The pandemic has increased the e-commerce volume for sure. This impulse included the entry of new consumers in the digital market, along with customized experiences and better customer convenience in their shopping journey. As a result, an increase of 41% in on-line sales occurred in 2020, according to a report by Webshoppers, from Ebit|Nielsen and Bexs Banc.
In B2C (Business to Consumer), the purchase experience of customers (end consumers) is more and more important for successful sales.
In e-commerce, for instance, the pursuit of agility in the delivery of purchased items and humanized service, in our robotized era, has accelerated the dispute between companies. A proof of such rivalry is the start of delivery tests with the use of drones. According to a global study by McKinsey consultancy, conducted on March 2021, Brazil is one of countries most interested in drone deliveries, being second only to India.
But it isn’t enough arriving first at the customers’ homes: they must be also delighted by the full purchase journey, from product search to after-sales. To achieve these goals, businesses must use their greatest allies: technology, artificial intelligence and robotics.
Investing in innovations, humanizing the use of technology and increasing the use of personalized service are some of the B2C trends that can be converted to the B2B (Business to Business) environment.
See below the key B2C trends that can inspire B2B business processes:
1. User Experience (UX)
In the B2B market, purchase decisions are rarely made in a short period of time. Customers are looking for products with specific functions, which require finding a wider range of information, in addition to cost estimates, as each purchase will have long-term implications.
In general, customers don’t want a one-time purchase only, but want also to find partner suppliers – which requires experience on support, tracking and future suggestions.
One tool to understand such needs is the B2B persona, with a detailed consumer profile. The description must answer questions such as: Which companies consume products of your brand? What are the interests of these companies? What is the profile of the professionals involved in the purchase? What are their preferences? And what content do they interact with?
Based on this survey, you can develop a UX (User Experience) design, to lead the customers to the simplest and most assertive decision. On B2B websites, it’s vital to show materials that represent your company to the prospects.
Mercado Eletrônico, a company that specializes in B2B e-commerce, has a team of UX experts in charge of deploying novelties e promoting more and more transactions between suppliers and buyers.
Read also our article on the subject: The B2B customer experience is also part of B2B e-commerce.
2. Purchase journey control
Decisions are always made by people, whether in the B2C or B2B market. And people make decisions based on needs, information and recommendations. Therefore, it’s vital to know and guide the purchase journey.
A study conducted by the Nielsen Norman Group consultancy firm pointed out that, during this journey, customers want to learn about product details, such as: specifications, prices, availability and recommendations from other buyers. Everything must be accessible to create a connection.
Such information is browsed on the company’s websites, as well as on portals that collect ratings from users. Therefore, this is the importance of acting to keep a good reputation.
3. Market trends
The B2B market is undergoing a digital transformation process, which is a must for companies to stay competitive. Although the changes don’t keep pace with B2C, there are a number of trends that drive B2B evolution.
Investment in service humanization, even with the use of artificial intelligence, proper care with data protection, and extraction of insights at each stage of the purchase journey, as well as digitizing and automating manual processes, are some examples of those trends.
4. Communication and relationship strategies
Even involving two businesses, the B2B market establishes a relationship between seller and customer too; therefore, two entities. All are consumers, who alternate their purchases between products for personal or professional use. Consequently, communication and relationship strategies can be the same as those for B2C, provided they are adapted to the target audience.
There are some peculiarities, though. While the B2C customer develops emotional relationships with some brands, B2B is guided by reason. Thus, the credibility of the information and provided services will be the promoter of a lasting relationship.
The idea here is to talk to the buyer, particularly through content. In B2B, branding is as important as in B2C, as a way to render the brand really known, by disseminating its values. Having a presence on social media and investing in storytelling are good ways to make your brand stand out.
5. Winning and retaining the target public
After establishing a relationship with customers, it’s critical to nurture that connection. Keeping up with new needs, offering solutions and avoiding noise when offering products that aren’t aligned with the requirements of businesses are some important steps.
As B2C brands, B2B businesses must track all processes of the purchase journey, from decision-making to after-sales.
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