The B2B customer experience (CX) has fundamentally shifted due in large part to expectations set by the scale and frequency of B2C experiences. Fluent in the world of online shopping, consumers know what a good buying experience looks like, resulting in an increasing number of B2B buyers expecting the same type of customer experience.

Thanks to the vast number of resources and competitors readily sourced online, the controls are in the hands of buyers. The journey to checkout is more complex than ever due in part to this increased amount of research used to inform a final decision. With B2B customer experience top of mind, buyers are willing to spend more for a better experience. A staggering 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for great customer experience and buyers are willing to pay an average of 13% more for added features and luxury items when customer experience is high-quality. These B2C buying habits are informing B2B buying habits — making customer experience the linchpin to B2B customer experience success. 

From the importance of self-service tools to how ROI analysis is complicating the customer journey, these statistics give a clearer view of B2B customer experience in 2019.

Value of Great B2B Customer Experiences 

1. According to Temkin Group, companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional $700 million within three years of investing in improved customer experiences. (Qualtrics, 2018)

2. CX leaders outperformed those lagging in CX on the S&P 500 index by nearly 80%. Additionally, their customers are seven times more likely to return to the company, eight times more likely to try other products or services offered and 15 times more likely to spread positive word of mouth. (Forrester, 2017)

3. CX is considered very important by 86% of B2B CMOs, but 57% of those reported only marginal CX performance. (Accenture, 2019)

4. Specifically, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for great customer experience. (PWC, 2018

5. According to a Gartner survey, nearly 50% of organizations claim they can track the financial benefits of CX projects. (Gartner, 2019)

Complexity of the Buyer Journey 

6. At least 80% of B2B buyers are not only looking for but expect a buying experience like that of a B2C customer. (Lumoa, 2019)

7. Most B2B buyers perform 12 online searches before interacting with a vendor and are looking for a B2C-like experience. (Blue Corona, 2019)

8. B2B buying cycles are getting longer and more complex — 58% of buyers said their decision process was longer in 2017 than in 2016 and just 10% said purchase time decreased. (Demand Gen Report, 2019)

9. 77% of B2B buyers are conducting more detailed ROI analysis before making a purchase decision, 75% are using more information sources for research and evaluation, and 52% are increasing the number of buying group members. (Demand Gen Report, 2019)

10. More than half of all B2B buyers view at least eight pieces of content during the purchase process, and 82% of buyers viewed at least five pieces of content from the vendor prior to purchase. (Forrester

Omnichannel Offerings and Experiences

11. In their 2020 report, PWC found that the number of companies investing in the omnichannel experience has jumped from 20% to more than 80%. (PWC, 2019)

12. 46% will leave a website because of a lack of message (it’s not clear what the company does), and 37% will leave because of poor design or navigation. (Blue Corona, 2018)

13. Mobile usage per B2B worker is expected to increase from two hours a day to three by 2020, driven by millennials, Gen Z and the increasing use of smartphones by older workers. (Think with Google, 2017)

14. 50% of B2B search queries today are made on smartphones, and this percentage is expected to grow to 70% by 2020. (Think with Google, 2018)

15. More than 90% of buyers say they’re likely to buy again from a vendor that had a superior mobile experience, compared to just 50% of those who report a poor experience. (BCG, 2017)

Future of B2B E-Commerce 

16. Gartner has predicted that B2B companies with e-commerce personalization will outsell by 30% competitors that are not providing a personalized experience. (Lumoa, 2019)

17. Today, 67% of customers prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative. (ZenDesk, 2019)

18. Furthermore, 91% of customers would use an online knowledge base, if it were available and tailored to their needs. (ZenDesk, 2019)

19. Weighed on a 5-point scale, B2B buyers rank the importance of self-service tools at 4.41 and knowledgeable sales reps at 4.35. Coming in for third place is 24/7 service, which scored a value of 4.21. (Digital Commerce 360, 2019)

20. 26% of B2B online purchasers think their company's online purchase volume (total $) will increase in the coming year. (Digital Commerce 360, 2019)

Turning Data Into Action

As shown by these statistics, B2B CX has become top of mind and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Make the most of your B2B relationships by creating easy buying experiences akin to B2C, but keep a careful eye on the factors that make these strategies unique.

7 Best Practices for B2B E-Commerce Success

As B2B buyers grow more accustomed to making purchases online, they increasingly expect the same experience that they get from online retailers. However, B2B is not the same as B2C, so B2B sellers need to craft intentional digital commerce strategies. Read this e-book to discover seven best practices that B2B sellers can use to accelerate the success of their e-commerce channel, plus glean advice on choosing the correct technology to support each best practice.

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