E-commerce is no longer about transactions, but about relationships
May 11, 2022 †
The past two years have been unpredictable and have reinforced the need to remain agile and flexible as a B2B salesperson. B2B salespeople need to (re) build their strategy to become future-proof. One of the major focus points is the future of customer relationships and the role of (better) online customer experiences.
Several experts give their take on the B2B e-commerce strategy for 2022 and beyond.
Switch in B2B e-commerce
The B2B e-commerce industry has undergone major changes recently – from B2B buyers embracing the typical habits of B2C shoppers, to improving the customer experience to outperform the competition.
“B2B shopping has suddenly taken off online in recent years. However, surveys show that more than half of all B2B webshops do not fully live up to their customers’ expectations. It seems that many suppliers are failing their customers. But sustainable supplier relationships become more important and do not end after the purchase is made, “said Michiel Schipperus, CEO of Sana Commerce. “Reliability – in data, service and information – is clearly a critical part of a good relationship, and it is a shortcoming that seems to cause high levels of order errors, which are not only expensive for the bottom line, but also for the buyer. . supplier relationship. To address these issues, suppliers need to ensure that their B2B online stores are fully integrated with their ERP so that they can provide buyers with accurate real-time information to support their purchasing decisions. “
They can not refuse the offer
Steven van Belleghem, international bestselling author and customer experience expert shares his vision of the role and future of customer relationships: “Companies should offer their customers an ‘offer they can not refuse’ and see ultimate convenience as a commodity. There is zero tolerance for digital nuisances B2B sellers must therefore eliminate all possible friction that could disrupt the ordering process. ”
Van Belleghem challenges companies to look at their own e-commerce solution as a ‘friction hunter’. “An American supermarket offered customers not only to have online orders delivered to their homes, but even to have them put in the fridge. Customers who do not like having staff in their homes for this, offer them the option of pre-delivery. to choose a robot.This far-reaching elimination of all friction is a new approach to customer experience.More than ever, companies need to be where their customers are, and leverage the most scarce resource of their customers: time.They either need time to save customers, or improve their time, “concludes Van Belleghem.
Building better customer relationships
Ruben Mink, CEO EMEA and APAC at Sana Commerce, explains how companies can build better relationships in a digital world. “E-commerce is no longer about transactions, it’s about relationships. Customer relationships are important in a digital world, even more so than before. 84 percent of buyers say they order from a supplier they have a good relationship with, even if the terms of sales be more favorable elsewhere. “
He mentions four pillars on which the B2B customer relationship in the digital world rests: transparency, relevance, reliability and trust as well as convenience. “Companies can improve their offerings to B2B buyers by looking for flaws in the customer experience and asking customers for feedback on a regular basis,” Mink said. “B2B sales are becoming omnichannel, B2B makers are using more channels than ever before to communicate with suppliers. Another very visible trend is personal customer experiences. Furthermore, companies need insights and feedback to optimize their revenue.”
More insights into the future of B2B e-commerce were shared under B2B E-Commerce Connect. Those interested can still watch the presentations via this Vimeo link.