In my 15 years in the field, a lot has changed, and it is for the better. The B2C consumer has taken back the power and does now expect more then just price and product. This change from B2C is now happening also in the B2B, and it is no longer about finding the right price and product. The tide has turned and is now about being integrated and connected. A high price for a product no longer outweighs the experience. But how can B2B businesses set focus on enhancing the experience for the B2B client?
Here is my advice:
Login failures. Login for B2B consumers can be an issue for many reasons. The first is a simple one, employees change jobs, so logins get lost. To address this, create a master login connected to the B2B clients own purchasing system. So, the B2B Client can order directly into what they normally work in. This is one way the focus from high price shifts to less resource need to handle the order process, which is value for the B2B Client. It will allow the B2B client to take control over the process and handle internal user setup and access in one system and one workflow.
Alternative make a uni login for all in the purchasing chain, but that can arise other issues.
B2B client Journey. The B2B journey in your system must change. That starts with understanding the itinerary it takes through your system whether it is for ordering or “window shopping”, as the data from this journey is helping you to create a better experience for the B2B Client. You need to start working with your B2B as you would with B2C. You need to take the manual ordering process and make it digital, which means you might have to build in a gamification process to move the client from offline to online. You will always have clients properly filling out forms to order, but that does not mean you can not make the process digital. Just make the system understand the order form and where to find it. The journey has begun, and you need to work with it and collect from it.
Details, details, details. B2C is easy because you have simple orders and simple shipping. When it comes to B2B, that can become complex fast, everything from multi locations to multi payment and to larger number of products. This is why B2B e-commerce is perfect! You can show the complete process and be very open with simple displays. You can be very transparent with the hole process and automate responses regarding what is happening in the supply chain.
Payment and pricing. The B2B client expects for the price offered to be the price agreed upon. B2B e-commerce allows you to build your B2B Client profiles with the agreed terms and price. Do not fail on this, since you have the guideline on paper. B2B clients like it like this, and less mistakes make your client happy.
Push to the limits. By having a go-to platform for a B2B client, you can build in levels. You can, for instant, make visible how much more that client needs to buy to get certain benefits. You can also make bundles easy access, for instant by offering up a influencer campaign if they buy 100 of model 24325; offer that to all clients, but only have ten ready. Build in campaigns and products as an offering on B2B platform.
This is just some of the simple things. Take a step back and think what elements of the B2C universe we can learn from? Is it time for Personalization? Or fully automated B2B marketing and emails?Keep the Client in focus!
Anders Holmberg Lange is the Co-Founder of Entername, a company with the core belief that strategy should be simple, understandable and evolving. Designing 360 digital campaigns and leading selected clients from digital transformation to digital excellence in Marketing, business and sales.
Anders has been working with major global brands the last 15 years, taking them from digital transformation to digital strategy to digital excellence and delivering double digits growth rates across the board. He worked in industries like fashion, banking, entertainment and for leisure companies. No matter there were fortune 500 companies or startups, Anders was always building around a gamification approach creating win-win strategies.