B2C e-commerce may get a lot more attention, but the reality is that B2B e-commerce sales are expected to grow to more than double the size of B2C e-commerce sales by 2020.
While the B2C world is becoming more and more personalized with brands like Amazon and Netflix leading the charge, shoppers are learning to expect the same personalized experiences when buying products and supplies on behalf of their organizations. According to Gartner, B2B companies who have deployed effective personalization on their sites will outsell competitors by 30% within the next 2 years.
To help B2B e-commerce marketers brainstorm what they can do with personalization on their own sites, Evergagers Dave Parsons and T.J. Prebil (Customer Success Director and Product Marketing Manager, respectively) recently hosted a webinar entitled Personalization for B2B E-commerce Sites. Here are a few of the use cases they shared.
Unique to B2B companies, transactions often take place at the account, rather than individual, level. Each account may have negotiated specific terms with your company for pricing, shipping, etc. And as part of your B2B e-commerce experience, you want to communicate with all the individuals within an account with these terms in mind.
You can use personalization to recognize when a shopper is matched to an account, and display specific messages, pricing details, and more to that person. For example, rather than showing shoppers standard pricing that doesn’t apply to them, give them the confidence to shop and transact on your site by acknowledging their account and presenting the correct pre-negotiated pricing.
Many B2B e-commerce sites contain hundreds of thousands of product SKUs, making discovery a challenge for shoppers. How can you make shoppers aware of what you have to offer, without forcing them to scroll through a seemingly unlimited number of pages?
One-to-one recommendations can help surface products that are most relevant to each individual or company. But to ensure you display the right products, you need to take into account the right variables. Recommendation algorithms that factor in the preferred brands, categories, price point, etc. of a particular shopper or multiple shoppers from the same company based on engagement with products on your site (rather than just relying on aggregate clicks), are the most effective. This means incorporating behavior like active time spent on a product page, scrolling, hovering, and more to uncover a shopper’s true intent, so you can recommend the products he or she is more likely to buy.
In the past, B2B experiences have had the reputation of being a little dry. But shoppers are increasingly showing us that they don’t want boring or irrelevant online experiences, and B2B companies that realize this are better positioned for the future. Personalization is not just about increasing revenues or average order size, it is also about making the customer’s shopping experience easier resulting in better, longer term customer relationships.
To learn more, watch the webinar replay.