What You Need To Know For Your B2B Sales Strategy

by Strange

If your main customers are businesses, you’ll be aware that the B2B ecommerce landscape is changing.

To help you get your strategy right and improve performance, the digital agency Strange has put together an extensive white paper called B2B Ecommerce – Navigating the Perfect Storm.

“Until fairly recently, success in the B2B sector has depended on a good reputation, a high level of service and competitive pricing – and it still does in many cases. But now, many B2B customers are expecting more advanced functionality due to their experience as consumers outside of work.” Paul Honey, Managing Director, Strange

There’s a growing body of research into B2B ecommerce and Strange has consolidated a number of key recent reports in the white paper. The stats below demonstrate how important ecommerce and customer experience (CX) have become and why B2B sales and marketing strategies needs to reflect this:

  • 89 per cent of B2B purchasing research conducted online
  • 46 per cent of purchasing research conducted by 18-34 year-olds
  • B2B players using smart technology being 15 per cent more profitable
  • Only 16 per cent of B2B companies’ customer experience on a par with the best in B2C.

“As we investigated the drivers behind the growth in B2B ecommerce, we discovered a perfect storm of factors influencing trends in this space that companies just cannot afford to ignore.” Paul Honey

These factors are identified in the white paper as:

  1. The growing expectations of B2B purchasers who, as consumers, have grown used to the ease and convenience of online shopping with more advanced functionality
  2. The growing influence of Millennials (the first generation of digital natives) as they rise through the ranks of B2B purchasers, taking on responsibility for research and recommendations and demanding slick, coordinated channels with a personalised service
  3. The expansion of online marketplaces into the B2B sector with Amazon Business setting a new standard for B2B ecommerce – taking market share from some, while also enabling others to go to market
  4. The rate at which technologies are advancing and converging allowing levels of customisation that were once only available to those with big budgets to now be used by forward looking companies of all sizes.

“While CX has become fundamental to B2C ecommerce, B2B CX is not as finely tuned or as optimised. In the course of our research, we found one recent study of B2B companies which shows that focusing on CX had a significant impact on customer acquisition, average order value, new website visitors, customer retention rates and customer lifetime values, among other metrics.” Paul Honey

For additional insights, Strange asked specialists in the fields of technology, business advice and exporting to share their experience, knowledge and perspectives on future developments in the white paper. They are:

  • Russ Shaw, Founder, Tech London Advocates and Global Tech Advocates
  • Helen Mitchell, Director, Blukudu / Digital Transformation Specialist
  • Alexander Graf, Co-CEO, Spryker Systems
  • Nigel Barker, Digital Adviser, Business West and Department for International Trade
  • Linda Middleton-Jones, International Trade Specialist and Managing Director of International Trade Matters.

Strange also invited five senior executives from a cross-section of companies including Animal (clothing) and Fujifilm UK Ltd. to talk candidly about their approach to online sales and their experiences in implementing and managing online sales.

Recognising that B2B sales and marketing departments are coming under increasing pressure to improve (or introduce) their online offering, the white paper also gives guidance and recommendations on how to boost ecommerce performance. Strange sets out what it really means to focus on CX and shows how trust is built in the digital space. The white paper also gives examples of the functionality to be considered when creating your roadmap to better ecommerce.

To find out more you can download the white paper here.

Strange will be at our Digital Marketing Summit on Thursday 25 April to answer your questions. For more information regarding the event you can view the full agenda here.