The world’s largest taxi company owns no vehicles. The largest accommodations provider owns no real estate. The most valuable retailer has no inventory. The fastest growing banks have no actual money. And the largest phone companies own no telecom infrastructure.* Digital disruption and transformation in the B2C world is happening all around us.

Now consider this: 70% of B2B buyers say they would spend more online if their supplier’s website was more user-friendly,**  and 79% of B2B marketers think a better online experience will transform their business.

What does this mean for your manufacturing or distribution organization? Many if not most are finding they need to improve their online customer experience to meet their customers’ expectations.

Creating a Good Online B2B Experience is Complex

Why buyers choose to purchase from specific vendors is due in large part to the overall experience. An online B2B customer experience can be made up of many different elements, and the way those elements work together can be complex, typically due to billing or procurement rules, complex inventory, dealer distribution networks, and so on, most of which usually don’t exist in B2C.

Digital commerce solution professionals who work closely with B2B companies can probably tell you that one thing rings true on every project, and that is the customer doesn’t always know a great experience until they have one. Companies like Apple have built an empire on anticipating what a great experience is and delivering something that the customer didn’t even expect. Many of us don’t even really know a great user experience until it happens. In your market, the key may be to make it happen with your brand first.

6 Ways to Improve Your Customer Experience

There are ways you can improve the online B2B experience for your customers. This blog post is the beginning of a series that will address how the B2B environment is impacted by digital transformation and six key ways to help improve your customers’ experience doing business with you online. The six keys include:

  1. Personalization
  2. Website design and usability
  3. Rich product content
  4. Intuitive search
  5. Mobile and responsive design
  6. Fulfillment and follow up

Tune in for next week’s blog on Key #1 to learn about the importance of personalization capabilities on your website. Increasingly, your customers are expecting the same personalization features they already have in the B2C world. Find out how you can give them the tailored online B2B experience they want and need.

In the meantime, for more on B2B customer experience and a sneak peek at these six keys, view the webinar, B2B Customer Experience: Six Keys to Drive Change and Digital Transformation.

* Do you know who these companies are? Here’s the answer key: Uber, Airbnb, Alibaba, SocietyOne, Skype and WeChat

** 2013 State of B2B Procurement Study