When the concept of applying mobile platforms to various business models is addressed, the business-to-consumer (B2C) market usually takes center stage.
It’s certainly for good reason, too: consumers demand constant engagement from a variety of different sources before ever deciding on purchases—and sometimes that doesn’t even work out the way we would like.
Mobile platforms have produced immersive experiences for customers. These experiences not only create lasting impressions on target markets but also reduce transaction costs and increase revenues for organizations implementing this ever-expanding market.
It is a fact of 21st century commerce that mobile devices have proven highly profitable tools for the B2C environment. But what about B2B companies that are hesitant to jump on the bandwagon? Are there valid reasons for the hesitancy of some B2B companies to go mobile, or are these just cases of groundless contempt for the growing mobile commerce market?
Most of the reluctance of B2B companies to take advantage of the expanding mobile commerce market stems from the inherent challenges that come along with adopting a new strategic business plan, especially when it involves changing the way a company does business with its retail and wholesale clients.
But the simple truth is this: if your business isn’t willing to harness the power that mobile commerce can provide your company—as well as your clients—another business is destined to take your place.
A Current View of the Mobile Marketplace
Just because your business isn’t implementing a mobile platform for your clients, customers, and sales reps doesn’t mean they are not using mobile platforms to supplement their business needs.
Chances are that the very sales reps your company depends on to place orders, keep your clients happy, and build your brand through excellent customer service are already using other businesses’ mobile platforms to fill purchase orders for office supplies and sales materials.
So the big question is, if the people who work for you are taking advantage of mobile platforms other companies are offering to fulfill your company’s needs, why aren’t you providing the same services for your clients?
Many B2B companies believe the technical differences between B2B and B2C are too widespread. They often look at the mobile market as an insufficient tool that will fail to satisfy their clients’ complex needs. Others feel as if mobile platforms will not be able to provide their valuable clients with the safety and security they need to protect transactions boasting large quantities and huge price tags.
Fears like these make for convenient excuses for businesses that aren’t willing to consider moving forward with a mobile commerce platform, but they are completely unwarranted.
For starters, B2B companies have much more to gain from the benefits mobile technology can offer their complicated client relationships than they would ever have to lose. Mobile technologies can actually improve the precision of large and complicated transactions by providing businesses with platforms that can confirm the authenticity of complicated orders while verifying that all appropriate parties are involved before completing a large purchase.
By providing business owners with a system of checks and balances through the mobile platform, this technology can help businesses reduce discrepancies that can sometimes arise out of sales rep channel relationships.
Security is a concern for B2B entities that are considering going mobile. Many business owners believe the enormous numbers that often accompany large B2B transactions are better handled with personal transactions where hands are shaken and pens meet paper.
But with the various secure transaction technologies available in today’s mobile platforms—paired with countless approval systems and confirmation options—making sizeable B2B purchases with mobile platforms is as safe as writing a check.
Why Should My Business Embrace Mobile?
If your B2B company had the lights on before the smartphone boom of recent years, odds are that your business’s sales model is a fully functional part of your corporate strategy. So why change a good thing? Because if we can learn anything from the vast human experience, it is that the ability to change and adapt has always been necessary for our survival.
For example, early 20th century business owners who refused to embrace the earth-shattering technology that came along with the advent of the Model T were quickly left in the dust. Film companies that derided the rise of digital technology ended up leaving their products overexposed and their market share obsolete.
And business owners who thought video stores weren’t going anywhere . . . well, can you even remember the last time you were standing in line waiting to check out a movie while wondering if all your late fees were paid up?
The current rise in mobile technology isn’t losing traction any time soon. The businesses that take advantage of the benefits that correlate with implementing a mobile platform for their current B2B strategy will be the businesses that take the lead in coming years. Businesses that refuse to embrace mobile technology, however, will most certainly be joining the ranks of the automobile, digital, and downloadable media skeptics of years past.