July 13, 2017 | Written by: Tracy Welton
Categorized: B2B Commerce
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Personalization is no longer optional in the B2B world, with Gartner predicting that by 2018, B2B companies with e-commerce personalization will outsell by 30 percent competitors that are not providing a personalized experience.
When creating your B2B personalization strategy, be sure to include the following:
Different types of customers have different needs, and a customer’s needs can change over time. Providing the right message to the right customer at the right time is a cornerstone of B2B marketing. By understanding your customer segments and making sure the messaging provided is relevant to the specific customer, your customers feel like your brand understands their needs.
Adapting to the company’s structure
Converting a B2B customer is not as simple as convincing one person to hit “Buy.” Typically, purchases must go through approvals that vary based on the customer’s organizational structure. By personalizing the e-commerce experience through customized catalogs, contracts and workflows according to organizational hierarchy, you can make the purchasing process as easy as possible for customers.
Custom search and optimized product-finding capabilities
Your customers need to be as efficient as possible and do not want to waste time browsing through your site to find what they need. By personalizing the search and product-finding capabilities the way online retailers like Amazon expertly do, you can provide searches based on the customer’s role, catalog entitlements and contracts, the customer’s needs, and products in inventory.
Since your customer may not have expertise with the specific product they are purchasing, it is essential to walk the customer through the process by automating configuration, pricing and quoting – also known as guided selling. This allows you to customize an automated quoting workflow process based on business requirements, while also offering up-sell opportunities that are within the contract terms.
A product is out of stock. Spring turns into summer. A new trend becomes popular. E-commerce is not a static business, and conditions are constantly changing. To remain competitive, you must keep the content relevant and timely by quickly modifying store pages without involving developers, personalizing templates for different segments, quickly creating new pages, enabling third-party widgets and leveraging personalized marketing activities, such as web activities and A/B testing.
When you provide a personalized experience for B2B customers, you are designing your platform for the way your customers think, work and collaborate. Customers will then be able to more easily find the products they need, and then become loyal customers — because you understand their business.
To learn more about why it’s important to use personalization in B2B eCommerce, check out the ebook, B2Bs: Why You Need a Digital Transformation.