Digital channels and other technology change how the modern B2B sells. In fact, many predict online marketing, online channels, and smarter tools contribute to B2Bs anticipated growth. By 2019, the predictions go, B2B buyers will spend twice as much online as B2C consumers. Furthermore, companies today can more easily scale from B2C to B2B thanks to technology. However, a B2C that adds B2B channels must remember one thing. You still have to cultivate relationships with buyers, much the way a brand attracts consumers.
The Tools of the Modern B2B Business
Modern B2B means using digital tools to connect to their customers. Similar to consumer retail, mobile technology, social media, marketplaces, and eCommerce all play a part in the B2B buying process. For example, consumers may judge a product based on consumer feedback. Similarly, B2Bs want to know what their peers are buying, but they look for data in case studies or industry reports.
You Must Connect Online
Buyers want to “kick the tires” as much as consumers do. Consequently, analysts drawing from surveys and research say B2Bs must provide compelling content. A modern B2B website shouldn’t just be about bare minimum descriptions, SKUs and shopping carts. This is the place to tell your brand and product stories. Add to that social media, and you start to connect to buyers the way consumer brands do. Keep websites fresh with news blogs, testimonials, and case studies. Meanwhile, post to your Facebook page, LinkedIn profile and other platforms to offer more ways to engage with buyers.
That Means Selling Online, Too
Modern B2B implies a multichannel strategy. With so much spending shifting online, B2B must use an eCommerce website as one of its channels. Similarly, B2B marketplaces become more important, but not exactly the way consumer marketplaces do. If a marketplace such as Amazon mimics the physical mall, the B2B marketplace parallels a cross between a trade show and a catalog. For example, with marketplaces such as Joor and NuOrder, retail fashion buyers don’t have to hunt for new products at a trade show. They simply shop online and place their bulk orders.
Modern B2B Must Use Modern Technology
Any channel a B2B uses, digital or physical, ends up facing the customer. However, those channels will only be as good as the systems people use to manage them. Experts underscore the need for transparency, both internally and publicly, to really connect with buyers. For example, customers will lose trust in a B2B if displayed stock levels do not match stock-on-hand. Not only do B2Bs need a transparent system to manage stock across multiple channels, branches (if applicable), and warehouses or 3PLs. They must make stock levels visible to their customers to win their trust.
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