On 31st October 2023, Google announced the landing of mobile-first indexing. Also, Google’s previous findings suggest that 50% of B2B search queries were made on smartphones in 2017, which was slated to grow to 70% by 2020.
Whereas according to McKinsey & Company, B2B mobile app ordering increased by 250% amid COVID-19. Simultaneously, as per Inkwood Research, the global B2B eCommerce market is expected to record a CAGR of 22.50% during 2023-2032 and is set to garner $166315.23 billion by 2032.
Connect these dots and the need for staying mobile-first to cater to B2B buyers is no longer vague. Mobile visibility has thus become increasingly important in B2B eCommerce for lead generation.
For instance, quicker replies to inquiries and managing requests on tablets or smartphones facilitate higher flexibility and engagement. Similarly, purchase apps are gaining popularity to gain swift and easy access to suppliers. However, the new B2B buyer persona expects more.
Global B2B eCommerce Market: Mapping the New B2B Buyer Persona
Digital has tampered with the pivotal role the human element plays between the consumer and business. Today, a typical B2B buyer anticipates the same digital features and experiences as that of a consumer. As a result, they hold brands accountable for frictionless mobile experiences irrespective of their industry.
Moreover, B2B buyers are increasingly becoming tech-savvy. Mobile usage is peaking, and multitasking has become the norm. In addition, they are moving away from the desk. Furthermore, COVID-19 has reinforced the concept of staying productive while commuting or remotely through mobiles.
Says a senior vice president, “Even when I’m at work in meetings, I’m searching on my phone while talking to vendors so I can move more quickly.”
Another fortifying factor for mobile-first is that mobile has moved beyond mere increased usage to generating results for B2B eCommerce. Mobile has accelerated the time to purchase, further reducing costs and boosting revenues. They can fast-track purchases through enhanced team collaboration and efficient decision-making, particularly during complex purchases.
Further, with regard to eCommerce, B2B leaders are gathering higher levels of mobile engagement and greater revenue, thoroughly backed by actual transactions, lead generation, site traffic, and search queries.
B2B eCommerce Market’s Case in Point: Selco Builders Warehouse’s Project Tool Saga
Selco Builders Warehouse, a supplier of building materials, encompasses over 60 branches, enabling tradespeople and building contractors to choose from more than 15000 building material products, from power tools to kitchen sinks. Its business has been flourishing since 1895. At the same time, it has witnessed eCommerce success with Adobe Commerce. However, its customers, the busy tradespeople and contractors, are constantly on the move.
They need to multitask once they meet with a potential customer, scribbling in notepads and taking more time than promised to submit a price. Overall, there is a risk of losing the work. Selco thus decided to launch a tool to reinforce tradespeople to engage in their day-to-day project management activities irrespective of their job location and optimize time management.
Selco developed the Selco Project Tool that would leverage the Adobe Commerce wishlist functionality and APIs to power an innovative system, allowing users to manage their trade projects using mobile phones. Through the app, tradespeople could request a quote right away, generating prices for customers within minutes. Thus, Selco was able to close the gap in the market by connecting its customer base with what they needed.
How can the B2B eCommerce Market cater to the New B2B Buyer Persona?
Personalized experience is the answer to the new B2B customer/buyer persona woes. Therefore, B2B eCommerce companies should invest substantial energy and time in understanding their consumers’ purchase behavior. Particularly the role donned by mobile. This also includes assessing factors like the role of individuals on the buying team and other key engagement points.
Moreover, B2B companies should design simplified experiences for smartphone users. This can be achieved by creating mobile-friendly content. For instance, emphasis on podcasts, infographics, and videos alongside including a square & vertical format with less text.
Furthermore, companies can integrate their own data from their mobile app with relevant data from third parties like social media and business partners. This will help them assemble a thorough customer/buyer profile, including their interests, needs, and priorities.
Today, most B2B purchasers, including enterprise customers and small businesses, prefer limited interaction with salespeople. Instead, they rely on digital sources like third-party and suppliers’ websites, social media, blogs, buyer reviews, and videos. For which they use mobile phones to get such information, particularly for social media and search. As a result, such mobile-first, well-articulated strategies can boost revenue generation for B2B eCommerce companies, making it a lucrative trend in the global B2B eCommerce market.
By Akhil Nair
Understanding buyer personas is crucial for businesses in the B2B eCommerce sector as it helps tailor marketing strategies and customer experiences. Buyer personas represent idealized, generalized profiles of target customers. By comprehending the specific needs, pain points, and preferences of different buyer personas, businesses can optimize their product offerings, messaging, and user experience, ultimately leading to more effective customer acquisition and retention.
B2B eCommerce, or Business-to-Business eCommerce, refers to online transactions between businesses where goods or services are sold from one business to another. This differs from B2C (Business-to-Consumer) eCommerce, where businesses sell directly to individual consumers.