consumer expectations change all the time. Understanding buyer expectations relies on timely data collection. At Avionos, we use our annual data reports, coupled with real time customer feedback, to inform our strategy. Working with these expectations in mind, we launch quickly and adapt in real time to feedback. Ultimately, understanding and listening to your customer base is the key to unlocking actionable innovation with quantifiable results.
WHAT MAKES A 5 STAR EXPERIENCE
In the B2B commerce space, it’s important to prioritize outcomes over technology. Using the latest shiny feature matters less than delivering the most desirable experience to your customer. Focus on where you can deliver 5 Star Experiences. These are
You can provide experiences that meet these criteria through implementing strategic B2B Commerce capabilities. A few examples that our clients’ customers find extremely valuable are:
- Ability to select a shipping location at any time in the shopping experience when shipping location affects pricing and availability
- Account management permissions to minimize account management customer service calls
- Enhanced aggregate products, using multiple attributes of a product to determine SKU
- More precise pricing for bulk and commodity items
- Ability to group products by ship-to locations throughout the purchase process
- Enhanced order history with sort, filter, and export capabilities
- Customer-specific pricing and enhanced searchandising: available with a new Bloomreach integration with Salesforce B2B Commerce, created by Avionos.
The pressure to deliver superior experiences makes it even more important to react quickly to real-time customer feedback. If you’re not sure where to go from here, start here:
- The customer is your competitive advantage. Find the most value for your target areas, then innovate strategically in those areas.
- Avoid large investments with long timelines. Invest in B2B-specific platforms that generate quick ROI, are flexible, and address your unique eCommerce needs.
- Create a connected customer journey. Enable field sales by prioritizing connected on and offline offerings and transparency across all channels.
- Provide consistent, comprehensive content. You know your specific product categories more intimately than Amazon. Communicate your product expertise across all channels.
Avionos designs and implements digital commerce and marketing solutions that deliver measurable business outcomes for clients like Kellogg’s, Sysco, and Ulta Beauty. Our iterative approach quickly unlocks new revenue, transforms customer experiences, and drives customer engagement. We’re ranked on Crain’s 2018 and 2019 Best Place to Work. Learn more at avionos.com.