We all know that B2B eCommerce is a growing trend that isn’t going away anytime soon. The question now isn’t “should I implement eCommerce for B2B?” but rather “how can I improve my B2B eCommerce experience?” One feature that is leading the pack in effective customer experience is personalization.
The AI-solutions company PROS recently conducted a survey with Hanover Research and found that 62% of businesses believe that more than half of their sales will come from eCommerce within the next five years. The respondents also said that one way to improve that increasing amount of B2B eCommerce customer experience is through a variety of AI features, including:
- Improving customer service (45%)
- Meeting customer demands (44%)
- Increasing revenue (42%)
- Achieving cost savings (41%)
- Gaining an advantage over competitors (39%)
- Enhancing operational efficiency (39%)
“The adoption of AI by sales and marketing may well be driven by the fact that B2B businesses can use AI to apply machine learning techniques to customer decisions. By creating more personalized product and price recommendations, organizations can further enhance the overall customer experience, while still maintaining competitive price offerings that help your business stay profitable.
Having the ability to personalize options to meet buyer needs and buying behaviors helps organizations create loyalty, as satisfied customers will be more likely to return time and time again over the long-term.”
This Sounds Familiar…
If these findings ring a bell, perhaps it’s because it’s what Magento has been delivering to both B2C and B2B eCommerce users alike for years. The marketing tools found in Magento can be leveraged to create a personalized shopping experience for your B2B eCommerce customers. Let’s take a look at what you can implement to have Magento do the heavy lifting for your marketing and customer experience.
Rule-Based Product Relations
Your customers expect you to remember who they are, what they like and dislike, and even anticipate their needs and wants. Gathering information by tracking customer behavior, past purchases, and conversion rates can help create an eCommerce experience that is specific to each customer.
Magento has rule-based product relations that enable cross-sell, upsell, and related product capabilities. Rules are established for a product so that if it meets certain requirements, a specific corresponding product is displayed. These rules can be based on anything from price to manufacturer to customer segment as well as custom product attributes.
Once a rule is created, Magento displays the list of the corresponding products and you have the ability to edit the list from there. For example, you could establish a rule which relates tennis shoes and socks as a suggested cross-sell. Leveraging rule-based product relations, Magento will display the list of socks and allow you to remove or add to the list of suggested cross-sell products. Using this capability, you could theoretically establish a handful of rules and allow Magento to just run those related products for the entire site.
This capability is significantly easier to set up using Magento’s provided functionality than if this were to be set up manually for each individual product. For a product catalog of any substantial size, it would be nearly impossible to establish product relations without rule-based product relations.
Providing this option is a straightforward way to introduce additional products to the online shopper. Typically, this data can be accessed from within the back office system. With the design of a quick interface, the eCommerce site can easily suggest additional products or higher priced items to the customer.
Additional Product Recommendations
Another way to leverage recommended products is through recommendations that other shoppers have also purchased. The shopper is presented with recommendations such as, “People who bought this item also bought these items” or “People who bought this item also viewed these items.” These recommendations are powerful messages to the casual shopper, and get into the psychology of the social influences of eCommerce.
Customer Segmentation Tools
These tools can be referred to by various names, depending on the eCommerce software. Regardless of what they’re called, these tools ultimately allow for the creation of segments of customers based on their activities. Then, these customer segments can be used in marketing campaigns, email campaigns, specific targeted content, special pricing, or promotions.
By leveraging these tools, an online B2B marketer can present customers with specific, targeted content and pricing that makes them feel as though the site was built specifically for them.
So, while the PROS survey indicates that personalization will be trending well into the future, it's clear that Magento has been ahead of the curve with providing customers with marketing tools to improve personalization on their site. Are you ready to leverage these tools on your B2B eCommerce platform? Get started with our team of certified Magento developers.