The demographics of a B2B buyer have undergone a transformational change in recent years. So younger, social media savvy, mobile friendly B2B buyers expect their B2B buying experience to be similar to their online personal shopping experience. B2B buyers want a B2C like experience because they expect their suppliers to provide a more personalized and individualized service through their B2B storefront. Around 75% of B2B buyers expect a personalized and end-to-end solution from their suppliers. More importantly, self-service costs B2B companies only a few cents per customer contact compared to what they would pay for live support, perhaps a few dollars for each customer contact. So from a financial standpoint, it makes perfect sense to offer self-service through a B2B storefront.
B2B customer agreements are unique for each customer, with unique pricing, payment terms, delivery options, credit management, etc. So each customer needs to have access to their own version of the Storefront, including access to their transaction history. This not only includes orders placed through the Storefront, but also all the transactions from their backend ERP system. Like invoices, sales orders, credit memos, etc. Allowing a buyer to do self-service on all of these transactions will free up the time of your customer service agents. So they don’t have to search for the information on various systems, while the buyer is kept on hold.
So by providing agreed upon pricing to your customers, they expect to only see the pricing relevant to them. Rather than the product list price. Therefore avoiding any confusion for customers around pricing, taxes and shipping costs. Additionally, it provides a seamless buying experience from browsing to purchasing to replenishing and reordering. Buyers can also easily schedule and reschedule order deliveries. They can set up recurring subscription type orders, and modify delivery options as needed.
B2B buyers expect to see the products they need on their personalized storefront. To boost their self-service experience, a product catalog can be dynamically personalized by filtering products based on their order history, product categories and brands previously browsed, or favorites and tags.
Chatbots are becoming popular on B2C storefronts, however less than 1% of B2B sites are leveraging chatbots for self-service. Including Chatbots to your B2B storefronts can greatly improve self-service capabilities for the buyer and further free up the time of your customer service agents to address more complex issues.
If you would like to explore how you can offer self-service capabilities to your B2B buyers, please reach out to us!