Understanding the customer and creating customer-centric experiences go hand-in-hand. But to achieve success, B2B retailers must also have the right internal structures in place to succeed in the next steps of digital transformation.
The relationship between B2B organizations, their suppliers and their customers is often complex, with legacy processes built up over many years that remain ingrained within the organization. These longstanding processes make innovation difficult.
As a quick fix, new e-commerce capabilities are often bolted on to the existing business, resulting in siloed processes that are managed by different technologies. This structure can lead to disjointed consumer experiences – such as separating the browse-able product catalogue from shop-able e-commerce. Everything is designed so as not to disrupt ongoing operations.
This leads to a myriad of problems, with disconnects in the online user experience, like weak search and filtering capabilities that are important to B2B users. The average B2B customer uses six different channels over the course of their decision-making journey – when issues disrupt the experience, frustration forces users to disconnect from those online channels and revert to offline.
In response, B2B leaders are taking a new approach, designing interfaces that allow users to move smoothly from offline interactions to online channels. They expose data, remove friction and have taken steps to re-wire their organization to present connected experiences to buyers who don’t really care about internal silos.