Understanding your target market behaviour is important. More so, since we all live online. Forrester estimates B2B eCommerce will top a trillion dollars and account for 12.1% of B2B sales by 2020. B2B online shopping is growing, giving you a lot of opportunities for your online B2B store.
Understanding your target market behaviour through your website
Site Search & Product Filtering
For your b2b customers, online shopping is not a pastime. They are often under pressure to find the right product, at the right price. Most have time constraints, with little time to second guess themselves. As such, your site needs a powerful filtering and categorization set-up to help them find what they are looking – fast.
While your B2B customers may know what product or service they need, doesn’t mean they also know product features or service support that will be truly beneficial for their project. Sometimes, they don’t even have to stick to a strict budget. Consider including a Suggested Products functionality feature to your site to help increase upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
Include sales reps in your customer journey
As the B2B online shopping experience becomes increasingly self-managed by your customer, your sales reps may find themselves with fewer customer interactions. The consultative selling is still required, but since online shopping has removed one ore more steps in the actual closing process, their timing needs to be properly timed. Give your sales reps the opportunity to have a greater impact on your company by implementing a CRM that includes a contact manager, integrates your newsletter campaigns and social media.
An integrated website with backend technology could mean your sales reps will be interacting with your customers at the right time to answer questions, handle objections and provide a quote.
Expand your multi-channel marketing
To ensure that your B2B buyers see your content messages on the social media platforms they use the most, manufacturers and distributors are increasingly engaging customers at different touch-points.
This direct engagement using different sales channels generate more incremental revenue and cost less to serve a customer on a single sales channel. More importantly, engaging your customers on multi-channels increase customer support, which is in line with current customer expectations. As customer expectations rise, B2B buyers are demanding a full spectrum of self-service, full-service, and hybrid purchase options.
Create a Content Funnel to Drive B2B Online Sales
More and more B2B companies are developing a content marketing funnel. The reason being is that B2B products have a longer sales cycle and need more time to close the sale. It is estimated that a B2B sale requires 6 to 8 touchpoints to become a lead. That is 8 touchpoints to one sales lead.
To better understand your target audience’s behaviour and to help them move them down your funnel faster is by creating content they need. Content includes:
- FAQ: B2B buyers want to learn about businesses and products
- Competitive Analysis: Content that answers why choose you over the competition
- Case Studies: Showcase your technical expertise, how you make it simple.
This is what they’re doing during all those preemptive touches. They’re reading, digging, and — most importantly — researching. B2B buyers prefer to self-educate well over halfway through a purchase decision rather than connect with a company sales rep.
Your content-based strategy should be designed to funnel customers from different pain points to your products. The content-based strategy should start on your navigation bar down to trade show visits.
Content Marketing should include content helps your target audience to:
- Understand — to educate buyers
- Select — to guide purchase decisions
- Implement — for post-transaction support
If a new customer arrives to your site, they should be able to learn more about how you can help their problem and potential solutions you provide. Instead of pitching products, your goal is to develop need awareness so the buyer places a real value on solving their problem.
Remember, after all the false news, fake social media accounts, showing your content expert matter on your site is very important. No one else should be able to claim the same expertise as you. Content needs to sound trustworthy.