As with other industries, digital transformation is a top priority for B2B ecommerce brands.
Emerging technologies are being implemented at B2B ecommerce companies internationally. And the early results for many of these organizations are certainly promising.
Research from Digital Commerce 360 shows B2B retailers’ websites and marketplaces contributed to an 11% rise in annual sales in 2018 to a total of more than $1 trillion.
As you might expect, manufacturing wholesalers and distributors who’ve yet to prioritize B2B ecommerce — and experience this sizable rise in revenue — said they’ll do so by 2021.
One thing many of these B2B ecommerce brands have in common? They use of a customer data platform (CDP) to unify their customer data into a single source of truth.
Data that can be activated across channels in real time to deliver personalized experiences.
B2B ecommerce brands and customer data platforms: The perfect pairing
Ecommerce solutions like Shopify, Magento, and DemandWare help many B2B ecommerce brands with vital tasks, like optimizing multi-channel marketing, organizing marketplace offerings, and providing real-time customer service.
Other solutions — supply chain and inventory management systems, product and shipping label software, and the like — also play pivotal roles for B2B ecommerce companies today.
Having said that, these tools are far from the only ones they need to thrive today. Especially because the data utilized in each tool is disconnected from one another.
The simple truth is none of these B2B technologies provides a complete, real-time view when it comes to understanding individual prospects or customers in real time.
That’s why customer data platforms have become a staple in many B2B ecommerce brands’ martech stacks, as it has helped them mature and gradually grow their marketing strategies.
Access to all historical customer data in a centralized portal that can connect with other systems and the ability to activate said data with ease across channels: That is the primary benefit of a pure-play customer data platform for B2B ecommerce companies.
Industrial manufacturers and distributors, specifically, use CDPs to acquire high-value customers, nurture them through their sales cycle, and convert them into buyers.
A CDP allows these B2B ecommerce brands to see all critical data for decision-makers at their current and prospective customers’ companies (job roles and titles, budgets, past products and services purchased, and other essential info).
It’s this critical data that aids their long-term nurturing and relationship-building.
Specific CDP use cases for today’s biggest B2B ecommerce companies
That’s the high-level overview of how CDPs benefit manufacturers and distributors.
Below are far more detailed use cases as to how these B2B businesses make the most of their CDPs day in and day out and steadily improve key metrics across the entire customer lifecycle — including and especially acquisition, retention, and customer loyalty.
Use case #1: Serve only the most relevant product recommendations based on individual interests, preferences, and behaviors to enhance conversion.
Many B2B buyers don’t come to a B2B ecommerce website to peruse many products. They come to a site with one or more specific items in mind for their companies.
Knowing when a customer returns to your website, being able to track their browsing behavior and score it based on intensity and momentum, and then provide customized product recommendations geared to the individual is critical.
Let’s say you’re responsible for marketing at a telco equipment manufacturer/wholesaler.
When you have the ability to recognize a customer in real time who previously bought routers and gateways from your company in bulk months earlier lands back on your website, you’ll want to provide them with a unique customer experience.
That is, you want to show them the most relevant products, like ones they ordered before.
In BlueConic, you could deliver real-time, on-site experiences using on-site dialogues to promote previously bought items to each individual upon their return visits.
Or, these dialogues could feature messaging that promotes newer or different models of the devices they bought in the past that may interest them on future site visits.
If they exit your website without buying, you can use our customer data platform to orchestrate messaging that incentivizes them to come back to your site and buy.
For instance, you could target them with ads across the web (Facebook, Google) or send personalized offers based on their engagement with your brand to date via email.
This sort of attention placed on past buyers, including and especially those who purchase repeatedly (or items with sizable price tags, at least), can lead to greater customer loyalty.
Use case #2: Grow the customer lifetime value (CLV) of your high-value clients by focusing on getting repeat purchases and building customer loyalty.
The reason customer lifetime value is such an important metric is due to the typically lengthy sales cycle for B2B buyers compared to the average consumer. B2B retailers sell to far fewer businesses who take their time to evaluate their options.
Some of these sales cycles, depending on a brand’s needs, can take months.
Thus, it’s vital for B2B ecommerce brands to play the long game with their marketing and place a concerted focus on the organizations. (And their chief decision-makers.)
Using AI Workbench in BlueConic can help companies like yours — which may only see a given customer buy once a year — maximize their odds of earning that repeat business.
For example, BlueConic customers can build and deploy machine learning models in AI Workbench using models such as CLV, propensity-to-buy, RFM, and more.
The propensity-to-buy model can predict how likely a customer (or account) is to buy.
With this data in hand, you can send a perfectly timed email, for instance, to the decision-maker who bought last time to ask if they’re interested in purchasing once more.
In other words, you can anticipate your customers’ needs based on their buying patterns and behavioral attributes (e.g. momentum and recency of their website visits).
Improving your B2B ecommerce marketing and sales with a pure-play CDP
To sell online effectively today — that is, build an ecommerce machine that continually grows your B2B sales and helps you meet revenue goals — is both an art and a science.
Both B2B and B2C brands alike struggle with their online sales efforts. But companies in both spaces turn to the same solution to solve their marketing woes: a pure-play CDP.
Connect your B2B ecommerce platform to a CDP like BlueConic, and you’ll have the customer insights needed to build a robust online store that routinely provides strong ROI.
What’s more, you’ll be able to develop richer relationships with customers and better succeed in the ever-changing, increasingly competitive B2B ecommerce landscape.
Schedule a demo with our team today to learn how your B2B ecommerce organization can benefit from our pure-play customer data platform.