Qubit and PwC have recently released a report which analyses customer journeys. Based on a four-year study, evaluating two billion user journeys, the report focuses solely on the B2C environment.
Here at Shopcreator we’ve been interrogating the many pages of data to explore what this report means for companies operating in B2B industries.
As Qubit points out, improving customer journeys by using analytics and optimization technologies has been on the agenda of marketing and ecommerce professionals for some time. The focus is clearly trained on boosting persuasiveness, enhancing conversion rates and improving revenues.
Consumers now expect websites and mobile apps to go beyond the functional and provide a personalised experience, reflecting the individual’s needs, preferences and purchase history.
To an extent, for B2B, this is also a consideration. However, when dealing with a B2B customer you need to lead with the benefits of your product and demonstrate in practical terms why they need to buy from you.
The UX remains vitally important, but elements such as product complexity, legislative frameworks, buying on account, tiered pricing structures, technical specifications and a whole host of other B2B necessities will eclipse some ecommerce elements which are considered core in the B2C environment.
Here are some elements from the Qubit report that need to be reshaped and reemphasised for the B2B environment.
Using Scarcity To Drive Action
In the B2C environment, techniques that seek to create a lack of supply in order to achieve the sale are by far the most effective. The techniques of adding low stock messages and other scarcity prompts can drive between 2 and 14 times more B2C revenue. However, the results can also backfire if customers suspect low stock messages aren’t genuine. Additionally, overuse will greatly reduce the effectiveness of this technique and trust can be quickly eroded.
In the B2B arena, the scarcity technique needs to be used very carefully, if at all. When compared with B2C, the relationships created in B2B industries tend to be stronger and longer-lasting. Low stock levels may trigger doubt in your company’s ability to supply over the long-term. Stable and sustained trading activities and profit margins could be lost in favour of a short-term revenue fix. Look at the bigger picture before implementing the scarcity technique in a B2B business.
Applying Urgency To Drive Action
For B2C companies, scarcity techniques are nearly three times more likely to work than urgency techniques, which use a time limit to apply pressure to complete an action before a deadline.
However, for the B2B environment, campaigns based on urgency are likely to be more appropriate and could produce better results, although it does depend on the nature of your products. If you’re selling consumables, then this could be an option, but for large plant items it’s worth forgetting and focusing on your unique selling proposition instead.
The B2B Switch
So, what were the techniques that didn’t work so well for B2C, but that we think will be of benefit to the B2B environment?
Using dynamic personalisation to change what’s on your pages and emphasising products that are relevant to the visitor was, surprisingly, seen as a poor performer in the B2C environment. However, for a B2B company which operates across a multitude of product lines and has many different industry sectors to service, dynamic personalisation will make a large impact. Creating a bespoke experience and ensuring a visitor can find what they want as quickly as possible will boost your revenues. B2B buyers are less likely to want to browse your products than B2C buyers, so show them what they need to see as soon as you can.
How We Can Help
Implementing and improving a B2B ecommerce website requires an agency that understands the B2B arena, because although there are some similarities between B2B and B2C, there are many differences. If your company operates in a B2B sector and you’re examining your ecommerce options, then working with the right agency can increase your online revenues many times over. Give us a call, we’d love to hear from you and discuss your ecommerce needs.