By Mads Sieron Thorsen
Reading Time: 3 minutes
It’s a common myth that B2B Sales don’t really need a proper e-commerce setup.
After all, “people buy from people”, so many B2B salespeople misguidedly assume that a basic e-commerce channel will suffice as long as you have a good sales team in place.
Well, things are changing fast, and B2B Buyers are steadily moving towards online channels during the entire purchase process.
According to Gartner, a mere 17% of the purchase journey is spent talking to salespeople. And since several vendors are usually in the competition, your sales rep will only get around 5% of the customer’s consideration time.
It’s also a generational shift. A full 44% of millennials prefer no interaction with B2B salespeople at all, and this number is only expected to grow.
Digital dominance starts with data
Of course, we’re not saying that you should abandon your sales team. What we are saying is that you should make sure that your website is up to scratch and, importantly, supports your sales process from A to Z.
Customer data activation is the number one way to do that.
By activating data on your customer’s role, behavior, and patterns, you can deliver an online purchasing experience that not only supports your sales team but makes purchasing more convenient for your customer as well.
Here are 5 B2B-specific ways to utilize customer data, proven to drive sales by several, high-achieving B2Bs:
1. Show customer-specific prices in e-mails
Offering customer-specific prices is something that is pretty specific to B2B sales. However, it can be challenging to show these prices correctly in e-mails, especially if prices are pulled from your PIM system, which is rarely updated.
Raptor’s personalization engine can pull prices directly from your feeds once per hour to ensure all prices are correct and updated. Instead of creating separate graphics showing recommended products and individual prices (a content development nightmare!), images and prices are generated on the fly the second the e-mail is sent.
2. Secure the purchase with a reminder
Help the warehouse get those last orders in before the next shipment.
With a CDP, you can calculate the buy frequency of each customer – and send a reminder e-mail 2 days before that time. This way, you secure the purchase while also offering the customer speedy shipping. Win-win!
This way, you can also slowly drive up the buy frequency of your customers and elevate their Customer Lifetime Value over time.
3. Allow your users to finish each other’s purchases
The B2B buying process is often a team effort. This means that several users with different roles may hop in and out of the same account during a normal workday.
By transferring the basket-ID, you can allow a user to finish another user’s purchase on the account, which secures the conversion and simplifies the workflow for your customers.
4. Use personalization for account management
Personalization is not a replacement for in-person sales. Instead, they can go hand in hand.
If you sell more expensive and high-end items, you can optimize your personalization setup to send a notification to a salesperson if a visitor looks at a certain item or content page.
You can also decide how many visits qualify this notification send-out, so you avoid unwelcome reach-outs to the potential buyer. For example, you might decide that a product that costs over 1000 EUR should receive 3+ visits before the first contact attempt.
5. Create new revenue streams with Retail Media
You’re probably already used to making deals with brands and suppliers. But do you have the right tools for selling advertising space to them – also known as Retail Media?
With Merchandising, you can create campaigns that boost certain products, brands, and suppliers for set periods of time – and it gives you detailed reports on each campaign’s and product’s performance that you can deliver to your supplier.
Best of all? It requires no changes to your existing infrastructure and can create new (and very lucrative!) revenue streams for you and your business partners.
“Retail Media is a largely overlooked revenue stream for B2B. In fact, selling impressions to suppliers is really good money, and it requires little to no changes to your e-commerce setup.” - Kasper Kristensen, Digital Business Developer, Vertica.
Want more B2B E-commerce use cases?
This is just the tip of the iceberg!
We have collected all of the top-performing use cases specifically for B2B retailers like you – ready to use for inspiration.