A recent study from Accenture and SAP hybris found that B2B buyers are looking for a seamless omni-channel buying experience, especially online. According to the study, digital experiences are becoming more important to B2B customers – leaving businesses that have sub-par online experiences behind.
In 2015, 75 percent of B2B buyers said they research at least 25 percent of their work-related purchases online, even if they made the actual purchase offline.
Most B2B buyers begin the research process by visiting consumer marketplaces, such as Amazon or eBay (33 percent), or search engines (26 percent). However, B2B businesses are struggling with integrating the online and offline experience: Only 60 percent of respondents have customer names available on all channels, while only 48 percent have customer shipping and billing addresses available on all buying channels.
B2B sellers are faced with the challenge of creating a seamless experience for their customers, but are facing issues of technology, data, silos and measurement. According to the study, sellers rated the number one challenge of an omni-channel strategy as “difficulty sharing customer data and analytics between channels, countries, or locations.”
Ultimately, the researchers found that an excellent customer engagement strategy requires mastering digital experiences, a focused business technology agenda, and a culture of analysis.
CX and Personalization: A B2B Marketing Opportunity
Over the next five years, customer experience, personalization and big data hold the most promise for B2B, according to half of respondents from a recent study. The authors concluded that, “B2B marketers will be pressured to pivot their focus to customer experience and personalization in the very near-term.”