Using Personalization in B2B e-Commerce Solutions

Using Personalization in B2B e-Commerce Solutions
November 4, 2015 Insite Software

The customer experience of airline travel from choosing a flight, booking it and paying for it, to checking in and boarding the plane have changed quite a bit in the past several years, thanks to the pervasiveness of mobile devices. Think for a moment about your customer experience with the airlines only ten years ago and you’ll agree that things today have transformed dramatically in a short period of time due to digital technology. It wasn’t that long ago when you had to call someone on the phone to book a flight, and things like searching for flights online or printing your boarding pass at home seemed like revolutionary conveniences. Now you can do everything from the palm of your hand, using a mobile app provided by your airline.

These digitally transformed airlines and their apps know who you are, know your flights, your mileage, your seat, and so on. Your airline isn’t trying to sell you things you’re not interested in. On the contrary, they’re offering you relevant products and services to make you a more efficient traveler.

Growing Expectations in B2B e-Commerce Solutions

The airlines realized that digital transformation is critical and that a new generation of customers is not interested in printing anything on a printer, may not even be interested in using a laptop, and in fact want and expect to do a lot of things right from their phone. If you think about your manufacturing or distribution customers, their expectation to do business with you digitally is probably not that far behind, if not already here.

B2B organizations, even those that have done things the old fashioned way for the past 50-100 years, can achieve the same type of transformation as in B2C e-commerce. Last week’s blog introduced six keys to drive change and digitally transform the B2B customer experience. The first key is Personalization.

B2B Personalization

Personalization is perhaps the most important key of all. Gartner predicts that by 2018 B2B companies offering a more personalized experience in their e-commerce solutions will outsell competitors by 30%.1

Personalization features, similar to those in airline mobile apps, is exactly what your customers and internal users are expecting from your B2B digital presence. Your various customers are not interested in logging into the same website and having the same products displayed, regardless of whether they’re buying from one channel or another. Your website needs to be relevant to each of them individually and it needs to be very intelligent.

B2B personalization may seem complex, and it is. You have to understand the needs of the various user personas to create the appropriate workflows and personalization features. B2B personalization is smart enough to know who’s logging in and you can give your customers very specific logins for very specific activities. One customer might be a buyer at a very specific location, but he might have to get approval from a buyer at a higher level, for example. Another customer might need a quote, and that quote may need to flow through the sales rep who manages the account.

In the end, B2B personalization leads to faster order processing. At many companies the quoting process is still done in a spreadsheet and sent by email, taking several days or longer to complete quotes. If you move these processes online to an e-commerce solution, the result will be faster order processing, converting more orders than our competitors, and creating customer loyalty along the way.

Learn More

Learn more about B2B personalization, digital customer experience and e-commerce solutions:

Next week’s blog will cover Key #2, how a well organized and dazzling website design resonates with your customers and makes your company easy to do business with.

1 Source: Gartner Research, analyst Gene Alvarez