B2B E-commerce and Personalization Technologies
The B2B business model has grown by leaps and bounds, especially in the first half of this decade. According to the data provided by Forrester, the market size of the B2B industry will double by 2020 in comparison to B2C. The data claims that B2B e-commerce will reach a high of around 1.1 trillion USD and account for over 12 percent of B2B sales in the USA alone.
What does this mean for B2C businesses?
With tailor-made personalization, B2B companies will have a 30 percent higher leverage over their competitors. Studies and research proves that people prefer personalized experiences even if it is for B2B e-commerce. It states that using effective personalization content helps to drive sales up and maintain effective and steady relationships.
Studies have gone on to show, how techniques like offering some assistance to a shopper can help improve revenues, boost consumer experiences and increase customer engagements. And this is not it. Given that most users log into B2B sites, it is easier to create tailor-made content for them based on their preferences. And unlike normal e-commerce buying options, B2B buying usually features a more detailed customer buying process. As a result, it creates a network for personalization of the process and data-backed recommendations. It can work as a base for creating a fine tuned product-to-product based recommendation for the customers.
Does B2B business personalization work?
Content marketing is evolving because of the rise in e-commerce model of retail. According to a report by Seismic, the most sought after facilities and features are content marketing initiatives, sales team support enabling leadership efforts and web traffic generation. The respondents in the survey that was done prior to the publishing of the report said that the objectives were met when the content was personalized.
Another important thing to note is that B2B markets are still in its nascent stage, when it comes to content personalization process. For instance, the same report states that 55 percent of the respondents have been personalizing content for less than two years and that there are genuine problems like lack of an effective bandwidth and data. Moreover, the process is mostly manual or semi-automated. So, as the scenario stands there is a lot of possibility for personalization and a complete automation of sorts for the same. What happens is, as mentioned before, this personalization helps to produce loyalty and affinity and increases customer conversion rates and a sense of loyalty and higher returns on investment.
What it holds for the future?
‘Activating the Crowd: Exploiting User-Item Reciprocity for Recommendation’, is a paper that was part of an EU-funded CrowdRec Project. In it, there is a mention about the data provided by customers being used for garnering explicit feedback regarding the services. The system as the paper argues, must provide the customers with some sort of incentive for giving their valuable feedback. Business buyers are given such incentives because a lot of B2B buying is based on informed choices and loyalty.
To cut a long story short, these systems – personalization technologies and recommendation systems are still in their nascent stage and are rapidly becoming popular. The important part to discern is how they can be used by B2B e-commerce companies to achieve their goals. It was impossible earlier to implement these technologies owing to the costs associated with them but now it is an assured reality for companies.
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