Maybe the B2B space is not quite the same as B2C when it comes to e-commerce, but the numbers don’t lie – B2B is going digital.
But despite the significant shift to B2B e-commerce, many misconceptions persist in the industry. Let’s debunk the most common myths, from misunderstandings about the complex technologies available to naivety about automation best practices.
An online shop does not allow individual orders
The opportunity for custom orders is high for B2B customers, and for many B2B companies, they want to offer custom orders (which adds to the personal relationship).
But custom orders are usually not the e-commerce norm — or so many think.
With custom quoting tools, unique variants, and segmented customer bases, B2B companies can let their customers submit PDF quotes 24/7, then rate the quotes and chat with them during normal business hours when custom orders can be fulfilled get in touch.
Your ecommerce business can then categorize that customer into their own unique customer segment so that customers don’t have to go through the quote engine again when they place a new order.
Instead, they just click and see items made just for them.
B2B clients do not want to order online.
Today’s B2B shoppers complete approximately 12 online searches before purchasing from a specific brand.
- 44% of millennials make a purchasing decision.
- 33% said they were a key influencer or referrer in the ordering process.
- Only 2% said they were not involved in purchasing decisions at all.
They shop differently than their peers. A study by Heinz and SnapApp found:
- Compared to Gen X or Baby Boomers, millennial shoppers are more independent in the buying process: they conduct extensive research before making a buying decision.
- While Generation X and Baby Boomer shoppers rely on salespeople, Millennial shoppers are more likely to rely on the opinions of peers or outside experts than they are to trust a salesperson: They actively avoid contacting salespeople early on; almost 60% say they only contact a salesperson when they are in the middle of a buying decision.
This buying behavior mimics B2C buying behavior, and brands need to inform, build trust, and build community before making a buying decision or even considering it. If you want your brand to appear on these buying boards, you need to have an online presence.
Customers are reluctant to make bulk purchases online.
While buying online may have seemed like a risky decision in the past, today that fear is almost non-existent.
With cars, wedding dresses and even groceries available to buy online these days, it’s no surprise that more than 35% of business buyers are willing to spend $500,000 or more in a single transaction online. Not to mention that 15% of business decision makers are willing to make online purchases worth more than $1 million.
Needless to say, ecommerce is not just for low-value and repeat purchases — it’s now an opportunity to make big sales in just a few clicks.