Shopping for a new tablet online is simple compared to the complicated process of researching and purchasing B2B products and services. Business buyers have vastly different requirements, depending on their industry, company size and other variables, requiring wide variation in B2B digital commerce experiences.
Several compelling forces should convince B2B marketers to re-think their approach to commerce initiatives, including:
- Consumerization of B2B buying — Business buyers expect every commerce experience to be as easy as shopping anywhere online, including streamlined mobile websites and apps, effective on-site search, integration with social channels, and personalization.
- B2B buyers are getting younger — Nearly 50% of all B2B buyers are millennials, up from 27% compared to two years ago (IBM Commerce). This new generation of decision makers demands convenience, collaboration and customization.
- Buyers will pay more for a great experience —One 2013 study by Avanade suggests that B2B buyers will pay, on average, 30% more for a superior customer experience.
- The total cost of ownership (TCO) for compelling commerce experiences is declining — Since 2008, competition and innovation in digital commerce solutions have effectively commoditized many of the capabilities that once cost hundreds of thousands of dollars
Tap into mobile
One area to focus on: Revenue derived from mobile commerce. Mobile commerce represents an untapped revenue opportunity for B2B marketers. Compared to B2C marketers, B2B marketers generate only 19.4% of digital commerce revenue from mobile channels (B2C generates 22.6%). An example illuminating the possibilities in mobile is Grainger’s mobile app which lets customers maintain lists, keep track of their order history, activate a chat with a company representative, and search for products by keyword or item number.