Personalized user experience has become a "standard" for many eCommerce retailers. As a B2B merchant, you may wonder if customized user experience is just smoke and mirror to make customers feel "warm and fuzzy," or if it'd really make a difference to your bottom line.
Let's find out...
According to recent findings by Accenture, 54 percent of B2B buyers say they want vendors to offer “personalized recommendations across interactions.”
This research found that only 20 percent of B2B buyers place their orders via sales reps. The rest make their purchases on B2B eCommerce sites. As your eCommerce website takes over the function of sales reps, it also needs to be able to cultivate relationships and facilitate the purchasing process as if a customer is getting individual attention from a sales rep.
The eCommerce trend of offering a customized user experience on your B2B website is the key to building customer loyalty, encouraging higher purchase volume, facilitating more frequent order and creating higher customer lifetime value.
Let's explore 4 benefits of a customized B2B user experience:
1. Recurring Purchase
A key to attracting recurring customers is to make the re-ordering process as convenient and frictionless as possible.
A customized user experience can show order history, provide a reorder list function, and allow customers to store payment information, so they can replenish their stock with just a few clicks.
Recurring purchase can also be encouraged by offering a subscription service that automatically renews orders with which customers can manage via their account dashboard.
Some B2B companies use mobile apps to further simplify purchasing, so buyers can place their orders anytime they encounter the need.
By cutting down the steps buyers need to go through and reducing the friction to process payment, a customized user experience makes recurring purchases more likely to happen.
2. Higher Purchasing Volume
With a customized B2B user experience, you can show each customer's negotiated pricing and/or special volume discount to encourage large volume transactions.
Another way to increase purchasing volume is to display cross-sell or upsell recommendations based on a customer's preference and purchasing history.
When customers can find what they want easily through a personalized experience and targeted recommendations, they're more likely to purchase from you than your competitors.
3. Increased Customer Lifetime Value
When customers can reorder with ease, they're more likely to become loyal customers over time. E.g. if they can order a larger variety of products from your site and be able to get a "VIP" discount, or easily manage their credit terms without spending 30 minutes on the phone, they're more likely to stick around.
A longer engagement, combined with higher volume, means an increase in customer lifetime value. As your relationship with these long-term customers becomes automated, you'd also spend less on customer acquisition and retention, thereby increasing your marketing ROI.
4. Customer Loyalty
A customized user experience means you can serve up special offers or personalized information that add value to an individual customer.
When you incorporate prior communications with your customers into their interactions on your eCommerce site -- e.g. a previously negotiated volume discount, product variants configurations -- they're more likely to keep using your products or services because they don't have to spend the time and energy to go through the process with a new vendor again.
For many B2B SaaS companies, customer loyalty is of paramount as they rely on a subscription model. The ones that experience tremendous success provide educational content specific to customers' user journey and their engagement with the product to encourage usage and upgrade.
When you provide a satisfactory user experience, you'd not only get your existing customers to stick around but also have the opportunity to turn them into advocates for your products or services.
As you can see, a customized B2B user experience can have a real and positive impact on your bottom line.