The pandemic changed just about everything for everyone, including both buyers and sellers in the B2B world. Virtual trade shows instead of in-person. Zoom calls in place of face-to-face meetings. With that also came changes in how sales and purchasing decisions were being made.
To better understand the evolution, Capgemini, conducted two surveys of 650 U.S. buyers and sellers last year. One was done in February before the pandemic and the other in September. The key finding was that buyers demand even more personalized approaches. Marketers that are quick to respond will see better results.
What Capgemini found is that only 48% of buyers receive personalized emails targeting their needs. At the same time, 67% said they were at ease having brands use their personal data to accomplish this so long as it was used to satisfy their needs. Nearly 100 percent okayed using their data in some form. Understanding each customer’s needs and targeting them is essential for success today.
Despite these numbers, 60% of respondents said the email was still one of their top three resources. What this means is there’s still a wonderful opportunity to connect via email so long as buyer needs are met. Part of this means more clarity about product descriptions. One of the top three drivers of supplier trust among 66% of respondents was accurate product descriptions. In fact, 56% said that was one of three main reasons making it less likely in returning to a vendor.
Another driver of supplier trust is inventory and transparency in pricing, according to 55% of those polled, 42% added that untrustworthy product data and the absence of insight into available inventory are turn-offs.
Another 36% cited the absence of advance pricing features on intricate orders.
Paying attention to these other supplier trust findings,30% still rely on recommendations from platforms they trust, while 29% depend in part on offers they receive based on their searches. Encouraging positive comments and recommendations and interacting with offers when buyers are on the site are still effective.
Customer loyalty is always an invaluable asset since we all know it costs more to acquire new customers than retain current ones Capgemini found that inventory and pricing transparency ranked highest for fostering and retaining customer loyalty among 46% of respondents.
Subscription Auto refills, product searchability, personalized offers based on past buys, and a personalized online portal were the other top four listed by those polled.
As valuable as it is to know what appeals to buyers, it’s also important to be aware of what turns them off. It’s no surprise that the mirror opposite of supplier trust is number one for turnoffs. 49% told Capgemini that inaccurate product descriptions were their top peeve. Similarly, untrustworthy product data and a lack of insight into available inventory ranked second, followed by the absence of complex order pricing features, lack of reviews, and too high prices.
The survey results emphasize how important it is to the success of B2B vendors that they upgrade tailoring their one-on-one interaction with clients. Not only does this mean identifying and recognizing each client’s interests, but also their pain points. Today’s retail customers demand it as do business customers.