Today, an increasing part of the customers’ journey takes place online. Customers use search engines, social media, and business websites to find, evaluate and decide what to buy. This is true for direct purchase, online ordering, and business channelled through retailers. In this day and age, it is quite common that a customer goes through the entire shopping journey without personal contact with the supplier at any stage.
This change requires B2B companies to accelerate their digital transformation and develop their website to fill multiple roles. Today, the website needs to function as a source of information, a salesperson, and a resource point for support. The website needs to be able to manage interactions that previously transpired through a phone call or meeting.
The difference between B2C and B2B
Even though most businesses are moving online, there are still some differences between B2B and business to consumers (B2C) that you should be aware of. For consumer-oriented businesses, the focus is on finding new customers and then inspiring them to make purchases. For B2B, it is different. Here, many buyers are looking to acquire enough information to be able to justify their purchases. They want to ensure that they are making the right choices regarding their needs, integration with existing systems/processes and manageable costs.
Customers are picky and demand information to be available online
In order to best meet the needs of customers online, it is important to offer a structured product portfolio, presented in a clear and easily accessible way. Customers are typically impatient and want to find the desired information with as few clicks as possible. If the information is incomplete or difficult to find, they will leave your website for another that has it more readily available.
In other words, it takes an acute level of service to maintain customer engagement and provide the right information for them to move ahead with their purchase. For those who succeed, and are able to reach a high degree of digital maturity, the rewards are increased business and more frequent purchases originating online.
PIM allows you to meet customers in the right way
PIM is a dynamic information management system, by which you can present your company's products online and in other channels in a more structured and attractive way. The PIM system helps you showcase your company’s entire product and service range in a way that presents buyers with complete and up-to-date information, regardless of channel. When you use PIM to manage your content, it becomes easy to connect products that belong in the same category, or that are often sold together so the customer can get a clearer picture of your complete offer.
When information can be managed in one place, and with one system, you never run the risk of product pages displaying incorrect or outdated information. It also simplifies the process for the person who administers product information, campaigns, and inventory. The information is kept in one place to ensure it is complete and accurate wherever it appears. The greatest business benefit can be achieved when the PIM solution is fully integrated with your website.
Download our guide to successful B2B online sales
In this guide we have collected our best tips for how B2B companies can leverage a PIM solution as a smart and powerful tool for developing and streamlining product management, and how to use it to create a best-in-class customer experience online. Download and read more about PIM and how it can help your business to succeed!