After the eCommerce boom during the Pandemic, B2B buying processes evolved and became more streamlined. We’ll discuss how these changes came to be and the popular trends that followed
The advancement in technology is changing the B2B buying process.
eCommerce has streamlined the B2B buying process.
Now buyers are turning to online mediums instead of visiting brick and mortar stores.
Buyers can make purchases from the comfort of their homes. The need to attend trade shows or travel is reducing. They can get all the updates via social media and webinars.
So, let’s discuss the latest trends in the B2B buying process of the booming B2B eCommerce.
B2B marketing isn’t easy, especially for businesses that sell high-ticket items and have a long, drawn-out sales process. But with the right B2B marketing tools in place, you can better track and report on your marketing performance.
7 B2B marketing tools & software for reporting
Digitisation of B2B businesses has changed the priorities of the B2B buyers in the post-pandemic world.
With so many B2B marketplaces and websites available, buyers are starting to prefer digital channels over dealing with sales representatives. 73% of the B2B buyers use digital channels to buy.
There are many channels to run B2B businesses online including:
These are only some of the channels.
According to McKinsey, B2B buyers use more than ten digital channels for their buying process. 94% of the decision makers find omnichannel to be more effective than the pre-pandemic sales model.
B2B marketers should use multiple channels to contact buyers and assist them in their marketing decisions.
They should expand their availability across many social media platforms to reach maximum buyers.
While we are on the topic on digital marketing channels, we ran a study into conversion rates for various marketing channels across fourteen industries. You can find all of these statistics and more on our blog.
Average conversion rate by industry and marketing source
Thanks to the lockdown, the governments restricted travelling which disrupted the supply chain.
eCommerce flourished during that period. B2B marketplaces began to experience rapid growth. Since buyers are switching to digital marketplaces it’s saving them travelling costs and time.
According to Oracle, over 26% of B2B buyers identify marketplaces as their most preferred purchasing channel. On the other hand, over 87% buy through marketplaces in general than in any other channel.
Online B2B marketplaces such as Alibaba and SeeBiz have facilitated the buying process by connecting suppliers and sellers. With these marketplaces, buyers can:
B2B sellers need to understand the benefits that they gain from selling on the B2B marketplaces. These benefits are:
The number of buyers and revenue are growing for the B2B marketplaces.
Leading B2B marketplace like Alibaba has gained a revenue of $41,165 million in the fiscal year 2022.
This is an important B2B channel that B2B marketers should not ignore.
B2B marketers need to begin selling on marketplaces to reap the benefits.
The Internet is easy to use as it provides large amounts of information.
With over 40 zettabytes of data on the Internet, B2B buyers have more information online before making a purchase decision.
Now buyers conduct their proper research online by studying the behaviours of their competitors. According to a Google study, 89% of B2B buyers use the internet during research.
B2B marketers need to work on producing useful content to influence their leads and convert them into sales.
Related: How to convert more marketing leads into sales
Reading pieces of content helps 52% of B2B buyers in buying from a vendor. You can produce content by:
The word webinar is derived from web and seminar. It refers to the online seminars that are conducted online via video conferencing.
Popular tools like Zoom help you to conduct webinars and spread your message to a large audience. 48% of the B2B buyers consider webinars to be the most effective way of B2B decision-making.
Content is often confused with just articles and blogs. However, content is a broader term.
Content is informative material that is produced in many forms including oral, written, and visual. According to Demand Gen Report’s Content Preferences Survey, 91% of B2B buyers prefer visual content over written content.
According to a survey by Brightcove, 95% of B2B buyers consider videos to be importantly effective in influencing their buying decision. Keeping that in mind, marketers need to create engaging videos to:
Another influential way of visual marketing to audiences is via imagery.
With popular social platforms like Instagram, B2B marketers need to share captivating product images and videos to attract customers.
The main component of a business is a product or service that the business offers. This is the thing which you sell and your buyer buys. Therefore, it is important to understand that B2B buyers are interested in getting complete information on a product along with:
According to 2018 research by G2, about 92% of B2B buyers prefer to buy a product or service from a company after reading customer reviews.
Bazaarvoice’s study via Digital Commerce 360 explains that reviews generate 62% revenue per site visit. According to BigCommerce, 72% of buyers believe that testimonials and reviews improve their trust in a business.
Marketers need to share testimonials and reviews of customers to build a better reputation of their brand amongst the B2B buyers.
Here’s an example of a case study we created for Ruler. We’ve taken quotes from several of our clients and used them to tell a story of how our product can help eliminate the bridge between marketing revenue.
How Businesses use Ruler to track and improve ROI
According to LinkedIn, 66% to 71% of B2B buyers read blog posts during their buying process. Most of these buyers read a blog for more than five minutes.
B2B businesses should appoint writers with good writing and marketing skills to write good articles that persuade buyers to buy their products.
According to SiriusDecisions, 80% of the B2B buyer decisions are based on past buyer experiences. A B2B buyer wants a good buying experience on a website. Today, buyers want:
Let’s read these trends in detail.
According to research by Shift 4 Shop, 73% of the B2B buyers want a personalised experience similar to the B2C experience. The elements of a personalised experience on a B2B website are:
You can implement personalisation by:
User experience (UX) design provides a simple experience for visitors to websites. According to Amazon Web Services, 88% of visitors possibly do not return to a website with bad UX. Therefore, it is important to implement good UX design features.
You can provide good UX design by:
User interface (UI) design provides a pleasant appearance to a visitor to a website. Users prefer a UI design that is attractive, familiar, and responsive. B2B businesses need to make sure that they provide good UI to the visitors.
It is always natural in a business that customers want excellent customer service. Now B2B buyers also possess the same mindset. According to Convince & Convert, 80% of the B2B buyers want an immediate response from the vendors.
Artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbots provide options for questions to ask and provide immediate replies. This appeals to the buyers. According to Outgrow, chatbots increase B2B sales by up to 67%. As a result, about 58% of the B2B companies used chatbots last year.
Human agents take some time to respond. However, since B2B interactions occur between businesses, chatbots are not very effective. Therefore, as a business owner, you need to train your sales team with complete information on products. Your team should be available 24/7 to respond to customer queries.
The evolving technology has changed the scope for B2B buyers. Today’s buyer wants a streamlined experience. Business owners need to evolve by digitalising their business to stay relevant in the growing B2B eCommerce.
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Angela Gray is a digital marketer who helps grow online businesses and boosts their sales leads. She uses a mix of proven and experimental tactics to generate leads and manage marketing that plays a major role in a business’s growth. Angela enjoys the ever-changing world of B2B business. She’s responsible for dealing with all marketing channels, and managing content and SEO.