Is your B2B ready to pivot?

As small businesses continue to adapt to an ever changing plethora of circumstances, it can often become quite the challenge to see what is coming. Many B2B companies have faced the same challenges as the B2C companies but their challenges may not be as clear cut. While customers and clients may well come from several areas, it seems that the B2B demographics have begun to shift meaning that many B2B firms may be caught flat footed.

In some recent data compiled by Forrester, and recently published at BigComerce, there looks to be more than a few startling revelations for B2B businesses. The following is taken directly from that published data:

  • Prior to 2020, the B2B audience was made up of baby boomers and members of Generation X. Baby boomers preferred getting their information from data sheets, sales literature and product trials. On the other hand, Gen X sought information from trade shows, conferences and print ads.
  • Today, 73% of millennials are involved in the B2B buying process. This generation has puzzled many, but they hold some distinguishing characteristics that explain how and why they operate. Millennials grew up alongside technology and as many as 38% of them admit to buying the latest gadgets.
  • More millennials have college degrees than any other prior generation. While this is impressive, it has affected the way they’ve shaped their careers. Student loan debt is also a big reason why this generation is protective with spending and why they seek transparency from brands.
  • Today’s B2B buyer conducts approximately 12 online searches before making a purchase from a specific brand. In response, 55% of B2B marketing budgets are directed toward digital efforts that help provide a more personalized buying experience.

See the source image

  • As many as 50% of B2B companies prefer blogging as a marketing strategy, while 40% look to sending email newsletters and creating social media content. Digital methods of content marketing have replaced print ads and brochures, and B2B audiences are finding brands across many different channels.
  • B2B buyers expect various digital efforts from vendors, including:
    • 45% want personalized portal content.
    • 44% are looking for an easy-to-use ROI calculator.
    • 38% seek AR options.
    • 33% want video chat options.
  • According to a survey conducted by Isoline, 53% of B2B decision makers said video was the most useful form of content, followed closely by case studies. Video was also the top choice for the type of content most shared. While the sales funnel was once very straightforward, now 90% of B2B buyers enter, exit and reenter the funnel at various points. As much as 80% of B2B buying decisions are based on a buyer’s direct or indirect customer experience, and only 20% is based on the price or the actual offering.
  • The top B2B ecommerce trends to master in order to see business success.
    1. Focus on new customer acquisition and user experience.
    2. Acceleration of online marketplaces.
    3. Companies are embracing B2B mobile commerce.
    4. Growing expectations of B2B customer personalization.
    5. Adoption of B2B customer loyalty programs.
    6. Integration of systems for multi-channel selling.
    7. Demand for fast B2B order fulfillment.

-Written by Kevin Sawyer