Did you know? “Millennials and Gen Z zoomers, or those born between 1996 and 2012, constitute 64% of business buyers,” according to Forrester Research. Most B2B buyers that are part of these generations are accustomed to frictionless shopping experiences and expect the same service levels when making B2B purchases. Subsequently, B2B companies are tapping into B2C eCommerce service methodologies to deliver on the shopping experiences that B2B customers want.
In addition to optimizing their B2B eCommerce sites for mobile devices, savvy B2B companies are making progress on delivering on these expectations in three areas: relevancy, simplification, and customer service.
Meeting the expectations of Millennial and Gen Z B2B buyers
Millennial and Gen Z B2B buyers want to connect with products and brands on their own terms. They expect experiences that are tailored to their unique needs, such as customized recommendations based on previous purchases and browsing history.
Because they often turn to social media to connect with products and brands, B2B eCommerce sites that integrate with social media channels build brand loyalty by providing shoppers the option to engage in their preferred channels.
These shoppers also value a simple and intuitive user experience that’s aligned to what they experience when making B2C purchases.
They want to be able to navigate the company’s website or platform with ease and find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. Similarly, they enjoy the convenience of quick and easy transactions, which is why many B2B eCommerce sites offer bulk order and quick order as well as multiple payment options.
When they need help, B2B shoppers expect to be able to reach out to their sales reps for support, receive prompt and helpful responses, and feel like their business is valued and appreciated.
However, they want the option to choose self-service support; subsequently, leading B2B eCommerce sites offer portals that contain FAQs, tutorials, and other resources and enable the buyer to access account-specific pricing and purchasing options and assign user roles to satisfy these preferences.
Building strong and resilient B2B relationships
To build solid relationships with B2B buyers, companies need to focus on two things: building trust and delivering value.
B2B buyers expect regular and transparent communication with their vendors, and need to feel confident that B2B companies will deliver on their promises. To build trust, vendors need to demonstrate that they have the expertise and experience to meet a buyer’s needs, and that they’ll be a reliable partner over the long term.
B2B customers are focused on value and expect a favorable return on investment. They also want assurances that the products and services they have purchased align with their needs, are available when they need them, and will be delivered within the promised timeframe
Forging long-term partnerships between B2B buyers and companies
Because B2B buying decisions are often complex, buyers are looking for a true partnership, not a transactional relationship.
When B2B buyers trust and value their vendors’ products and services, they’re more likely to make repeat purchases and recommend a company to other buyers. Furthermore, B2B companies that have strong partnerships with their buyers also benefit from better insight into market trends and buyer needs. By applying these insights, vendors can build competitive advantage and improve product development.
A partnership with a well-known and respected B2B buyer can also enhance the company’s business profile. When trusted buyers speak positively about their products or services within their network, the company enjoys increased visibility and an enhanced reputation in the marketplace.