Personalization in B2B Retail: How to Do it and Why is it Different from B2C?
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Along with B2C, personalization is a crucial element of B2B Commerce as well. In fact, if reports are to be believed, 72% of B2B consumers expect personalization, and more than 60% have switched retailers in search of a perfect B2C-like personalized experience.
However, adding the element of personalization in B2B eCommerce is a bit challenging. You are selling to business consumers that are tech-savvy and smarter than their B2C counterparts. So, a lot of planning and perfect implementation is required in order to cater to their specific business needs.
This blog lists how B2B retailers can introduce personalization in B2B commerce and why it is helpful. So, let’s get started.
How is B2B and B2C Personalization Different?
There is a lot of difference between personalizing experiences for B2C and B2B Commerce. To commence with, when working in a B2C domain, you are selling to just one consumer who is responsible for making the purchase decision. On the other hand, when working in B2B, your customers are multiple users having different roles and preferences.
In B2B, more than revenue, it is about providing a better eCommerce customer experience, building relationships, and keeping the overall cost low in the sales cycle. Here are three primary objectives behind B2B personalization:
- To drive efficiency in the sales process
- To lessen the total cost of sales for building strong relationships
- To show consumers how easy, convenient, and profitable it is to buy from your business.
When a B2B retailer meets these three essential objectives, they start experiencing a dramatic increase in revenue. On the other hand, personalization in B2C eCommerce is all about impulse buying.
Personalization in B2B Retail: 5 Important Factors to Focus On
For B2C consumers, just little product information is enough to make a sale. However, when selling in a B2B market, you need to provide not just enough but accurate, helpful, and actionable information to drive sales and trust towards your brand. Let’s have a look at what personalization in B2B retail looks like:
1. Call Customers With Their Names
B2B businesses are all about building relationships and “customer names” are the first input you receive from consumers when catering to them for the first time. So, if you have it with you for the rest of the purchasing journey, use it to create a sense of belonging. You can use the name of consumers in various ways:
In Emails: When sending emails related to abandoned carts, marketing, or other offers, make sure you address customers with their names. It sounds like a common B2C technique but, remember B2B consumers are humans too and they appreciate the human touch.
In Website Menus: It costs nothing to display “Hi, Jack” at the top of your online store. But, it makes the experience of your users relevant and drives interest.
Though this is a basic B2B eCommerce personalization technique that businesses can use to attract customers, it is the next level of personalizations where things start getting interesting.
2. Customer Segmentation
For B2B businesses, pricing is an important opportunity on which they can capitalize to make maximum profits. However, sales incentives, different product volumes, and customer contacts are several things that make pricing in a B2B business complex.
Thus, businesses need to move towards tech-friendly approaches rather than manual pricing options to clear the clutter and make maximum sales.
For example, businesses can segment customers into different groups depending on their business relationships with the brand, buying history, and other preferences. When a customer enters the store, he should be presented with a personalized price that he/she is expecting so that sales can be expedited.
Also, have a look at these 6 additional tips that you can use to Grow Your B2B eCommerce Startup in 2022 using tactics like personalization and others. Next in our list is Search Functionality.
3. Website Search
For B2B buyers, a robust website search functionality is one of the most crucial features. Why?
B2B buyers are time savvy but they require proper product information to present in front of their superiors who are the final decision-makers. Thus, they conduct several searches during their customer journey and require a personalized search experience each time to not waste time looking for irrelevant product information.
They need searches to be narrowed down to only find information that is useful for them. For example, features like scanning a barcode to find the product or having a mobile app to search for products on the go would help B2B retailers in setting up a personalized search functionality on their website.
4. Product Promotions
Marketing a B2B business requires personalization in a smart way. Your marketing team may sometimes plan to provide specific offers to a particular group of customers to leverage moment marketing benefits or some other location-specific events.
To do so, you will be requiring robust marketing engines powered by data and technologies that help you send personalized offers to buyers that result in increased sales. This type of marketing results in more than 70% of sales for many B2B retail businesses.
5. Website Content
Personalized marketing content can work wonders in the B2B retail eCommerce industry. Businesses can collect customer data such as their location, personal interests, browsing history, etc, to deliver content that suits their specific needs and also serve as a catalyst to drive sales further.
B2B marketing teams can even utilize personalized landing pages to convey product benefits depending on different user personas and preferences. It will help them capture the attention of B2B buyers by providing them with what they actually desire.
B2B eCommerce buyers are becoming increasingly demanding. But, they are also now more intelligent than ever and time savvy. Thus, the only way to allure them towards your brand and increase conversions is with the help of smart eCommerce personalization.