Traditionally, business to business is a relationship selling and we strongly feel that style is here to stay for long in-spite of geography whether you are from west or east. People make the sale by connecting with people and this trend will continue as well. Predominantly the buying decisions in B2B happens based on three important factors
Relationship, Research, Reference
Traditional Relationship. If you keenly look at the B2B purchase behaviors of customers, it starts with an enquiry for a product before it gets converted into an order. In between enquiry to order, the process is interestingly cumbersome and this delay in decision making is one of the reasons why B2B is unattractive.
Traditional Research. Another interesting behavior is to do research extensively before making their final decision. This you can see as a trend in B2C and basically this is how we make our decisions to buy. Especially B2B customers used to discuss with peers, other customers using the products, technical comparisons of equivalent competitive products and all this used to be by physical meetings.
Traditional Reference. Any customer’s decision is quicker if the product they are looking to buy is already been used in their industrial customers, competitors etc., Reference buying is very critical in every business buying as it serves as proof which fuels their decision making.
If so, how does B2B eCommerce help in a successful business?
There is a myth that the relationship and selling personally will get affected if the eCommerce business takes off. Let’s make it clear, eCommerce is just an additional channel of sales for any business and it won’t be a singular channel in any B2B scenario.
We strongly believe, the small businesses will benefit by taking their business online because of crucial reason, they will attain the next generation of geo expansion using this channel than by their conventional sales teams.
Research. eCommerce will bring the benefit to all customers to do their research very effectively and this will serve as a platform for interaction.
Relationship. It improves the quality time you spend with your customers by providing them the transactional information made available to them on a platform. All of us will agree that we spend the maximum of our time with our customers discussing delivery, availability, basic technical discussions which are normally available in a product catalog etc.,
Reference. Customers have an opportunity to share their point of view and rating the supplier, product, brand etc., and this will help customers make their quality decisions.
Change is inevitable and all of us have to embrace it to empower our businesses.
Hence, B2B eCommerce is another channel of reaching your customers like a sales team, counter sales, telesales etc., It doesn’t matter if you are a small player or a larger player, this new channel will put you in a level playing field in-spite of differences.