B2B and the Shift to Mobile

August 24, 2015

B2B buyer behaviors are evolving and becoming more mobile-centric. Before the advent of the Internet, “B2B buying decisions were disciplined, rigorous, process-based, and rational”.  B2B buyers used to make their purchase decisions based on their relationship with the seller and the knowledge of their products, rationally comparing them with the options they were aware of.

Digital technologies have changed this process.

As Forrester Analyst Laura Ramos reported in an interview with CMO.com, “Now B2B buyers have control over the purchase process and how they interact with sellers.”

The modern B2B buyer has the chance to research online, read product reviews and engage on social media. This is why it is necessary that B2B organizations start rethinking their views on the value of mobile as part of this buyer journey.

We recently took a look at the growth of mobile commerce in B2B, and tried to understand some of the key drivers of this growth.

  • It is clear that B2B has become a lot more like B2C as buyers are embracing the convenience of smartphones for work.  Forrester reports that 74% of B2B buyers research half or more of their work purchases online before buying.
  • As with retail shoppers, B2B buyers value the ability to move seamlessly between different devices and screens. McKinsey found that, “On average, a B2B customer will regularly use six different interaction channels throughout the decision journey, and almost 65 percent come away frustrated by inconsistent experiences”. This suggests that greater emphasis should be placed on User Experience and design to deliver engaging mobile experiences for this audience.
  • B2B has always been relationship-oriented, and it is interesting to observe how mobile is transforming how buyers engage and connect. The ability to access online customer service and connect via social are becoming basic expectations on B2B mobile site. According to Demand Gen Report, 72% of B2B buyers use social media to research solutions and 92% to engage with sales industry thought leaders.
  • The convenience and personalization of mobile is very attractive in B2B. Users value the ability to access historic purchase information in order to streamline and speed up future buying actions, and mobile functionality that save time (predictive search) and personalize the experience (persistent login) are in demand.

We share similar interesting stats on the state of mobile in B2B in our new infographic “What’s happening to B2B on Mobile?”

You can download it here!

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