Personalization has become an indispensable part of modern eCommerce. Advanced, data-driven technologies and practices make it easier than ever to reach and serve customers where, when and how they want. A survey by Accenture found that 75 percent of customers prefer to buy from a company that knows their name and purchase history. Still, the need for more personalized customer journeys is also confusing some manufacturers and distributors. Fortunately, there are several ways to smartly personalize the customer experience for B2B buyers. In this blog article, we'll cover some practical examples of well-applied personalization in B2B eCommerce.
Due to increased competition in the B2B market, pursuing a good pricing policy is an increasingly complex task. Market movements mean that individual products often have a different price tag or a different margin, while discount percentages for basic products can also be highly customer-dependent.
B2B sellers therefore need tiered pricing mechanisms that they can tailor to the wishes and needs of individual customers. These show the price agreements per contract and help you to make complex price calculations. A personalized pricing policy also gives customers the option of calculating purchase amounts themselves in a self-service portal.
B2B product catalogs are often large and complex and regularly house thousands of inventory control units, with numerous references and different part numbers. However, many B2B buyers are only interested in a limited portion of that immense product catalog.
In such a case, you can use personalization to tailor access to (parts of) the catalog to things such as location, account type, the position of the customer or access rights. This form of personalization is part of working with user roles, a theme that will be discussed later in this blog article. For example, you can display the entire product range before logging in, while after logging in, only the products that have been contracted or the articles that are relevant to a customer segment remain.
Producing dynamic content is also a good personalization strategy. Dynamic content is content that adapts to current information that you enter in the e-commerce platform. This can be different types of data, such as account information, data about previously placed orders or search terms used by a customer. Consider, for example, a wholesaler for fruit and vegetables that shows inspiring content and news before logging in, but as soon as you log in as a customer, you switch to a new homepage with products, order lists and customer-specific inspiration.
In a B2B context, you can show dynamic content that shows information that is useful to a customer based on their purchasing and search behavior. A good example are product recommendations that intelligently respond to a customer's intention. You can read more about this in the section on personal product recommendations.
The modern B2B landscape is hybrid and uses both full-service and self-service solutions. Which solution is the best depends entirely on the ordering behavior of the customer and the specific product. Practice shows that many B2B buyers greatly appreciate the availability of one or more self-service channels.
Personalizing the ordering process makes it possible to save on sales and service costs, but also has the potential to increase customer loyalty, especially since you give buyers the ability to keep important information (order history, invoices, repeat purchases, track en-trace data).
The approval process for confirming an order can be quite complex in a B2B scenario. How nice would it be to also personalize the role policy for placing and approving an order and tailoring it to specific transaction types? Consider, for example, a supervisor who can log into the portal of a manufacturer or distributor and there can set a role policy for every employee within the company who is involved in the ordering process.
That way you make every link in the ordering process more efficient and you always handle orders in a uniform manner. A way that is also in line with the compliancy rules that apply within the company. An additional advantage: you save a lot of paper and a lot of time-consuming manual work.
You can also use the power of personal product recommendations. Consider, for example, the automatic display of interesting products based on previous purchases or shopping carts. For example, adding the following CTA (call-to-action) to your shopping cart often helps trigger a customer's interest: "Others who bought this product were also interested in this item." But you can also offer personalized bundles (for example glue when ordering tiles) based on cross and upsell suggestions.
B2B eCommerce is dynamic and constantly evolving. A good strategy for personalizing your services and the accompanying B2B eCommerce platform give you the flexibility you need to stay afloat and relevant in this market. Is your e-commerce platform set up for this?