With the rapid shift to a digital first economy, there are a number of B2B companies trying to figure out what they should do as they transform their business. One of the people I would recommend is Andy Hoar. Andy is the CEO of Paradigm B2B and cofounder of B2B Next and his insights are always on point, drawn from over a decade of experience in B2B Commerce and an ability to get executives from many different companies to share their knowledge.
Recently Andy joined Brian Gillespie, Director of Product Management at HCL Commerce and Guido Simeto, President/CEO of Magno Technology to discuss B2B Commerce and I thought I would share a few nuggets of wisdom to encourage you to invest 45 mins of your time to hear the whole webinar B2B Commerce: Cracking the B2B Code with Andy Hoar. It’s not to be missed!
Millennials: The New B2B Buyer
Right away they get into a discussion about knowing your target audience and the increasing number of younger, technology orientated B2B Buyers. Andy recommends stepping back and rethinking the entire customer journey and not simply recreating the offline experience in an online model – it simply will not work! Citing research Andy went on to say that new buyers want transparency and expect who they buy from to have a soul, or something they believe in that the buyer can relate to.
Brian Gillespie adds that you need to understand how your buyers are ‘shopping’ or purchasing these items, what they are expecting throughout the journey. One way to connect with the buyer and a trend he is seeing is the whole eco-friendly movement, something that the Millennial group cares deeply about.
Little known Secrets of B2B Commerce
Andy is an advocate of leveraging technology and one of the simpler points that many companies overlook, because it is not well understood, is using a commerce platform to guide the online buyer through the process and make smart recommendations on what to buy. At first glance this might sound like a minor capability but platforms that can leverage data from buyer behavior to serve up suggestions in real time on what the buyer wants to see, not what the seller wants to sell, will drive sales success. To quote Andy ‘Friction is the enemy of success in B2B’ and if you make it easier to buy, then customers will buy more – average order value will go up, the number of items in a cart will rise dramatically and just as importantly customer satisfaction will increase.
Brian continued the discussion and explains that you need to make it simpler for the buyer to buy online and not rely on a phone call. A recent study of B2B Buyers in the UK found that 43% of respondents said that buying online is more complicated than offline. Brian related it to a client who moved order status calls about ‘where’s my stuff’ that used to go to the call center, to being online, and providing additional value into the experience for the buyer.
All these amazing nuggets apply to any B2B company who wants to accelerate their digital transformation and you can hear them all in the first 25% of this roundtable. Additional topics include:
- How B2B Can Go Direct to Consumer (D2C)?
- Organization Agility
- Leveraging Marketplaces and being a Destination Site
- Product Assortment / Selection – Less is More
- Enterprises Selling to B2B Companies Who Act Like B2C Consumers
I wanted to share the value of this outstanding roundtable and highly recommend you take the time to listen to the whole thing – B2B Commerce: Cracking the Code with Andy Hoar – you won’t be disappointedJ.