A recent Aberdeen study on B2B ecommerce highlighted a vital trend companies must address: the convergence of B2B and B2C ecommerce. Despite the unique nature of their activities, the roadblocks impacting ecommerce activities of B2B and B2C firms are now similar.
The increasing adoption and use of digital technologies has changed more than just consumer behavior. Use of smart phones and tablets, as well as social media platforms, is not a characteristic of B2C commerce only; it’s now commonplace in B2B ecommerce activities as well. Indeed, research shows that “customers increasingly using digital touch-points” is the top reason keeping executives in B2B firms up at night.
Another related study also shows that 99 percent of companies are already using multiple channels to interact with customers. This means that it’s not the adoption of digital channels that concerns B2B firms. Similar to their B2C counterparts, they already use multiple channels (including numerous digital ones) as part of their ecommerce activities. It’s successfully incorporating these channels within existing ecommerce activities in line with the requirements of omni-channel activities that challenges B2B firms – a struggle also faced by B2C firms as they continue to add more channels to address changing consumer preferences.
Delivering omni-channel customer interactions means that a business interacts with customers across multiple channels and devices while making sure that content delivered through each touch-point is optimized based on customer needs as well as conveys a consistent message with the ones delivered across other channels.
Both B2B and B2C firms cite changing customer behavior as their top challenge in ecommerce programs. However, the former is 33 percent more likely to struggle with streamlining their existing ecommerce content and workflows to enable omni-channel interactions (36 percent vs. 27 percent), compared to the latter. This means that B2B firms can learn from the experiences of their B2C counterparts to do a better job in aligning ecommerce content and workflows such that they support the ability to deliver consistent and personalized messages.
So far, we’ve highlighted the changes faced by B2B firms and the alignment with B2C when it comes to the challenges they face in executing ecommerce strategies. If your answer to the title of this post was ‘no’ or ‘not sure’, then we highly recommend you to read our related research to help you with insights into the best practices that help B2B firms maximize their success and learn from experiences of their B2C counterparts.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Are Your B2B E-Commerce Efforts Ready For B2C Best Practices?
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