Companies that offer their products or services to other businesses are a part of a large business-to-business (B2B) market that exceeds consumer market by the dollar value. The buying process for businesses is very different from one in a consumer market.
In today’s global markets where the order might come in from any place in the world, B2B ecommerce removes that 9 to 5 business hours barrier and allows buyers to place orders 24/7. It is simply an expectation that businesses can buy from and sell to other businesses online anytime, anywhere. Omni-channel websites continue to gain popularity, because they allow the buyers to quickly compare the supplies they are looking for in retail locations and on the web. Filtering and narrowing down the options in one place is an attractive solution for manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors.
Referrals are still a number one source of information for potential buyers, however if they haven’t found a needed solution through their network, the next step is to find a supplier online. The statistics show that 89% of buyers conduct research online and 57% of the research is already done by the time buyers reach out to sales to get a quote. This way it’s the buyer who controls the purchasing process and not the seller. The best way to get prospect’s attention and get your business included in buyer’s consideration set is to equip your website with tools that help potential buyers with the research. These tools make information easily accessible, which 76% of the researches name as the main requirement for a website where they shop.
Technology is another important aspect of the buying process. Is your website mobile-friendly? Statistics shows that 52% of B2B buyers do their research using smartphones.
When two companies work together, it still comes down to people involved in the selling and buying processes. Half of B2B buyers say that improved personalization is one of the key features they are looking for when choosing a supplier. Advanced personalization and business relationships are essential in a B2B environment and customer loyalty is one of the key metrics for B2B business.