B2B Ecommerce Customer Expectations and Needs in 2022May 14, 2022
B2B relationships are already very complex due to the vast number of stakeholders involved in decision-making. Due to this, the transactions and buying cycles can sometimes stretch out months. Companies need to pick up the pace and leverage all the essential business tools in a world completely amassed with eCommerce and buying stuff online.
Although the existing B2B eCommerce organizations are embracing the new way of selling their products and services, the disruptions in the industry are making things a bit more complicated.
Customers are expecting more personalization, additional value content, and dynamic engagement than ever before. Moreover, with organizations leveraging advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, the internet of things, machine learning, etc. understanding how the end-user will respond or interact with the business is changing.
So, let’s see how the B2B eCommerce business is changing in 2022 and what businesses need to do to stay up to date with the trends.
Changing Customer Expectations in B2B eCommerce
B2B customers are expecting to receive the same treatment as B2C customers. This includes seamless customer services, real-time responsiveness, personalized services, etc. is becoming the new standard in the B2B environment.
Just as retail customers expect to get updates about the product they ordered online, business customers also expect the same. Due to this, a logistics company called Shipster has put a live tracking service for their business customers, especially for international shipments, on their web and mobile applications.
This is just one example of the impact of customers’ expectations in the industry. While Shipster is taking measures to keep their business-class customers satisfied by providing access to information, other companies in the same category will also follow suit or risk losing their customers because of service issues.
Let’s talk about some other pointers that also lead to shifting the focus of B2B eCommerce businesses and building a customer-centric engagement model.
1. Digital Channels:
B2C businesses take the best advantage of social media and other digital channels. They are using them to promote, share, sell, converse, entertain, and whatnot. These social media platforms and channels have become even more important during the pandemic because they helped companies stay connected to their customers and audiences. As more and more millennials are joining B2B companies, they are bringing the digital-first experience and thought process onboard while helping the companies devise bespoke engagement strategies.
A B2B organization not using social media and digital platforms will have to start working on it immediately as the majority of their customers are also cruising online and using the web to search for new products and companies.
And since these are business-level customers, they are also expecting you to work on the social and environmental policies while sharing the same on social media.
2. Customized Promotions:
From all the data collected by the online platforms and systems, you need to leverage that information and build customized plans, promotions, discounts, and rewards for your customers.
B2C businesses are doing the same for their customers. When you go to Amazon, do you see a section labeled “For (your name),” or sometimes do you get an email about a discount on a particular product because you might have been checking it out earlier?
B2B customers are expecting the solution and service providers to do the same and create bespoke promotional content for them. For this purpose, you can use technologies like artificial intelligence to find out the right products for your customers and audiences.
Recommended Read: Important Third-Party APIs Integrations for Your B2B eCommerce Store
3. Provide Correct Answers Quickly
This is an area where the B2C and B2B customers differ. B2B customers are professionals who are not here to buy a single pin from you. They bring heavy business and expect to receive a befitting response.
One area is giving answers. While a B2C customer will not set high bars for getting answers to their questions, B2B customers do. They are professionals and don’t want to waste time asking the same questions or getting answers in installments.
At first, a professional would not contact you unless they genuinely have an issue. And if you are wasting their time and efforts with poor customer service, you are likely to lose their business.
Hence, ensure that you work to find the right solution for your customers. When it is going to take time, communicate the same with the customer and let them know you are finding a solution to their problem.
4. Digitize your Systems:
Work on empathizing with your business customers by digitizing your workings and operations. You must make empathy a part of your consultative procedure, and that is what your clients are expecting.
In a research, over 80% of surveyed CEOs see empathy as a factor for success. This means you need to ask relevant questions and pain points from your customers by using digital channels.
Contrary to some opinions, which state that digital channels thwart the connection between a business and customers, they can sincerely help you enhance personal relationships and connections with the clients.
Here too, you can use data to almost automate empathic responses and solve your customers needs. It is important to design your solutions and services around your customer’s needs, and it can only be achieved if you are empathic.
Our motive is to recommend using digital channels to leverage the power of empathy and satisfy your customer’s needs. In the end, you will get more orders, customer loyalty, and higher revenues just because you are ready to listen to your customers and resonate with their pain points.
5. Stay in Touch After the Sale:
Another expectation that your business customer might have formed is expecting you to stay connected after the sale. Generally, business orders are large, and they are not as frequent as a single customer order.
Still, you need to make an effort to stay in touch with your business customers. This is a part of value creation and projects your company as an accountable organization while curating new customer experiences.
Yes, there will be challenges along the way to implementing this. Still, you have a wide variety of tools and solutions to help you ensure the effective implementation of this system.
In a B2B setting, timing, approach, and interaction is crucial to maintain business relationships and ensure customer retention. For a B2B eCommerce business aiming to earn higher revenues and growth in an ever-changing market, it is essential to stay updated with the customer’s expectations.
You need to redefine your communications strategy, be empathic, and leverage the digital solutions to the best of their capabilities. Make sure that at all times, your teams and personnel are updated with the customer’s expectations and act on them immediately to provide a bespoke customer experience.
The expectations gap between a B2C and B2B customer may be large, but it is closing at a faster pace than you can imagine. So, ensure that you choose right B2B ecommerce platform on these aspects and become a market leader.