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How Can B2B Businesses Drive Mobile Sales?

A significant digital transformation is happening in the B2B landscape at the moment. By adopting some of the best practices used within the B2C space, many businesses are improving their success rate, thus improving their overall sales process.

Mobile commerce is a natural extension of that trend and in B2B this accounts for 33% of all B2B eCommerce sales. In fact, 78% of B2B companies believe that mobile commerce is the future of their industry. Not surprisingly, there is still some resistance with some being unaware of the power of mobile commerce and others believing the industry is too complex for simplicity in mobile.

Here, we explore how businesses in the B2B space can adapt their commerce strategies to drive more sales on mobile:

Streamlining the buying process on mobile

Providing a seamless buying experience for the customer in B2C is already an ongoing challenge and discussion for many retailers. In the world of B2B it proves to be even more difficult with new layers of complication for its customers. For one there will be larger order quantities, and the average transaction sizes might be greater. If that is not enough, B2B sellers have to tackle the challenge of advanced customisations in products and pricing.  

While you can address some of these roadblocks by creating custom price catalogues for individual customers or groups, and automate some of the sales process by personalising the order to the customer, on mobile it can be as simple as introducing a one-click buying option on routine orders. Using payment gateways like Paypal, Apple Pay, Google Pay which can offer this functionality, will dramatically decrease the steps to purchase and help your customer to make large purchases on the go. One-click purchasing on mobile will also mean your customers don’t have to re-enter account information, delivery addresses or payment details. Shipping can be as simple as drop-down options, reducing the overall order times from minutes to seconds.

Mobile commerce currently accounts for less than 10% of business sales, but more than half of all B2B customers are shifting transactions from offline to online or self-serve options.  The percentage of B2B traffic coming from mobile will soon rise to match the 22% of traffic from mobile on B2C sites, according to data from Usablenet.

Mobile First

Both your mobile and traditional site needs to have a responsive design so that there is ease of use throughout. This poses more of a challenge than the average B2C site due to further complexities that are involved in the B2B process. Nevertheless, the era of agile, omnichannel and mobile-first approach has arrived and your average B2B customer is looking for a personalized, optimised and immersive experience.  

So, focus on your sales through mobile as a guidance and take a proactive approach to your customer’s needs. This means easy access to product details, videos, fact sheets and whatever else you customer might need to make their purchase. Educate your customer through your detailed product content, which will in turn help promote a long-term business relationship. Successful mobile B2B commerce will come from assessing customer needs and factoring those into your overall design process.

Many business buyers already watch mobile videos related to their work, access work-related mobile content outside of business hours, read reviews and product information, and compare features and prices on their mobile device.  These customers are not simply shopping online for new items, they are turning to mobile commerce to support the maintenance of their existing purchases and infrastructure.

Mainstreaming your business

While there are lots of techniques that can be taken from the B2C playbook, it’s important to recognise that not everything should be mimicked and directly transferred to B2B. Instead, focus on your user scenarios and address what is right for your business and build your mobile commerce strategy around it. This can still mean that you work on common problems like providing your customer with deep search capabilities and offering meaningful buying and browsing experiences.

Visible customer reviews, on the other hand, can help drive sales. According to Demand Gen’s 2017 B2B Buyer’s Survey, which polled 283 senior-level business decision makers:

84% of buyers said they seek input from peers or existing users; 57% do so within the first three months of the buying process”

The survey also revealed that peer reviews take higher precedence over traditional sales tools like case studies and testimonials.

As a conclusion, B2B mobile commerce is here to stay, and the opportunity for this market is vast. At the heart of every business, is the customer, and as long as your business continues to adapt to meet their needs and requirements, which often in B2B can be complex, you stand to benefit greatly.