What Do B2B Customers Really Want In The Digital Age?

Thomas Fock

In the digital age, customer focus and service orientation are key to remain competitive.

As is the case with B2C, contact with business customers is all about convenience. From a B2B customer perspective, providers who make the lives of their customers as easy as possible and combine and organize orders irrespective of channel provide clear added value.

Cross-channel services also function as a gateway to digital customer relations. When it comes to information and procurement processes, business customers also switch between distribution channels and use a whole variety of cross-channel services. But which cross-channel services are really catching on? And which offers are going to be more important for business customers in the future?

Catalog + online order function + central customer account = customer focus

Electronic catalogs, invoices that are available across channels, discounts, and customer accounts are the necessary basics.

Most business customers have previously used electronic catalogs from which consumers can directly purchase from an online shop. Regardless of frequency of use, an online shop has become an absolute must, also in the B2B segment. This way, providers are able to offer a suitable alternative to hard copy catalogs.

A central customer account which operates across channels is also a valuable service, and highly desirable from the business customer perspective. Here the customer can electronically access all invoices and receipts, and can see an overview of their purchases from all various channels.

Individual prices and reductions for all purchases, and across all channels, is also an effective way to get the business customer’s heart beating. Guaranteed customer loyalty!

But buyers are not always the same, even in B2B

When it comes to B2B commerce, the requirements for procurement processes can vary heavily depending on the decision level. Whilst business customers who independently make buying decisions are happy to place their orders online, the more people that are involved in the process, the less the customer is inclined to make a digital purchase. And even the demands of online shop functionalities are changing—buying centers, for example, may request a history of all participating users, a comments function or multi-user accounts.

But one thing is true for all B2B buyers: personalization on all levels will get you further!

To learn more about building the B2B omnichannel platform of the future, click here and download this FREE Forrester Report now.