B2B (business to business) commerce has been changing and developing at a considerable speed. Previously, most B2B companies simply depended on the use of offline resources. These resources helped in driving the sales efforts while also influencing buyer behavior. However, these days, B2B customers are a lot savvier than they used to be. Customers use several digital channels for researching and purchasing. And this trend only seems to be accelerating as the demographics of the buyer shift in the millennial digital natives’ favor.
Needless to say, business buyers are more informed, connected, and in control these days about the whole buying process than they have ever been. According to Forrester Research, Inc. this new era featuring connected buyers is dubbed as “the Age of the Customer”. In this age, for systematically responding to and anticipating the needs of the customers, successful companies have to consistently rework and rethink their approach.
B2B companies further face complex technology and business challenges that are really encountered by B2C brands. A more complicated buying cycle which is longer, fragmented technology and stakeholder misalignment stacks are simply one of the few obstacles in the way of integrating all digital touch points for the buyers.
In other words, to be successful, the first thing that B2B companies must do is evolve their external and internal proceedings in order to remain profitable and competitive. Simply put, if they fail to up their eCommerce strategies, they might as well be left behind.
One more thing that B2B companies need to ensure is that their eCommerce strategies are relevant to the needs of today’s customers. The old, one-size-fits-all approach is no longer profitable. Companies need to reevaluate the manner in which they engage with their digital customers and get to know them better. What more they can do is simply changing their dialogue and evolving their tactics in order to stay ahead of everyone else.
In short, the B2B companies should consider:
- Not to build old approaches around new technologies.
- Not to assume the digital customer will have the same format of purchasing as the traditional offline buyer.
- Not to stop at B2C practices but instead, consider going beyond them.