You have invested in developing a B2B eCommerce platform and now you want to position yourself as a wholesale leader. This means implementing a smart digital strategy that provides B2B shoppers with a personalised experience.
Why personalise B2B eCommerce?
Personalisation vastly improves your customers’ shopping experience and not only do clients prefer it, but they are also coming to expect some degree of personalisation when shopping online. Personalising B2B eCommerce has also proven to be significantly more effective than a broad, generic approach and with nearly 70 percent of purchasers agreeing that the vendor’s website is the most influential factor when deciding whether to make a purchase, it is worth the investment.
Personalisation is simply taking what you know about a customer and using it to make a unique experience tailored for that user. It enables you as the seller to anticipate the buyer’s needs, broaden the awareness of what you have to offer, and it directs buyers to products that match their immediate needs.
With B2B eCommerce the average customer is considerably more valuable, therefore personalised and customised experiences become crucial to the long-term relationship between buyer and seller.
How to personalise B2B eCommerce?
As with any business undertaking, successful personalisation of a B2B eCommerce enterprise comes with own set of challenges but by implementing the following tactics you can help to overcome these challenges.
Smart segmentation of business clients is one of the most important personalisation tactics for B2B eCommerce and it forms the basis for all other personalisation strategies.
The key is to effectively leverage what you already know about your customers based on past and current interactions including demographics, purchasing style, location and purchasing cycle. Consider the type of account they are, factoring in routine orders, purchase frequency and typical spend to understand how you can anticipate their needs.
Combine all these attributes to create customer personas that enable the facilitation of relevant interactions with these segments.
The next step to help grow your business is to use data and persona profiles to provide personalised product recommendations for each organisation. Recommendations should be relevant and customised to offer products they are likely to use.
Many companies mistakenly think that B2B buyers don’t need product recommendations during their shopping journey because they already know what they need. The reality is that the B2B buyer will often see products on your site they didn’t know you stocked, therefore, recommendations can encourage them to buy products outside of their regular purchases.
Additionally, with B2B, marketing emails can be segmented by a client’s industry, purchase and search history to deliver customised content.
Robust search capabilities are another tool that can provide your B2B clients with a better experience, making it easier for them to find what they are looking for. Based on actions such as clicks, add-to-cart and purchase history, search engines will identify what customers are interested in, then feature these items more prominently in subsequent searches and in category navigation.
Most shoppers are now familiar with seeing product recommendations based on their shopping, browsing and search history and this works equally as well in B2B eCommerce.
Personalising B2B eCommerce
A coherent, consistent experience across all devices and platforms is an absolute necessity for any eCommerce business. Ensure that the customers entire shopping journey is personalised from start to finish. Focus on key areas such as homepages and landing pages, making them very specific to address the needs that brought each visitor to these pages.
Generally, B2B shoppers expect the same features found in consumer channels, such as the ability to save shopping carts and wish lists. So, provide a way for B2B customers to quickly return to the things they are interested in and offer flexible checkout options.
Business purchases are generally made by multiple users. You can greatly simplify the purchase process for B2B customers by allowing them to set up multiple user roles and interfaces within the same account.
Finally, capitalise on the return customer aspect of B2B by offering a quick, repeat order function that allows customers to repeatedly order the same or a pre-set but editable list of items.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.